It’s 5:30 a.m. and while most of Houston is sound asleep, J.J. Watt’s day has been going for hours. After a 3:30 wakeup, followed by a 1,200-calorie breakfast, Watt is already at the Houston Texans practice facility, doing his fifth set of bicep curls while staring at four bare walls, the constant reminders of a franchise without any football history. Watt, and that alarm clock set for the middle of those warm Houston nights, are here to change that.
Expect to hear those words, or something like them, from the dulcet tones of Liev Schreiber this summer, as it was reported Wednesday that Watt’s Houston Texans will appear on the 10th season on HBO’s sports-reality series Hard Knocks.
The Texans are a fine choice given Watt’s rising star-power and charisma, the presence of a rehabbing Jadeveon Clowney, an egotistical coach from the Bill Belichick school in Bill O’Brien, the always-surly but sometimes thoughtful Arian Foster and the all-encompassing television awesomeness of Vince Wilfork and his wife Bianca.
Houston was one of the teams that didn’t have a choice about appearing on Hard Knocksas it hadn’t met any of the three requirements for excusal (a new head coach, making the playoffs in either of the past two years or appearing on the show in the past decade), though there’s been no report that the team was forced into the role.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter which teams HBO chooses. Whereas Hard Knocks follows the same pattern every year, so does your relationship with it. You’ll miss the first episode because you can’t believe it’s already on, DVR its re-airing, set-up a series recording and then have them all pile up on your DVR, while you swear you’ll watch them one day, until — BOOM — it’s the NFL season opener and you’re too pumped to watched Jimmy Garoppolo open the season to care about whether some undrafted rookie with moxie made a team you never cared about anyway.