MINNEAPOLIS — Cardinals defense end JJ Watt said his celebration after his second sack in Arizona’s 34-26 loss to Minnesota on Sunday was a tribute to former Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen – who was inducted into the team’s ring of honor at halftime – – and no offense.
Watt broke Allen’s roping-a-calf routine after his second sack from Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, which came around the 5:15 mark of the fourth quarter. Watt began with his own touch: rocking the baby, which was a tribute to his newborn son, Koa. Then Watt mimicked Allen’s post-sack celebration, where he pretends to rope a calf and raises his hands in the air like a cowboy does after throwing the lasso.
As soon as Watt finished, the fans booed.
“I also want to be clear – the fans here clearly misinterpreted my Jared Allen tribute,” Watt said in front of his locker after the game. “Jared Allen is one of my favorite players of all time and that was absolutely a way to honor him on his night here. Zero disrespect. I would never disregard him.
“I have a lot of respect for Jared Allen so I hope that clears that up.”
Watt reiterated that the celebration was “a tribute, not an insult,” all rolled into one Tweet posted later on Sunday eveningwhich he concluded: “Don’t twist. #Legend”
Jared Allen’s sack celebration was a tribute, not an insult.
Don’t let it twist#Legend
— JJ Watts (@JJWatt) October 30, 2022
Like Allen, Watt has made a career of bringing down quarterbacks. Allen had 136 sacks in 12 seasons; Watt, currently in his 12th season, has 106.5 sacks.
“He’s one of the best of all time,” Watt said of Allen. “He’s a great player. I loved watching him. I’ve met him a couple of times. I have great respect for him. So it was great to see him inducted into her ring of honor. And I hope he took it as a tribute and understood that it was a sign of respect.”
Watt said the two had dinner when he arrived from Wisconsin in 2011, but that they never worked together. Watt, 33, said he appreciates how Allen, 40, who took the field on horseback at US Bank Stadium for his Ring of Honor ceremony, approached his career in his own unique way.
“It’s great,” Watt said. “I mean, the mullet, the horses, the cowboy hats. I mean the guy did it right and it was a lot of fun to watch and a lot of fun just to watch him do it and I think he deserved it today, in the Ring of Honor to be. Absolutely.”
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34913541/jj-watt-jared-allen-sack-celebration-tribute-not-slight J.J. Watt – Jared Allen sack celebration a tribute, not a slight