HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – After the adventurous offseason J.J. Watt has had, are any of you surprised that he was a presenter at the CMT Music Awards last Wednesday?
It was an experience he got to share with some of his fellow Texans teammates.
“Most of the time, when I do those things, it’s always just me by myself, so it was really nice to be able to do that with and being able to bring some of the guys with me this time,” Watt said. “It was awesome. Man, we had a blast. The group of guys we had and just the trip in general was really fun. I think it’s one of those experiences that we’ll all remember for a long time.”
The lucky group that hopped on a private jet from Houston to Nashville with Watt on June 10 included Brian Cushing, Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Ben Jones, and Shane Lechler.
“It was definitely an different experience,” Cushing said. “It was good though, a lot of fun. It was a good bonding experience to go up there and see some guys in their craft and their professional hobbies and jobs, and just a really cool experience. Great town, just a great time overall.”
“It was great, man,” Joseph said. “Got the invitation from J.J. (Watt). Just going down, being around the guys, and being in that atmosphere is great.”
When it came to wardrobe for the big event, their players’ mentality of dedication and hard work completely kicked in.
“When J.J. (Watt) asked me, the first thing in my mind was, ‘Are we going to be on the red carpet?’ From there I just kind of started brain storming and looking at pictures and stuff like that,” Jackson said. “I came up with a good game plan and we executed it.”
“I just wanted to make sure I fit in and had on the right gear,” Joseph said. “We all went to the internet and did some research to see what they wear on the red carpet.”
But finding a cowboy hat didn’t prove so easy.
“I shopped everywhere and I couldn’t find one,” Joseph said. “My last resort, I had to go to lids and get a kids hat.”
“We really weren’t sure what was going to happen,” Watt said. “We talked it out a little bit to see cowboy hat or no cowboy hat. I never expected to go to a country music awards and we’re the only five guys wearing cowboy hats. Kareem (Jackson) and J-Jo (Johnathan Joseph), of course, showed us all up. I think they were going to the Oscars and it was just the Country Music (Television) Awards, but it was a blast.”
And how did this whole experience come about?
“I’ve known the Zac Brown Band for a few years now and you get opportunities all the time and it just depends on the schedule,” Watt said. “When I found out that we were off on that Wednesday night and realized we could fit it into the schedule, we made it happen.”
Like Cushing, Watt and Jackson were impressed to be in a room full of success stories.
“It’s a chance for us to see a different world, to experience success in a different way,” Watt said. “You go and talk to those guys and you talk to some of the most successful people in their business and you figure out why they’re successful and how they got to be successful. It’s a lot of fun to learn about that.”
“We got a chance to meet some of the artists there,” Jackson said. “They’re definitely talented. Getting a chance to meet those guys and some of the women there as well that were artists, that was exciting for me.”
And when the players thought the night couldn’t get any better, they capped off their night by practicing their famous Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions with the man himself.
“Obviously, the night was great in and of itself,” Watt said. “I mean, when you get to do an Arnold impression with Arnold (Schwarzenegger), life doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.”
“We all had a chance to meet Arnold (Schwarzenegger),” Jackson said. “Right when we were getting ready to leave, he kind of came and talked to all of us and took some pictures with us and stuff.”
“He came back in the back and told us that he had a chance to meet him and we jumped right on him about how we didn’t get a chance,” Joseph said. “Right afterwards we waited in the alley out back. He had a chance to come through and walked through. We all met him. It was pretty awesome.”