“I Had to Put My Dad In The Ground”: Resurging Devin White Reveals Origin Story That Forced Him to Wear His ‘Big Boy Pants’

Published 11/24/2022, 9:30 AM EST

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NFL games are always a difficult affair for players. No matter the mindset they take into the game, it never fails to take a toll on them, win or lose. But players can be mentally off their game, even before it starts. There are just some circumstances that can distract you a bit too much from the game. But that didn’t stop Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ linebacker Devin White from smashing through the Seattle Seahawks offense in Munich. Just hours before he was to board the flight to Germany, he got the unfortunate news of his father’s untimely passing.

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But despite the news, White fought hard, as he put up one of his career-best nights in a thumping win against the Seahawks. 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and 9 tackles to help his defense only concede 19 points against their 21 scored. A quick look to the sky followed one of his sacks. Maybe the news did affect his performance, kick him into another gear?

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“It was just, like, appreciation just knowing I got great people, great angels watching over me,” says White, explaining his celebration. “It was just like, ‘This is one’s for you,’ It just felt like I was gonna come out and have a good game, had a great week of preparation.” He adds“At the end of the day, I knew I had a job to do. And I wasn’t just gonna accept no pats on the back and stuff. So I just put my head down and just kept going forward.

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Bucs’ Devin White delivers phenomenal performance amidst tragic loss

White explains his feelings to reporters after their huge win in Munich. “You know, I had to put my dad in the ground. But, I mean, at the end of the day, that was a person who I talked ball with a lot. I don’t care if I was playing the worst ball, he thought I was the best in the world. So just not having that type of person to talk to going forward, I mean, it was hard.”  He adds, “But at the end of the day, I got my own son to raise. I got a little brother that’s still here, that I got to be a father figure for. So me, at the end of the day, I got to put my big boy pants on and just keep rolling.”

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White’s performance helped the Buccaneers secure a massive win over the Seahawks, keeping their hopes for a playoff spot alive. The Bucs are now 5-5, and sit on top of the NFC South. But the Bucs cannot afford to relax. Especially with the Atlanta Falcons snapping at their heels, and the New Orleans Saints still posing a credible threat. They have to win their remaining games in order to atone for their dismal start to the season. And to keep their division rivals at bay. Can the Bucs hold off the threats to their playoff dreams?

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Written by:

Arjun Sukumaran

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Arjun Sukumaran is a NFL content writer at EssentiallySports. A Mechanical Engineering graduate, his debating stints and voyages into research from his college days have become part and parcel of his life. He loves cheeseburgers, and so naturally, he loves the Kansas City Chiefs, and you can definitely count him in the group of people claiming Patrick Mahomes to be the next big thing.
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Edited by:

Gurjyot Singh Dadial

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