On Tuesday, The Onion announced what National Football League scientists have called “the greatest NFL discovery of the century.” That is, a “perfectly preserved fourth Watt brother,” one who could be crucial to understanding the evolution of the edge rusher position.
According to lead scientist Robin Grossman, the frozen find was made when a Wausheka, Wisconsin man purchased eight cases of Leinenkugel’s for a tailgate party. Wausheka is a mere four miles south of Pewaukee, the hometown of all three football-playing Watt brothers—J.J., Derek and T.J.—ages 32, 28 and 27, respectively.
Grossman also told the media that the “massive specimen” is six-foot-five and has already been given the name “A.J.,” apparently in deference to his brothers J.J. and T.J., both former NFL first-round picks, with the former selected No. 11 overall in 2011 by the Houston Texans, the latter No. 30 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017.
Both brothers are well on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. J.J. Watt, a defensive end who is in his first year with the Arizona Cardinals, won AP Defensive Player of the Year three times (2012, 2014-15) while with the Texans.
Meanwhile, T.J. Watt’s star is still on the rise. The outside linebacker finished third in Defensive Player of the Year award voting in 2019 and was runner-up in 2020. This year he’s a top contender for the honor once again, despite missing a game-and-a-half with a groin injury and playing just 72% of his team’s defensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference.
Thus far in 2021, T.J. Watt has recorded 21 total tackles, along with seven sacks, 12 quarterback hits, three passes defensed and three forced fumbles. On October 20, 2021, he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his illustrious career, next-most-recently after Week 2 of the 2020 season.
For the past two years, T.J. has been playing alongside Derek, who signed on to play fullback for the Steelers in March 2020 after beginning his NFL career as a sixth-round pick of the Chargers in 2016. All three brothers played their college football for the Wisconsin Badgers.
What’s Next for A.J. Watt?
According to Grossman, the plan is to thaw A.J. so he can begin doing drills ASAP, the first step in assessing whether he is, in fact, the “missing link” between his highly-accomplished pass-rushing siblings.
To date, neither J.J., T.J. nor Derek have publicly commented on the historic find. Though not long after the discovery was announced, Derek Watt did post a series of family photos on Twitter.
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J.J. Watt Has Appeared in The Onion Before
For what it’s worth, this is not the first time the Watt name has appeared in The Onion.
In 2017, the satirical publication asked: “Why doesn’t J.J. Watt have blood gushing from his face at all times?”
The article appears to have been inspired by a September 2013 game between the Texans and Seattle Seahawks, in which Watt played while bleeding profusely from a cut across the bridge of his nose. The Onion’s sports correspondent noted how the blood pumps up his teammates and intimidates opponents, saying, “nobody in the league bleeds better than this guy.”
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