After concluding his illustrious 12-season NFL career, J.J. Watt may have left the gridiron, but he’s determined to maintain his fitness regimen.
The former University of Wisconsin football star, who garnered three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, transitioned to a role as an analyst for CBS in the 2023 season. With retirement affording him more time with his family, including his one-year-old child, and upcoming fourth wedding anniversary celebrations with wife Kealia Ohai Watt, Watt hasn’t abandoned the work ethic that defined his NFL tenure and positioned him as a future Hall of Famer.
While in Las Vegas for the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl, Watt encountered an unexpected setback when he was asked to leave a hotel gym at The Encore.
Venting his frustration, Watt recounted the incident, expressing disbelief at the gym’s early closure at 7:00 PM. He humorously questioned the necessity of such an early closure, pondering whether someone might abscond with gym equipment. Despite leaving the gym feeling uncertain about his reaction, Watt ultimately deemed the closure “ridiculous.”
“Alright, I need some opinions here. I gotta know if I’m in the wrong. So yesterday, near the end of the day, want to get a workout in. 6:30pm, Go down to the hotel gym, put my air pods in. Get the workout going, get a nice lather. About 30 minutes in somebody comes in taps me on the shoulder. Take the Airpod out, “Yes What’s up?” He said said “I’m sorry sir. We’re closed,” I said, “what’s closed? The gym? The gyms closed?” I said, “seven o’clock. What do you mean the gyms closed?” “Yeah, we close at seven o’clock I’m sorry. You got to get out.”
Seven o’clock. What hotel gym closes at seven o’clock? What’s gonna get stolen in hotel gym? Is somebody going to walk out with a Woodway? Are we going to have 45 pound plates headed out the door? maybe nine? Midnight? But I mean, majority of hotel gyms are 24 hours. Just go in there. Use the gym. Clean up after yourself. Get out. I mean, seven o’clock. Am I wrong? am I crazy? Because I walked out of that gym with a sweat going. Just kind of like ‘maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m the idiot here.’ But I feel like that is a little early to be closing down your hotel gym.”
This incident highlights the changing landscape brought about by the pandemic, even in entertainment hubs like Las Vegas. However JJ received a nice apology for the confusion:
In his farewell NFL season, Watt demonstrated a resurgence, accumulating 12.5 sacks—his highest total in recent years. Although he possesses the capacity for elite performance, Watt chose to retire on his own terms, prioritizing a healthy retirement and quality time with his loved ones.
For the first time since 2010, Watt observed the NFL season from the sidelines, signaling a shift in his role and commitment. While there were rumors of a potential return to the Houston Texans, Watt seems content with his decision to embrace retirement fully.