Darrelle Revis's Express Train to Sainthood

Dave TrembleyCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2010

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 17:  Wide receiver Vincent Jackson #83 of the San Diego Chargers stiff-arms cornerback Darrelle Revis #24 of the New York Jets during  AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Qualcomm Stadium on January 17, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

If the National Football League could receive special dispensation for canonization from Pope Benedict XVI, Darrelle Revis would be well on his way to sainthood. 

Not only has Revis become the crucible for the favoured Indianapolis Colts passing game tomorrow, a game that features MVP Peyton Manning, Revis has also become an overnight sensation in New York, to the extent Mayor Michael Bloomberg has renamed Manhattan “Revis Island” in his honour.

Propaganda for sainthood on Revis’s behalf is very evident in the media as well, and nowhere is that more exemplified than in the perambulations of Peter King, who devoted the lead portion of his “MMQB” column to lionizing Revis, noting he “played a near perfect game against the Chargers.”

King went on to say that he charted every one of Philip Rivers passes throughout the game, which essentially raises the question as to whether he intended to make Revis the hero before the game was even played.

Fortunately, Revis did play a great though not perfect game, and King was free to use his chart to not only espouse the new Revis mythology but also downgrade unpopular Philip Rivers, not just downgrade his performance on Sunday, but downgrade his entire status as a quarterback.

In the elevation of Revis to saint and demonization of Rivers, who threw for 300 yards and one bad interception, of course, King did not note that Peyton Manning had also thrown a bad pick less than 24 hours earlier.

As for Vincent Jackson, who was Revis’s primary assignment on Sunday, his 7 receptions for 115 yards failed to register on anyone’s radar outside the Charger faithful,  primarily because the story of the game had to be Revis’s  play. The fact that Vincent Jackson was arrested on the morning of the game, and had to be picked up at the police station by quarterback Rivers, could not possibly have factored into those “dismal” numbers that Jackson put up.

In advance of the Colts-Jets game this weekend, King again was already looking to bolster the Revis sainthood march, tweeting that because he was covering Vikings-Saints game, he was looking for someone to chart Peyton Manning’s passes.

Evidently, Revis is going to be a huge star of the game irrespective of what happens on the field.

Of course, none of this is designed to take anything away from Revis. He did hold Ochocinco to two receptions in two games, albeit while taking three pass interference calls.

He did hold Andre Johnson to four catches for 35 yards, Randy Moss to eight catches for 48 yards in two games, Terrell Owens to six catches for 26 yards in two games. 

In the Jets' first meeting with Indy, Revis held Reggie Wayne to three receptions for 33 yards, although Wayne did not play the entire contest.

In short, Revis had an excellent season, and easily earned second place in the voting for the league’s defensive MVP behind Green Bay’s Charles Woodson.

At the same time, Revis has become a darling of the New York media, and those who suckhole to the New York media, such as the aforementioned King.  He may not have the panache that Joe Namath does, who earned football immortality for winning Super Bowl III, and whose canonization is already guaranteed and irrevocable.

No, Revis may not have the stature of Namath  yet, but he has already become Derek Jeter.

Ironically, looking back at Super Bowl III, when the New York Jets defeated a team named the Colts, the mythology of that game purports the heroics of Namath and company to the upper limits of nausea, and cannot help but arouse the cynicism of those who see otherwise.

Nowhere in the trumped-up mythology of that game is it often noted that the Colts committed five turnovers, played sloppily, and shot themselves in the foot all day. The iconic Namath, the most visible manifestation of that team, did not have a touchdown pass for the game.

Still, it was all about the heroics of the Jets, much like last week in San Diego.

If the Jets win this weekend against this team named the Colts—somehow—you can expect more of the same, and automatic sainthood for their emblematic and talented corner back Darrelle Revis.

Perhaps the story of that happening in this weekend’s game has already been written.