Houston Texans defensive-end J.J. Watt is a 6-foot-5, 288-pound man-beast on the football field. Can you imagine his Chris Pronger/Zdeno Chara-esque frame skating at full-speed towards you as you tried to dig a puck out of the corner?
Kind of terrifyingly-awesome, and to think it was almost a reality.
In a 2013 conversation with SI’s Peter King, the Wisconsin-born Watt admits that hockey, not football was his first love:
“I grew up in Wisconsin loving hockey. I mean, I started when I was three years old on skates. I played all over—in Canada all the time, all over the U.S., over in Germany for a 10-day tournament. Hockey, honestly, was my first love. The excitement, the fast pace, the intensity of the game … I still love it to this day …”
Why didn’t Watt end up following his dream of playing hockey? One word – money.
“… I had to quit. It was financial … it was extremely expensive. My family is a middle class family. When I grew up and learned how much it actually costs … I could not believe that my parents let us play as long as they did … those were some of the best years of my life …”
Awwww! The NHL’s loss is the NFL’s gain.
On Tuesday, Watt tweeted out a video of him on the ice showing off what skills he’s still got:
Imagine what could have been for Team USA.