It's been two weeks since the unofficial NFL offseason began and J.J. Watt is already running away with the offseason trophy.
That's what happens when you homer off Roger Clemens during your own charity softball game at Minute Maid Park on Saturday. That's what happens when you get Vince Wilfork to show up to that game in overalls. Most importantly, that's what happens when your softball game draws more fans than over half of the Astros' home games this season.
As ESPN's Tania Ganguli reported, more than 30,000 people showed up to watch the softball game. Per ESPN, that attendance number is larger than at least 13 of the 20 games the Astros have played at Minute Maid Park this season. According to Baseball Reference's database, the last time the Astros averaged at least 30,000 fans per home game was 2009, when Watt wasn't even in the NFL.
It is important to remember, though, the Astros play 81 games at Minute Maid Park while Watt's game happens once a year, because the scarcity of the event undoubtedly played a factor in the attendance numbers. It's safe to assume that if Watt hosted 81 charity games per year, attendance would eventually dip. And, as ESPN noted, Watt's game had the advantage of being held on the weekend.
Regardless, his annual game drew an impressive crowd. Here's Ganguli with more MLB comparisons:
Last season 13 MLB parks averaged fewer people per game than Watt had Saturday.
So far this year 19 MLB teams have averaged smaller attendance numbers than Watt had Saturday.
The result: Watt raised a fair bit of money: nearly $2 million for Watt's foundation, which aims to help schools that don't have enough money for after-school sports. The fans who showed up then proceeded to watch him homer off Clemens.
So, I guess you could say Watt and his game really hit it out of the park.