Roddy White spent years as a loyal soldier in the Falcons franchise, catching pass after pass from Matt Ryan … only to see his role reduced and, finally, ended altogether just before the team reached the Super Bowl. White remains close with many current and former Falcons, and he’s not shy about offering up his opinions on the team’s recent flameout against the New England Patriots.
But before that, a story. Speaking to Atlanta Journal-Constitution writers Jeff Schultz and Zach Klein on their “We Never Played The Game” podcast, White said he bet $40,000 on the Falcons, and Charles Barkley bet more than twice that amount: $100,000, according to White.
“I just bet $100K on the Falcons,” Barkley told White.
“Don’t worry, just get your chips ready,” White replied. “Everything’s going to be great.”
And for three-and-a-half quarters, everything was great for White, Barkley, and the Falcons. We all know what happened next, and the Falcons’ collapse left Barkley six figures poorer (if, it must be noted, you believe White).
Naturally, White, who was cut after the 2015 season and remains a Falcons fan, had words about Atlanta’s dramatic collapse. He and former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan never saw eye-to-eye when White was in uniform, and White told the podcast he would have “literally” fought Shanahan over the sequence of playcalls in the fourth quarter that led to Atlanta’s demise.
White indicated that on the infamous sequence in which the Falcons passed the ball with under four minutes left, deep in New England territory—a sequence which led to a Matt Ryan sack that pushed them out of field goal range—he would have jumped offsides to halt the playcalling.
But Shanahan wasn’t solely to blame for the collapse, White noted. “As a coaching staff, you’re on the headset,” he said. “Nobody said, ‘We’re going to run the ball three times.’”
In the end, though, White wore his red-and-black heart on his sleeve. “You destroyed a dream for a city,” he said. “It’s bigger than me. The city of Atlanta needed that championship and you had it. Arthur Blank needed that championship and he deserved to win that game, with everything he’s been through. It was finally our time to win and it just hurt me that we didn’t get it done.”
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.