VIDEO: J.J. Watt Joins Packers on Ceremonial Bike Ride to Practice [UPDATE]
J.J. Watt may never be welcome to do a Lambeau Leap. Riding a Green Bay child’s bike, however, is far from out of the question.
The defensive star was one of several Houston Texans to partake in the Green Bay Packers tradition of having players ride children’s bikes to training camp practice on Monday. Watt and his Houston comrades are partaking in a pair of joint practices with the Packers before the squads face off in a Thursday preseason match.
Green Bay’s tradition of having local children offer their bikes to player commuting to and from Lambeau Field’s practice facilities dates back to Vince Lombardi’s days at the Packer helm. The team’s raucous fanbase often rejects imitation of their hallowed traditions from visitors, but they were willing to make an exception for Watt and company in footage captured by Lily Zhao of WFRV.
Flanked by team staff, cameras, and fans, Watt gracefully rides down the corridor on a bike that is two sizes too small for him. But, if anyone can pull it off, it’s probably the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year winner.
Later video, released by the Packers themselves, shows Watt making friends with his rideshare partner, although he’s stepped off the bike and is seen carrying it with one hand. Watt’s new buddy is shown holding his helmet. Teammate Tashaun Gipson doesn’t seem to have any problems on his own tiny transportation vehicle behind Watt.
If anyone on the Houston roster is aware of Green Bay traditions, it would undoubtedly be Watt. The Waukesha, Wisconsin native grew up in a family of Packers fans and would later go on to star at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Fortunately, Watt emerged from the Tour de Lambeau unscathed.
Barring preseason disaster, he opens up his regular season with the Texans on September 9 in a Monday night visit to New Orleans.
UPDATE: In a shocking twist, it turns out Watt broke the bike he borrowed, and has since purchased a new one. Absolutely stunning turn of events that few could have seen coming.