Watch CBS News

If You Boo Darrelle Revis At Patriots - Jets, You're Doing It Wrong

By Matt Dolloff (@mattdolloff)

BOSTON (CBS) -- It's obvious to anyone who's been paying attention that the primary reasons for the Patriots' four Super Bowl championships since 2000 are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. But it should also be obvious that they haven't won a Super Bowl without a strong defense.

To get even more specific, they haven't won a Super Bowl without at least one elite defensive back manning the backfield. For the first two Super Bowl wins, it was Ty Law. In 2004, when Law was injured, Rodney Harrison led the way. And in 2014, it was Darrelle Revis.

That's why even the most ardent Jets haters should not boo Revis when he takes the field for the enemy against the Patriots on Sunday.

I'm not telling you to give Revis a standing ovation, either. You don't have to cheer for an opponent by any means. But Patriots Nation has been bafflingly unforgiving in the past with players who left the team for rival franchises, the chief example being Adam Vinatieri when he returned to Gillette in a Colts uniform. Vinatieri still gets booed sometimes, and it's mind-boggling.

Don't get me wrong, Revis isn't exactly a Patriot for life...He came for one year in the ultimate "mercenary" deal and many would argue that he "used" the team for a ring, rather than the other way around. He left for the Jets mainly because they gave him the most money, but also because he has a particular love for New York over New England. I get it, you don't want to boo a traitor, nor should you - but why boo the man who put the Patriots over the top in finishing the job for that long-awaited fourth Super Bowl?

NESN posed the question on Thursday, and Dave Portnoy at Barstool Sports responded saying Pats fans should boo Revis for the stuff he said and did on social media in the offseason, and I don't blame him; Revis threw shade at the Patriots over DeflateGate, ripped the team and its fans with borderline offensive Instagram posts, and got into weird personal tiffs over his Super Bowl ring. He has come off as ungrateful and now plays for gang green, so in that respect he deserves your disdain.

But if Gillette Stadium fans shower boos on Revis for being "ungrateful" then what exactly does that say about them? Portnoy lost me when he said Revis was a "nobody" without Brady & Belichick. He's probably just trolling, but if you truly believe that you're lying to yourself. Revis may not be a champion without joining forces with Brady & Belichick, but he is a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer with or without the jewelry. He's the best corner of his generation and he showed that last season, as he erased elite receivers week after week for the Patriots all the way to the Super Bowl. It's no coincidence that the Patriots defense became championship-caliber - and finally closed the deal on ring No. 4 - when Revis came in.

Those who want to boo Revis on Sunday might argue that he didn't play well in the Super Bowl. Yes, he got burned on one important play and the real hero was some other corner, but other than that he had the Seahawks' Doug Baldwin on lockdown for the entire game. Revis' play against several of the league's top receivers was instrumental in the Patriots securing home field advantage in the first place.

That's not to say that Revis didn't see the benefits in playing with the best coach in the league and arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. And it was Brady who dug the Patriots out of the hole that Revis helped dig in the second half of the Super Bowl.

But ultimately, the two helped each other. Brady no longer had to put up 30+ points every week to win and had a defense that could actually get off the field and get the ball back in his hands, and Revis went to the franchise that gave him the best chance to win a Super Bowl with a quarterback that could give his defense comfortable leads.

Darrelle Revis and Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

I personally feel that no athlete who helps one of my teams win a championship deserves boos if and when he returns in a rival uniform. Not Vinatieri, not Damon, not Ray Allen, and now not Revis. I get it, sports are inherently emotional and it's hard not to get angry at traitors. But how could the anger over a rival uniform undo the euphoria of the championship glory they helped achieve?

If you feel differently I don't blame you, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. It's petty. If you boo a player because he is "ungrateful" you are a hypocrite. And the fact that Vinatieri still gets some boos when he comes to Foxboro is one of the biggest travesties in New England sports.

So if I were in attendance at Gillette Stadium this Sunday, I wouldn't boo Revis. Wouldn't cheer for the enemy either, but certainly wouldn't boo one of the most important pieces to one of New England's most thrilling and satisfying championships of my lifetime.

So if you want to show your appreciation as a Patriots fan, I'd recommend not booing Revis when he takes the field on Sunday. Boo the Jets team all you want, but if you direct your anger at Revis, you are the ungrateful one. I can't tell you how to live your life, and of course you boo whoever you want if that's your prerogative. I realize that I'm just some schmo that probably won't change anyone's mind and I don't mean to perch myself atop a high horse.

But if you boo Revis over some tweets and Instagram comments, just understand that you are no less ungrateful than he is.

Matt Dolloff is a writer for His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Read more from Matt here. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.