Watt: 'The show is its own sport'

T.J. Watt and his brothers, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Chargers fullback Derek Watt, grew up playing sports and games against each other in the backyard in their home in Wisconsin.

Now they have taken that love of competing to a new level. And it’s not just the NFL level.

The Watt brothers are producers and hosts for “Ultimate Tag,” which will air on FOX in early 2020.

“The show is its own sport,” said T.J. Watt. “Tag is a game that everyone grew up playing. That is what makes it so universal to everybody. Everybody is going to be able to relate to getting chased down. As frightening as that feeling is, especially when it’s professional taggers.

“The basis of the show is there is a group of professional taggers who are hard-core taggers. They are just crazy athletes who can jump super high, run really fast, and get over obstacles really quickly. There are contestants trying to get away from the taggers, and J.J., Derek and I are just hosting the show and bickering back and forth with each other, having a fun time.

“It was a really fun experience to be out in Los Angeles shooting the show. I think it will be special when the show comes out and I hope everybody likes it.”

While contestants won’t be chased down by the Watt brothers themselves, the three are a huge part of the show and spent two weeks at the FOX Studios in Los Angeles filming on a daily basis.

“We worked our butts off,” said T.J. “We woke up at 6 a.m. and ate. Then we drove over to UCLA, had an hour and half private workout session with a trainer. Went home, ate more, then went to the studio for 10 to 12-hour days and there were no off days. We worked 14 straight days. It was a grind. We promised the people we would work our butts off. Training was a priority, but we wanted to put on a great show for FOX.

“It was really special to spend that much time together. We don’t usually get a two-week block to be able to train in the morning and live together. I was living with J.J. And then work on the set for that many hours. We spent a lot of time together. I wouldn’t want to do that with anyone but those two guys.”

The show is loosely scripted with most of the conversation just the brothers having fun with each other.

“It’s a crazy experience being in front of cameras like that and really opening up,” said T.J. “I think that was the hardest thing for me. J.J. is a natural at that and Derek is pretty good. Having them, all the jabs, and loosening me up in front of the camera was good. We got to show our personality and who we are as brothers.”

He admitted that while the work isn’t easier, putting on a helmet and playing football is something where he feels much more at home and relaxed.

“Of course, of course. Far and away,” said T.J. “It’s more comfortable. I was driving home from the studio and I was like, I play in front of fans at Heinz Field and millions on television and I am not nervous, but I get in front of the camera and I lose my train of thought.

“We shot the show, but I don’t think it has hit me that it will be on television in front of all of America, millions and millions of viewers. You sit back and take a breath and know you are fortunate and what hard work and dedication can get you.”

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