J.J. Watt has seen the light. Clearly enjoying every minute of his retirement, the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year gave a detailed account of his experience attending Saturday’s Taylor Swift concert at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, the first stop on her highly anticipated “The Eras” Tour, spanning 52 concerts in 20 US cities. Playing to a packed house of 70,000, Swift didn’t disappoint, leaving Watt in awe, marveling not only at her talent but also her impressive stamina, performing 44 songs over the course of three-plus hours.
“The production, the set design, the video boards, the sound quality, the speakers,” said Watt, still blown away by what he described as an “unbelievable” performance, blessed to be in the presence of a transcendent artist at the height of her powers. “It was a spectacle to behold, it really was.”
While the concert admittedly wasn’t his idea, Watt, who attended as his wife’s plus one, left with a newfound appreciation for Swift, giving fans—at least the ones lucky enough to survive November’s Ticketmaster apocalypse (now the subject of a federal antitrust investigation)—an experience that will last a lifetime. “There was no intermission. There was no halftime. No TV timeouts. The longest break she took was maybe three minutes for a costume change. She was singing, dancing, entertaining, the entire time,” said Watt, who logged 12.5 sacks for the Cardinals last season, his most since 2018. “She crushed it.”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger “Swiftie” than the 6’5,” 288-pound Watt, who even copped concert merch, showing off an “Eras” hoodie he bought to remember the night that finally opened his eyes to Swift’s brilliance. “She didn’t even look tired. I was tired and I was just sitting there,” said Watt of Swift’s seemingly infinite catalogue of chart-topping hits. “Just the sheer mental, physical, emotional toll that this has to take on your body. Being able to go out there night after night, city after city. My hat’s off to Taylor.”
Though many on social media have pointed out that Bruce Springsteen routinely puts on four-hour shows, even into his early 70s, Watt can appreciate Swift’s showmanship, attacking her concerts with the same tenacity he displayed every Sunday of his NFL career.
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