JJ Watt receives blessing to wear retired No. 99 with Cardinals
JJ Watt has worn No. 99 since he was drafted in 2011 and in college at Wisconsin prior to that, but there has been some talk about him having to potentially chose a new number with the Arizona Cardinals. However, it sounds like Watt will be free to continue wearing it.
The Cardinals have retired No. 99 in honor of the legendary Marshall Goldberg, who played on offense and defense in two separate stints with the team. Goldberg, a four-time All-Pro, was a halfback and defensive back for the then-Chicago Cardinals from 1939-1943 and 1946-1948. He left the team in between to serve in World War II.
Goldberg died in 2006. His daughter, Ellen Goldberg Tullos, told TMZ this week that her father would be “honored” to have Watt wear No. 99 with the Cardinals.
“I think he would be happy to let him use his number and honored with that as well. … He has my blessing and I’m sure my father would be more than delighted for him to carry it on,” Tullos said.
Tullos said her father was “really honored” when the Cardinals retired his number, but he would also be happy to allow Watt to carry on the tradition.
“If J.J. Watt had the number 99 with him for a long time and it meant something to him, I think (my father would) be delighted to let him use the number and unretire it, or whatever the proper word would be,” she added.
Watt hasn’t mentioned if he will keep the same number, but he probably wasn’t overly concerned about it. One report gave us an idea of how badly Watt wanted to play for the Cardinals, so he would probably be fine with switching jersey numbers. Either way, it’s a nice gesture from Goldberg’s daughter.