The two most famous finger wags in Houston sports history met on the field at NRG Stadium in a surreal moment before Case Keenum's return game.
J.J. Watt . . . Dikembe Mutombo. Dikembe Mutombo . . . J.J. Watt.
The Houston Texans defensive terror and the NBA's loving-life block master came together in the pregame. And yes, finger wags were compared. If only David Letterman had been in the building to make the introduction.
As crossover sports moments go, it does not get much cooler than this.
Mutombo likes to joke about Watt stealing his signature wag and talk about being owed royalties. No one's finger wagged like Mutombo after a block (even if his most memorable one by far came as a Denver Nugget rather than a Houston Rocket). But in truth, Watt's made the wag his own, using it after swatting away a quarterback's pass.
No defensive lineman's ever needed a signature move for pass knockdowns. Because no one does them as often as Watt. In many ways, Watt changes games in even more revolutionary ways than Mutombo ever did.
Mutombo is at the Texans game to serve as the "Home Field Advantage Captain" for the matchup against the Baltimore Ravens and former Texans coach Gary Kubiak.
So there's Watt in his customary no-sleeves warmup look and Mutombo in a designer blue suit getting together. As crossover sports moments go, it does not get much cooler than this.
"That was pretty special, to get to see him," Watt says of Mutomobo. "He is the original. He is the man, so pretty special to share that moment with him. He is a great guy. I mean I can’ t get over that voice, he cracks me up."
Still, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Watt admitted to an unusual sensation when he found himself standing next to the 7-foot-2 Mutombo,
"He's huge," Watt says. "I told him I’ve got to walk away from you bro — you’re kind of killing my confidence here."