A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Texans' J.J. Watt wins the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award thanks to his fundraising efforts for Harvey relief

Texans' J.J. Watt wins the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award thanks to his fundraising efforts for Harvey relief
J.J. Watt had his impact off the field in 2017. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

J.J. Watt is the NFL’s Man of the Year.

The Texans defensive lineman won the Walter Payton Award Saturday night during the NFL Honors show, beating out Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson. Both were deserving, but Watt’s efforts after Hurricane Harvey all but made him a shoo-in.

As the damage from the storm was becoming clear, Watt posted a video online with a goal of raising $200,000 to help the city recover from Harvey’s devastation. Watt’s efforts drew national attention, and 19 days later he had raised an amazing $37 million, with donations from many celebrities from all over the country. Watt became one of the faces of recovery in the storm’s aftermath, giving hope to a battered city.

When Watt was named one of the three finalists, he tweeted out this: “Humbled & honored to even be mentioned in the same breath as Walter Payton. Also happy to share the nomination with @BenjaminSWatson and @gregolsen88 who are both extremely deserving. This is so much bigger than just one man. It’s about the good in all of humanity.”

Olsen and Watson have helped numerous people through their charitable foundations and epitomize what is best in people. Watt put an entire city on his shoulders in the aftermath of a disaster and made the world take notice.

The 28-year-old Watt would go on to miss most of the 2017 season with a broken leg. A three-time defensive player of the year, Watt has been the face of the franchise for most of his Texans career, which began in 2011. But his off-field efforts were much more important.

On the field, the Texans are hoping a healthy Watt and quarterback Deshaun Watson can propel them back to the playoffs next year.

Off the field, they already have a champion.

Many Houston athletes stepped up in the wake of the storm, but Watt’s contributions will not soon be forgotten. The NFL got it right by naming him the Walter Payton Man of the Year. For all Watt has done on the field, he will always be remembered for his efforts off it when a city needed him the most.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Hunter Brown takes the mound for Houston on Tuesday night. Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images.

Colorado Rockies (27-51, fifth in the NL West) vs. Houston Astros (38-40, second in the AL West)

Houston; Tuesday, 8:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Rockies: Austin Gomber (1-4, 4.36 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 52 strikeouts); Astros: Hunter Brown (4-5, 4.72 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 82 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -263, Rockies +215; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Houston Astros take on the Colorado Rockies after Alex Bregman had four hits against the Orioles on Sunday.

Houston is 22-19 at home and 38-40 overall. The Astros have the fourth-best team slugging percentage in the majors at .423.

Colorado is 27-51 overall and 11-27 on the road. The Rockies have the eighth-ranked team slugging percentage in the NL at .397.

The matchup Tuesday is the third meeting between these teams this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Jose Altuve has a .299 batting average to lead the Astros, and has 16 doubles and 12 home runs. Bregman is 16-for-42 with two RBI over the past 10 games.

Ryan McMahon ranks second on the Rockies with 31 extra base hits (17 doubles and 14 home runs). Hunter Goodman is 9-for-37 with a double, five home runs and 10 RBI over the past 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Astros: 7-3, .284 batting average, 3.78 ERA, outscored opponents by 14 runs

Rockies: 3-7, .277 batting average, 6.60 ERA, outscored by 10 runs

INJURIES: Astros: Jake Bloss: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Victor Caratini: 10-Day IL (hip), Justin Verlander: 15-Day IL (neck), Cristian Javier: 60-Day IL (forearm), Kyle Tucker: 10-Day IL (shin), Jose Urquidy: 60-Day IL (forearm), Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Rockies: Charlie Blackmon: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Adael Amador: 10-Day IL (oblique), Josh Rogers: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Elias Diaz: 10-Day IL (calf), Kris Bryant: 10-Day IL (rib), Jordan Beck: 10-Day IL (wrist), Lucas Gilbreath: 60-Day IL (elbow), Daniel Bard: 60-Day IL (knee), German Marquez: 60-Day IL (elbow), Antonio Senzatela: 60-Day IL (elbow)

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome