BURBANK, Calif.- As I get ready to board my flight home, I've had a lot of time to reflect on Wisconsin's 21-19 loss to TCU Saturday. There are a lot of things that stand out from what actually occurred on the field, but there's one thing I can't stop thinking about.
As "working media" we aren't allowed to cheer in the press box. We're not supposed to be biased. And if we are supposed to be impartial when it comes to the good, then we also have to be impartial when it comes to the bad.
With that said, as a human being, I can't help but feel sorry for J.J. Watt. He poured his heart and soul into the Wisconsin Badgers this season and was crushed by the loss Saturday.
"We know how much this means to everybody, to everybody involved," he said after the game while fighting back tears. "We work 365 days a year for this, and then we come out here and don't execute..."
That was it. Watt couldn't finish his thought as he was overcome with emotion.
Later on Twitter, Watt wrote: "I love every single Badger fan out there & apologize to every single one of you for that loss. Hats off to TCU."
Watt clearly feels he let down his fans. He didn't. And he doesn't need to apologize.
Sure this loss will sting Badger fans for a while. The way they lost will make the sting even worse. But that doesn't mean Watt needs to apologize for one of the best seasons the Wisconsin Badgers have ever had.
Because of the loss, this team won't go down as the greatest in program history, but I hope I have the privilege of covering a team with as many classy players as this team had. That started with Watt and carried over to the entire team.
Watt wrote on Twitter Sunday: "I will be making & announcing my decision sometime mid-week, so unless you hear it from me, don't believe any rumors either way."
Saturday may have been his last game as a Wisconsin Badger and if it was I hope he doesn't let the Rose Bowl loss stay with him too long. Starting as a tight end as Central Michigan, walking on at Wisconsin and then turning into one of the most impressive defensive players in Badger history is something no one can take away from him.
He gave Badger fans more than they ever could have asked.
No apology neccessary J.J.