J.J. Watt embraces the emergence of a fresh Tom Brady rivalry in the realm of English football.


J.J. Watt and Tom Brady faced off numerous times during their illustrious NFL careers.

BURNLEY, England — J.J. Watt, the newly-appointed minority owner of Burnley, warmly embraces Tom Brady’s recent foray into English football, foreseeing a mutually beneficial dynamic where these NFL legends inspire each other to elevate their respective clubs to unprecedented heights.

In a noteworthy development, Brady, following suit with several American athletes, has invested in English football by acquiring a stake in second-tier Championship team Birmingham City earlier this month. His involvement will extend to chairing the club’s advisory board.

Engaging in a conversation with ESPN prior to Burnley’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the opening match of the 2023-24 Premier League season, Watt expressed his enthusiasm for the heightened “competition” that Brady’s presence will introduce.

“The infusion of Brady’s investment into Birmingham City adds a layer of healthy competition that ultimately benefits us. Our intrinsic nature is one of competitiveness, which means this will drive both parties to strive for more,” Watt affirmed.

Expanding further, he noted, “From a broader perspective, the surge in American interest in football is undeniable. With notable instances like Ryan Reynolds and Rob with Wrexham, along with the resonance of ‘Ted Lasso,’ and now Tom’s venture into Birmingham City, the appetite for football content among Americans is substantial.”

“There exists a sizable segment of individuals who are still in the process of building their football knowledge base, seeking their preferred team to support. In this context, the inflow of attention from the United States significantly benefits us. We’re presented with the opportunity to channel this attention towards Burnley,” Watt elucidated.

In May, Watt and his wife, Kealia, entered the fold as minority investors in Burnley, aligning themselves with the American consortium ALK Capital. On Wednesday, the viral YouTube collective Dude Perfect unveiled a parallel ownership arrangement with Burnley.

When queried about whether Brady had deliberated on the notion of investment with him, Watt responded, “That’s his own venture. We’ve been aware of it for some time now. We’ve had an understanding of the developments, and we’ve engaged in conversations about it. I’m genuinely thrilled for him. His decision brings excitement.”

He further conveyed, “I anticipate it will present a formidable challenge. It’s bound to be an enjoyable experience. Fortunately, they’re in a separate league, which means I can actively support him and even hope for his transition to join us in the Premier League. Nonetheless, if the stars align, and they ascend to our league, it’s guaranteed to be a captivating encounter.”

Brady has committed to infusing his winning ethos into Birmingham, mirroring the mindset that propelled him to clinch a remarkable seven Super Bowl championships.

In response, Watt, a recipient of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year accolade on three occasions, is embracing the challenge head-on, asserting, “While he’s garnered remarkable accomplishments in his career on a distinct playing field, I’m confident in our prospects on this one. Our chances are appealing.”


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