Bum Phillips' words meant a lot to J.J. Watt

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
5:58
PM ET
A few of Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' players attended his father's memorial service Tuesday night at Lakewood Church.

For J.J. Watt, celebrating Bum Phillips' life was an invigorating experience.

Watt
Watt
"For a memorial, this might be weird to say, but it was actually really cool," Watt said. "You realize how many people's lives Bum affected. It kind of reinvigorates you and gives you a renewed sense of excitement about the game of football, about life, about the people that you surround yourself with. It was really special. I'm very happy that I had the chance to have Bum as even a tiny part of my life."

The conversations he had with Bum Phillips, the kind words and the time Bum sent Watt a signed copy of his book -- all of it meant something to Watt.

"Some of the things he said to me mean a lot to me because as many people as he's seen play this game, as many players as he's coached, I always took what he said a little bit more to heart than what other people said," Watt said. "Same way I take Wade's words a little bit more to heart."

Watt was inspired by the way Bum Phillips' "Luv Ya Blue" Oilers captured the city of Houston. When the Texans first drafted him, Watt learned about that part of the city's pro football history.

"That's what every athlete wants between their team and city," Watt said. "You want that relationship where it's love between the fans and the players. I'm working extremely hard to make this city proud, and I think this team is working extremely hard to make this city proud. That's the way you create something like that. Obviously you have to win."

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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