HOUSTON – Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt wants you to text him.
That’s what he said in a Facebook post Tuesday that included a phone number and a video of him explaining what he’s up to.
In the video, Watt said he was talking to a buddy about using social media to connect with fans and heard about a way to send text messages back-and-forth with fans.
“I’ve never done it before,” Watt said in the video. “I have no experience with it, so you’re going to have to bear with me. I’m not sure if it’s going to be awesome. I’m not sure if I’m not going to be able to get to anybody. So, I’m going to give it a shot.”
Text Me. 262.404.3664Posted by JJ Watt on Tuesday, November 19, 2019
He ended the video by providing a phone number of 262-404-3664. The area code comes back to a small section of southeastern Wisconsin, which is Watt’s home state.
“It’s just a way for me to try and connect more directly with you,” Watt said. “Feel free.”
So, of course, we gave it a try.
Here’s what happened when we texted him
KPRC 2 executive producer Steve Ljuljdjuraj started by texting some well-wishes to the number. Watt is out for the remainder of the season after injuring his pectoral muscle against the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 27.
Steve wrote: “Hi JJ. This is Steve from KPRC. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Go Texans!”
He got a reply with a link to a site called Community.com. The site bills itself as enabling “direct, meaningful communication between community leaders and community members.”
The link was followed up by another text that read: “What’s goin on, this is JJ. I know what you’re thinking this has to be an autotext (you’re right, the first 2 are). I just need you to click the link & add yourself to my phone so I can respond. From then on if you get a text, it will be straight from me.”
Steve went through the setup process and got a confirmation message that read: “Can’t promise on the consistency, but I’m gonna do my best with my schedule.”
Here’s what the exchange looked like on Steve’s phone:
Several minutes later, Watt replied with a link to a video that confirms it is really him, and that he already has about 13,000 messages in his inbox.
About an hour after the video, Steve received this more personal response from Watt:
The popularity is not surprising, since the Facebook video where he announced the number has already been viewed more than 67,000 times and has more than 1,000 comments.