J.J. Watt responds to critics, says Super Bowl isn’t appointment TV, more

J.J. Watt isn't going to change a thing about who he is on and off the field.

Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

J.J. Watt briefly spoke to FOXSports.com on Thursday evening after a long day of doing interviews on Radio Row, where he promoted a variety of products.

FOXSports.com: What question are you sick of being asked?

Watt: I don’t like making predictions, so I’m sick of the Super Bowl prediction question you get during each interview.

FS: There seemed to be some J.J. Watt backlash on social media this season. The criticism is that you’re too nice, too polished, and not real. Have you been aware of that?

Watt: I think there definitely has been some of that. I think over the last couple of years especially, I’ve started to see and understand it a little bit. It’s kind of like the arc of fame, I guess. People like to see a guy being built up, they like to see a guy go from the bottom to the top, but then once you’re on the top for a little bit, people wait to see you fail and they want you to fail, so they find flaws and they find reasons, whether it’s being too nice or trying to make you out to be fake, that’s what they do. But that’s just the way it goes with any athlete, not just myself. Once you’re at the top and so many people like you, they want to see you fall.

FS: But how strange is it that the criticism basically boils down to people thinking you’re not as nice as you seem?

Watt: Weird, isn’t it? It took me a long time to come to terms with that because you try to figure out why don’t people like you and for a long time I did wonder. I read every comment. I saw every article, but then I came to the realization that it doesn’t matter what I do. There’s gonna be people that don’t like you, regardless. But I take on the mentality of, look, I’m gonna do whatever I want to do. If people don’t like, they don’t like it.

FS:  You just had groin surgery. You broke your hand during the season. Which injury was worse to deal with?

Watt: It was a combination of everything. I had been dealing with the groin for the last eight or so weeks of the season; had the broken hand for the last five or so weeks, I had a herniated disc in my back, I had a strained pec for a while. There were many, many different things wrong throughout the season and they all added up and this was definitely my most strenuous season yet and the toughest on my body. It was a brutal season, but now I’m all fixed up and looking forward to rehabbing and getting back for next season.

FS: Where will you be watching the Super Bowl? What is your plan for Sunday?

Watt: I will actually be in-flight during the game, so I’ll either be watching it on the plane or sleeping.

FS: What if the plane doesn’t have a TV? You don’t care that you’ll be missing it?

Watt: No, not really. I’m of the belief as a player that if you’re not playing in it, it doesn’t really matter. If I do stay awake on the plane, I’ll watch it because obviously it’s interesting. And with Coach [Wade] Phillips and coach [Gary] Kubiak being in the game, they mean a lot to me. But it’s not like appointment TV for me where I have to sit down and watch it.

FS: Since you said you might be sleeping, you said you are a big fan of napping. Any tips you can give the readers for a good nap?

Watt: Make sure that you have a plan. If you’re going to nap, make sure you have a proper chunk of time blocked out. I’m not one of these guys that does the 15-20 minute nap. I don’t play those games. I’m like an hour minimum. I’m not gonna lay down unless I know I have at least an hour.

FS: The huge Super Bowl news on Thursday was that a reporter asked Cam Newton why he was wearing socks with sandals during his media session. What’s your stance on socks with sandals?

Watt: In a situation like that, I understand it because I know that they have a busy week and there’s a lot going on and especially when you go from practice to walkthrough to media, you may have socks on with your sandals. But I think in a general situation when you have enough time to consider your options, you don’t do it. But being an athlete, I’ve been in that situation before so I can’t say that’s a bad call because I’ve been guilty of it.

FS: You have some time off now. Any big offseason plans?

Watt: I like to travel, so I will do a little bit of traveling. Every year I take nine of my best friends from high school on a trip. It’s my way of saying thank you to them for being loyal and it’s a chance for me to get away and clear my mind, and this year I’m taking them to Dublin.

FS: You recently said you watched "Making a Murderer." How long did it take you to finish the series and what did you think?

Watt: It took me about three or four days. I went through it pretty quickly because it is incredibly intriguing TV. But obviously it is skewed to one side. I was intrigued just like everyone else to go out there and read every article on it, watch every video. It’s a conversation piece, no doubt.

FS: You’ve been on Twitter and Instagram for a while. You just joined Snapchat. What do you think so far?

A photo posted by JJ Watt (@justinjames99) on

Watt: Snapchat’s a whole other animal there. I am just figuring it out. I had it for a while just to snap with my brothers a couple of times. That was it. But I just posted about being on it a couple of days ago and it is INSANE to see how many people have it. You will see almost anything on there. It is INSANE.

FS: You’ve been going with the beard look lately. Are you enjoying it or are you one of those guys like me who can’t take the itching after a while?

Watt: I did have that problem. I tried to grow it longer than I think I should’ve, so I trimmed it and I haven’t had a problem since. Now I trim once a week or once every two weeks and it’s not bad. But I did get to that point. It’s pretty crazy because I’ve never had a beard before, but that itch you get is pretty wild.

FS: Did you surprise someone with Super Bowl tickets today?

Watt: I did. Verizon’s #Minute50 campaign is all about surprising somebody on the 50th minute of every hour leading up to the Super Bowl. Whether it’s catching a pass from Drew Brees or winning Super Bowl tickets, every 50 minutes a Verizon customer can win. They just have to check out Verizon on Twitter. I just got a chance to pick a winner and I got to deliver two Super Bowl tickets to the winner and it was an incredible moment. It was the winner’s 60th birthday, she was excited, she was almost shaking. It was pretty neat.