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What's In the Box?

J.J. Watt receives taxidermy badger from fan as retirement gift

January 05, 2023

In case you missed it, J.J. Watt’s esteemed NFL career is coming to a close. On Sunday, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year will play his final game, much to the relief of quarterbacks everywhere. Since Watt’s surprise announcement last week, tributes have poured in from across the football world. None, however, have been quite as quirky (or creepy) as the mystery box Watt received on Thursday. Check it out.

Yep, that's a taxidermy badger, folks. We suppose it’s better than opening the box to find a live one waiting to claw your face off, but this still has to go down as one of the more bizarre pieces of fan mail in NFL history. That said, it looks like mighty clean work and is a nice nod to Watt’s collegiate career at Wisconsin, so, um, we guess it’s not completely serial killer-y?

Regardless of your feelings on receiving dead animals in the mail from strangers, Watt didn’t seem too disturbed. He’s been in the league 11 years. He’s a surefire, first-ballot hall of famer. He’s seen the inner workings of the Houston Texans organization for Christ's sake. Nothing could possibly shock him at this point. Not even a badger.