You’ve no doubt seen it before: one of the most endearing and longest-standing traditions of NFL training camps is the Green Bay Packers’ “Dream Drive,” when area kids loan their bikes to Packers player to ride from the locker room to the practice field.
Over the years, there have been occasions when players and their “bike buddy” become close; earlier this year, offensive lineman Corey Linsley and his wife held a fundraiser for the family of his bike buddy after the father was diagnosed with a potentially fatal bacterial infection.
On Monday, Houston Texans players, including one well-known Wisconsin native, got to take part in the Drive as well before their joint practices with the Packers.
‘Not big-man proof’
J.J. Watt, who grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Pewaukee, about two hours south of Green Bay, and went to Packers practices as a kid, was looking forward to getting to take part in the Dream Drive.
It didn’t quite go smoothly.
Initially, Watt was on a teeny bike — well, teeny for him. It’s the perfect size for the little kid who loaned it to him, 5-year-old Biraj Sadhu. But not long after Watt, who’s 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, sat on the seat and started “riding” the bike, he broke the seat.
“Not big-man proof,” Watt joked, picking the bike up and slinging over his shoulder.
The Texans and Watt promised to replace the broken bike.
Watt was able to get a bigger bike, and got to finish the ride he’d long hoped he’d be able to take:
There it is, a dream come true for Wisconsin’s JJ Watt. pic.twitter.com/87JFTE7Q7l— Alec Ausmus (@A_Twice27) August 5, 2019
Other Texans happy to ride too
Watt isn’t the only Wisconsinite on the Texans’ roster: rookie offensive lineman Max Scharping is from Green Bay, and graduated from the city’s Green Bay Southwest High before going on to play at Northern Illinois.
Scharping grabbed a bike with training wheels — and he didn’t break the bike.
Running back Lamar Miller took a different tack, pulling a toddler (clad in a Watt jersey) sitting in an adorable princess carriage-themed wagon as he chatted with a fan.
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