The kidding about J.J. Watt's standing in the quarterback obsessed NFL starts early on the NFL Honors league award show.
"I'm kind of surprised they put you in the front row with all the quarterbacks," model Chrissy Teigen script jokes when she and Watt take the stage to present the first award of the night. It's all fun and games — until you get robbed of an MVP Award.
And it's no laughing matter a few hours later when the league MVP that Watt clearly earned is given to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The fact that everyone knew this was coming doesn't make it any easier to stomach.
When a beaming Rodgers heads toward the stage, the NBC cameras flash to Watt, who is sitting there stone faced, clapping. There will be no fake Oscar smile for J.J.
The Houston Texans $100 Million Man knows he should have won the MVP. The fact that only 13 of the 50 media members who vote for NFL Honors saw that is a testament to how messed up and flawed the current voting system is. (The fact that the 13 MVP votes received is the most any defensive player has ever garnered under the current 50-vote system does not alter this larger truth).
There are two-year-olds who are less over dramatic than Olivia Munn's man.
And as Watt sits there, stone faced clapping, it's easy to imagine him churning over the latest snub fuel that will undoubtedly push his relentless workouts at that spartan, isolated log cabin he recently purchased to even more insane levels.
New Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips — a man who deserves a good share of credit for the Texans drafting Watt (and is never afraid to take it) — quickly tweeted, "I guess J.J. will have to play QB next year."
Quarterback bias definitely hurt J.J. Watt. But Aaron Rodgers' newfound Hollywood ways — and vastly underrated acting skills — helped steal the MVP.
It turns out that Olivia Munn is an accomplice to this robbery.
Forget the fact that Watt put together a truly historic season while Rodgers didn't even produce a career year. After all, the voters clearly did. It is Rodgers' histrionics rather than his overblown 38 to 5 touchdowns to interceptions ratio that gave him the chance to gush about Munn on stage.
By playing up an injury in a nationally showcased showdown with the Detroit Lions in Week 17, Rodgers showed going Hollywood truly pays. Only Aaron Rodgers could turn a little calf injury into something worthy of what the hero from American Sniper went through.
There are two-year-olds who are less over dramatic than Munn's man.
For when Rodgers briefly went out against the Lions, he milked his boo-boo for all it was worth. And then some. Rodgers clearly purposefully waited until the second half already began to walk about onto the field, guaranteeing that his return stroll would suck all the attention to him — and highlighted his supposed courage.
Quarterback bias definitely hurt J.J. Watt. But Rodgers' newfound Hollywood ways helped steal the MVP.
It worked too. Fox's lead voice Joe Buck all but nominated Rodgers for a Purple Heart on air. The Lambeau faithful broke into an echoing "MVP! MVP! MVP!" chant that provided the perfect Hollywood soundtrack to Rodgers' theatrical stroll back.
That clip got played everywhere. There it is again during the NFL Honors broadcast, serving as the build up to Rodgers' ill-gotten gains.
Next season, Watt apparently won't just have to rewrite the record books (again) to win his MVP. He'll need to hire a full-time acting coach. And maybe land his own celebrity girlfriend to get him in the tabloids.
J.J. Watt's Trophy Haul
In a way, it's a shame that Watt's MVP snub obscures the other trophy win he does walk away with. Of course, Watt does take his second NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in three years. The idea of someone else winning this honor is so ridiculous that no one even tries to pretend it's even a possibility.
The intro to the defensive honor is just one long run of J.J. Watt clips.
That's what happens when you're the first unanimous Defensive Player of the Year ever. Even Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck — the most over-the-top diplomat in NFL history — notes on stage, "I think it's obvious" before the Defensive Player of the Year presentation begins.
Decked out in a plaid sports coat and blue pants, Watt presents a sharp contrast to the clearly stylized, ultra expensive thin-cut suit wearing Rodgers. His acceptance speech is similarly humble.
"I wasn't ready for that," Watt says after seeing the No. 99 video montage. "That was special."
Then, the Texans superstar starts talking about the people that few even recognize let alone see as special. "It takes so many people to make what you see there," Watt begins.
". . . It's the people in the cafeteria making the food. Lots of food . . ."
It's all fun and games — until you get robbed of an MVP Award.
That line draws one of the biggest laughs of the night, but Watt's not done. "There's just so many people behind the scenes. To all those people, thank you very much," he says.
Watt's speech brings up memories of the unforgettably touching one Kevin Durant delivered on winning NBA MVP. It's hard to imagine what Watt would have said if he won NFL MVP.
America is robbed of that moment. In no small part because Aaron Rodgers plays the slick Hollywood game better.
The best player in football? That's J.J. Watt. The most overly dramatic? That's your fake MVP.