He’s quiet; lurking alone on his Island, waiting for his moment. Made known only when approached, he strays away from confrontation — but never backing down when propositioned.
Waiting for that moment. Watching for the highest point of distress, he looks to the smokey night skyline for a sign — a symbol, if you will, from Fireman Ed. Baring no cape yet draped with a hunter green uniform, only his helmet emblazoned with ‘NY’ on either side shields his true identity from those he protects.
Understated and sometimes — unbelievably — underrated, Darrelle Revis is the guardian of the Gotham-inspired New York City and their hometown Jets. Truly a ‘Dark Knight’; not the hero they deserved, but the hero they needed.
Jets fans have been waiting for their savior for 43 years since a slick-talking, suave adopted-Southerner in fur coats and a flare for the dramatics guaranteed his way to a Super Bowl shuffle down Broadway. With the short shadow the glitz and glamor of this city casts, it’s expected that it’s a flashy, rah-rah guy that’s a necessity to succeeding in this often brutal place. But there’s a grit to this city that conveys a larger portion of this community as well; a grime that gets stuck beneath your fingernails. A calloused hand tells a story of struggle, defiance and nobility of having done it on your own.
While the boy wonder struggles to juggle the expectations of leading a veteran team and a city that demands immediate results with posing scantily-clad in magazine spreads, there’s Revis lurking; quietly waiting to make his presence known once more.
Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes the people need to have their faith rewarded. Recognized as a leader on defense and deemed ‘impenetrable’ by any quarterback’s best weapon, Revis sat in the shadows, somewhat, as Mark Sanchez was anointed the city’s ‘boy wonder’ — slapped with the pressures of ending a recession for a group that’s suffered in the hallowed hallways of their own self-pity.
And amidst a media witch hunt, a locker room turmoil and an insistence of Super Bowl dreams by their Commissioner, Rex Ryan, it was not Sanchez who bailed out their Jets team. It was the city’s quiet, unsung hero who rewarded the people for their good faith.
Sending such villains to the Revis Island ‘Insane Asylum’ like Tom Brady, Calvin Johnson, Chad Ochocinco and Andre Johnson in his career, Revis sent the thorn-in-their-side Dolphins to a group holding cell after watching the offense falter for 24 minutes on Monday night. It was Revis, and not the appointed boy wonder, who struck at the darkest point of the Jets season thus far.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming. A promise that has yet to be fulfilled completely. And Revis is not here to speak those words. He never has. He’s followed only by his quiet confidence, a stern swagge that’s screaming come kickoff. But when the time is right, when the team and city need him most. He will be there. Watching. Waiting.
No performance invokes said comparisons more than his game-sealing interception in the Week 1 match-up against the glitzy Dallas Cowboys, who were driving their way to a stunning upset of New York’s team. All this on the 10-year anniversary of September 11th no less. And, in the blink of an eye, came Revis swooping in and snatching victory from the hands of Dez Bryant and Tony Romo, thwarting any aspirations of a high-stakes heist.
Revis, from the rural Aliquippa, Pennsylvania yet supplanted in the rough and tumble Gotham streets, may be the ultimate representation of the city; a blue collar worker striving — and reaching — success at its highest point.
Sometimes criticized (his highly publicized contract dispute last year), often overlooked (losing out on the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year award to a more known Charles Woodson), Revis is Gotham’s Dark Knight.
Not the hero they deserved, but the hero they needed.
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