What do firefighters and football players have in common? Well, as Texans defensive end J.J. Watt recently learned, both jobs require intense physical activity, unbreakable endurance, and most of all, a lot of heart.
Watt recently spent a day during this past offseason training with firefighters in his hometown of Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Watt, along with his dad, who is a retired firefighter, participated in the training as part of an educational campaign called Gatorade Beat the Heat, which teaches youth about heat safety and how to stay hydrated in the summer. Throughout the course of the day, Watt engaged in a number of drills, including pulling out water hoses, climbing many flights of stairs, and putting out fires, all while wearing a full firefighter uniform in 86 degree weather. Sure sounds a whole lot like training camp, doesn’t it?
Though Watt spent time at the fire station as a kid, he never really knew the extent of what his dad and his fellow firefighters did on a daily basis. Now that he’s had a taste of it himself, he has a whole new level of respect for these men.
So given that both jobs require enormous physical and mental strength, how does life as a firefighter compare to life as a football player? “At the end of the day, if I screw up, I have a bad play. Theirs is life and death,” Watt said, according to Click2Houston. “To me there’s no comparison. We get headlines, we’re playing a game. These guys don’t get the headlines, but they’re the ones saving lives.”