28. That’s the number that has to define the events that went on in the blowout-turned-incredible comeback game that was Super Bowl 51.
Not because that’s what the Falcons already had very early in the third quarter, against the number one scoring defense in the NFL. 28 also wasn’t the big number with both teams being tied at 28, as we witnessed the first overtime in Super Bowl history.
No, 28 was the number because of Badger alum James “Sweet Feet” White. Although he was incredibly fast and a great receiving back in college, not even the greatest of fortune tellers could have predicted White’s performance tonight.
In the Patriots’ thrilling 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, they scored five total touchdowns. White accounted for three of them.
The third-year pro also led the team in yards from scrimmage with 139, and set an all-time Super Bowl record with 14 receptions, and Sweet Feet is a running back.
If that wasn’t enough, he also scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime. Tom Brady was the literal MVP, but James White was the fan’s pick; just ask arguably the best running back in the game, Le’Veon Bell.
Whenever the Patriots needed a big play, or even Brady needed a bailout, White was there. When Belichick wanted to try a trick play, White was the man. And when the game was on the line, James “Sweet Feet” White was the provider.
To top it all off, the generously-listed 5’1”0 halfback even got a one-on-one interview with Terry Bradshaw, with the whole world watching.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, with a not-so-subtle jab at Roger Goodell, declared this victory the sweetest of them all. And although TB12 had yet another historic performance to add to his amazing career with over 460 yards passing, this game couldn’t have been won without Mr. Sweet Feet himself, Wisconsin’s own James White.