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J.J. Watt, Antonio Smith kick off PLAY 60 Challenge

Posted Sep 18, 2012

Texans J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith visit Hartman Middle School to kickoff PLAY 360.


Texans defensive ends J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith were guest stars at a Hartman Middle School assembly Tuesday morning. They helped kick off the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, a month-long contest created by the NFL and the American Heart Association aimed at encouraging children to exercise at least 60 minutes every day.

More than 700 students gathered in the school auditorium to see Texans Cheerleaders, TORO and the defensive duo participate in a “Family Feud”-style game show. Each player was teamed with three Hartman students and answered questions regarding nutrition and fitness, aiming to educate the crowd on ways to lead a healthy lifestyle.

 “The kids were awesome,” Watt said. “It’s fun to get out here and promote stuff like PLAY 60 because obviously we grew up with a lot of activity. Maybe they put down that video game console every now and then.”

Watt and Smith were greeted with a roar from the young crowd as they walked down the aisle to the main stage. Smith, in true “ninja” fashion, gave the audience a show as he swashbuckled and salsa danced throughout the assembly. Watt joined in on the fun as well, flexing his muscles on stage in an attempt to intimidate the competition.

In the end, it was Smith who came out victorious when his Battle Red team defeated Watt’s Deep Steel Blue crew.

“It was awesome,” Smith said, smiling. “J.J.’s mad because I beat him, so I’m loving that.”

The top five Hartman Middle School students who log the most physical activity in the span of one month will be rewarded by the NFL and the American Heart Association with tickets to a Texans home game.

“It’s refreshing,” Smith said of his visit to the school. “You come up here, it’s your day off, you’re feeling tired. But once you see how excited the kids are just by you showing up at their school, it makes you feel that much better.”

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