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Deshaun Watson gets emotional in unique press conference

In most press conferences announcing contract extensions, you’ll usually see the player who just got the big contract, along with his head coach and general manager. Maybe the player’s family will be on hand at the team facility. Of course, we’re all doing things differently in the middle of a pandemic, and when the Texans had their Saturday afternoon press conference to officially announce quarterback Deshaun Watson’s extension worth $160 million over four new years, the team certainly had a unique program.

The press conference was virtual, and Watson was first greeted by Dabo Swinney, his coach at Clemson.

“I’m so proud of you and I’m so thankful that I had a chance to be a part of a great moment your sophomore year in high school, when you called me and said, ‘Hey, Coach, I’m going to be your quarterback and I’m coming to Clemson,” Swinney recalled. “D-dub, that was a great moment, and I’m so thankful that I had a chance to be a part of such a great moment when you came to Clemson. And I remember you broke your collarbone your first spring, but I remember you coming in to tell me you were going to play against South Carolina with a torn ACL, and I looked at you like you were crazy, and you go out and get MVP of the game, and man, that was a great moment.

“And what I would say to you, D-dub, and I told you this this morning, you’re going to have a lot of great moments the rest of your life, but it’s all about how you live between the moments. All about how you live between the moments, and you are the epitome of everything that’s good and right in this world, all right, and I’m just so thankful to be a part of your life.”

Then, Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander weighed in.

“I’m sorry I didn’t text you today,” Verlander said. “I saw the news but I wanted to wait to congratulate you on here. I got a call earlier today asking if I would do this, and I couldn’t be happier to be able to be here and congratulate you on a moment in your career that — you know, we don’t work for this, but this is something that comes along with the hard work. I saw your Instagram post earlier today where you mentioned your family and your friends and all those that have kind of blessed you and touched you along the way and made you who you are, and it’s moments like these where you get the opportunity to thank those people, and I’m so happy that you were able to do that and go on in Houston.

“Being able to go to these games the last couple years and sit in the stadium and see how much Houston loves you and how much you love them back and how much you’ve become part of this city, to see you be able to sign this extension, man, it’s pretty special. I haven’t been here for long, but I feel like this city, I can tell the vibe that they have for you and how much they love you.”

Then, Ethan Hughes, who met Watson through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“For people who don’t know, I was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago, and I used to watch Deshaun from my hospital bed,” Hughes said. “And I just remember watching you escape all the sacks and just throw touchdowns. And so once when we found out I was able to have a Make a Wish, I was like, Of course it has to be Deshaun. This guy put me through like no matter how bad my day was going, I could always have a smile on my face knowing that Deshaun Watson is my quarterback. So, yeah, and then when that day finally came for Make-a-Wish, you put me under your wing, man, and it was just amazing. And just thank you for all that you’ve done. I’m glad you got paid. You deserve it.”

“Thank you, man,” Watson replied. “Thank you. I appreciate everything. I appreciate our friendship that we’ve been growing. You look good, man. You got your hair and everything.”

Hughes then revealed that he’s in the maintenance phase of his treatment, and he’ll be treatment-free in January, 2022.

“That’s a blessing, man,” Watson said. “Yes, sir. We’ll both continue to work and get to the promised land for sure.”

Then, the Watson family, which is where things got emotional. From the Texans’ media department:

Watson Family: “Congratulations, bro.”

Deshaun Watson: “Thank you! Appreciate it.”

Watson Family: “All that grinding, glad it paid off, boy. I’m proud of you.”

Deshaun Watson: [Tearing up.]

Watson Family: “Congratulations, Deshaun. I love you, and Aunty just got to say something on behalf of your mama and this whole family, your mama is so proud of you and for what you have become. We know God is going to keep doing great things in your life, and you just live, honey, and be happy and accept whatever he brings your way and just keep going. We just want you to know we love you very much.”

Deshaun Watson: “You know I love y’all, too. Thank you. Thank you, appreciate it. I appreciate everything. I can’t wait to see y’all.”

Watson Family: “We can’t wait to see you, too.”

“Obviously, this is a very special night for the Houston Texans, a special day,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said when it was his turn to speak. “To be able to have a quarterback and a person of the caliber of Deshaun Watson under contract for multiple, multiple years is just great. Obviously, this is Deshaun’s night – and it’s a hard act to follow right there watching all those people that had such a tremendous influence on his life, and then obviously his family and how much his family means to him. It’s a great night.”

At the end, Watson was asked to think about how far he’s come in his life.

“Yeah, I mean, that’s really the only reason why I’m crying is just the moments, the good, the bad, the ugly, the sacrifice from day one, since I was a little kid in Gainesville, Georgia, until now. I mean, this is — like I said before, the money is fine. It’s cool. Like [I] told my family last night, I didn’t do it for the money. That’s just something that comes with it. I mean, it’s just — it’s a lot, for sure.”

It’s a lot, and it’s entirely well-deserved for one of the NFL’s best players, and best people.



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