There are 41.6 million reasons why Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is a living, breathing legend in Texas. After Hurricane Harvey devastated the city back in 2017, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year began a crowdfunding campaign that raised $41.6 million for hurricane relief efforts. Watt spent much of his offseason last year distributing funds and rebuilding the city. As a result, he postponed the annual J.J. Watt Foundation Charity Classic softball game and home run derby. After one year off, the game is coming back.
The foundation announced the game will return on Saturday, May 4, 2019. After the first Charity Classic sold out Constellation Park back in 2013, the event needed a slight upgrade. The game will be played at Minute Maid Park — home of the MLB’s Houston Astros — once again this year. It’s a star-studded event, but after last year’s hiatus, the 2019 game figures to be one of the best yet.
Each year, this event has gotten bigger and bigger. Texans superstars over the years like DeAndre Hopkins, Brian Cushing, Vince Wilfork, and Jadeveon Clowney have participated in the event that pits Team Offense versus Team Defense. Heading into 2019, Team Defense leads the all-time series, 3-2.
The event includes merchandise sales, raffle tickets and a silent auction, plus there are 42 different sponsors supporting the 2019 event. Tickets for the family-friendly event range anywhere from $5 to $200 depending on your section, and they can be purchased by clicking here.
The Justin J. Watt Foundation supports after-school athletic programs around the country by providing funding for sports equipment and jerseys for both boy’s and girl’s middle school sports. Since forming in 2011, the foundation’s mission has helped distribute almost $5 million around the United States.
Past home run derby champions include quarterback Matt Schaub and punter Shane Lechler, while Watt is the defending champ from 2017. The event is a family-friendly atmosphere that never disappoints. I mean, where else can you go to see Houston’s Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson dressed up as a giant hamburger?
Watt embodies everything that a true role model should be. He loves his family, gives back to his community, and is passionate about his work. Every Texan — yes, even the Cowboys faithful — should be thankful for a larger-than-life figure lifting an entire community like J.J. Watt.