Cardinals legend J.J. Watt plans to kick off his retirement by investing in a football team — the other kind of football, that is.
Arizona Cardinals legend J.J. Watt made a career out of terrorizing quarterbacks like Big Ben — well, now he’s going to get acquainted with the O.G. Big Ben.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced the very spicy news that Watt was planning on un-retiring… to pursue a passion across the pond: Football. The kicking kind.
On Monday, Watt and his wife Kealia officially became minority investors in Burnley Football Club.
Schefter actually gets his facts wrong on this one: Burnley currently competes in the EFL Championship, the tier below the more renowned English Premier League (EPL). This year, the club won the Championship League, which means they will be promoted to the EPL next season.
The Watt couple traveled to Burnley’s stadium, Turf Moor, back in March to watch the club secure a 3-0 win against Wigan, and they also plan to be in attendance for Burnley’s final match of the season on May 8.
Watt has since released the following statement:
“When you invest in a club that’s been around since 1882, you must have great respect for its history and tradition. We understand that not only are we investing in the squad and manager, we’re investing in the town and its people. We take that responsibility very seriously and intend to work hard in earning their trust and support.
J.J. Watt is saying toodle-oo to the NFL in new soccer club venture
Watt’s wife, Kealia, is a professional women’s soccer player who spent stints on the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and also earned three caps for the US women’s national team (USWNT). Kealia Watt actually set a record for the fastest goal in a USWNT debut when she was subbed on in a 2016 international friendly and scored 48 seconds later.
As much as we would love Watt to grow a mustache and morph into the modern-day Ted Lasso, his and his wife’s investment in Burnley more so mirrors what Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been doing with Wrexham, a small Welsh football club that recently got promoted up a league as well.
The Deadpool star and “Always Sunny” actor (Go Birds!) teamed up to buy Wrexham a couple years ago, and Wrexham recently ended a 15-year drought when the team successfully got promoted to the English Football League (which is different from the EFL Championship and Premier League).
If you’re just a casual NFL fan and your head is spinning from all these soccer league acronyms, we don’t blame you. It’s a lot to take in.
For Burnley minority investor J.J. Watt, he has a daunting challenge ahead of him as his club is set to enter one of the most competitive leagues in the world.
After 12 illustrious seasons in the NFL, the ex-Cardinals pass-rusher will turn his attention to helping Burnley’s claret-clad footballers achieve their own success. What a good man — or a decent bloke, as the Brits would say. Watt’s life story may not parallel that of the fictional Ted Lasso, but the learning curve is real.
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