James “Sweet Feet” White has one of the most productive repertoires among NFL running backs, and one of the best nicknames. His “Sweet Feet” moniker started with his Twitter account, grew into pop culture following his epic performance in Super Bowl LI, and now is the go-to address for a man otherwise named James.
Still, while most would assume the name is due to his exceptional footwork, that isn’t the case. Instead, White was first dubbed Sweet Feet by one of his favorite high school teachers at Florida football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale).
White revealed the origin of his nickname in an interview with NBC’s Today with his backfield mate Rex Burkhead:
“It actually came from my high school creative writing teacher,” White said. “It’s a little senior skit that they do every year. They had already kind of used it at that point. I didn’t really use it in college or anything, but once I got to the NFL my agency wanted me to change my Twitter handle. So that was just the first thing that came to mind and everybody loved it.”
Rarely has a nickname proved more fitting as time has gone on. It’s almost as if White’s teacher was providing an early bit of nominative determinism. Case closed.
The only additional question: why hasn’t White’s sneaker sponsor, Adidas, not done more to market his personal moniker? You’re telling us Adidas couldn’t sell loads of Adidas boost Sweet Feet shoes to willing Patriots fans? Snap to it, Adidas. The fans are waiting.