JJ Watt confirms he will don No. 99 with Arizona Cardinals
J.J. Watt is onto his new destination, and he confirmed on Tuesday that he has been granted permission to wear No. 99.
To this point, Watt had spent his entire career wearing 99 as a member of the Houston Texans. But after announcing he was joining the Arizona Cardinals, it appeared he might have to switch jersey numbers
The problem is the number has been previously retired for Marshall Goldberg, a former two-way player for the Cardinals that was named a Pro-Bowler and won an NFL Championship. Goldberg also had his NFL career interrupted by service in the United States Navy during World War II.
During a Tuesday press conference, Watt confirmed that he had received the blessing of Goldberg’s daughter to wear the number while he plays for Arizona:
“We had a great conversation, she was super sweet, said that she believes her father would be honored and she believes that he was all about the players and so she said that she thought he would want me to wear it,” said Watt. “I’m very honored and touched that they thought of me in that way and that I can do that and I told her that I would do everything in my power to honor him and to make him proud and make his legacy proud.
“I told her I would make a donation to the fund they have in his name, so I will definitely be doing that. But I also, as a part of this, I want to make sure that people know the name and are aware of Marshall Goldberg and everything he did, including his time in the Navy in the middle of his NFL career.”
ESPN shared video of Watt’s comments:
“She thought he would want me to wear it.”
J.J. Watt got permission from Marshall Goldberg’s daughter, Ellen Goldberg Tullos, to wear his No. 99 for Arizona ❤️ pic.twitter.com/heMhDr9L4h
— ESPN (@espn) March 2, 2021
This is a very cool honor for Watt, and he will be a great representative of the No. 99 for the Cardinals.
I want to thank the Goldberg family for their kindness in offering me the opportunity to wear #99 in Arizona which was previously retired in honor of Marshall Goldberg.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 2, 2021