Revis-ionist History

By Prof. Clifford Benton, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: August 22, 2010

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QUEENS, N.Y. (BASN) — He has the potential to be one of the great ones. But he must handle his business better. He’s had two Pro Bowl seasons.

A year ago he was still a relative unknown. He had a phenomenal 2009 season.

Not unprecedented. Not Deion-esque. (Deion Sanders for those of you who did not pick up the reference. It’s too soon for those comparisons, much too soon.) This is the year he’ll be tested. This is the year offensive coordinators studied him.

This is the year teams will come after him. Just like a boxer whose jaw gets tested. Teams will throw punches in bunches with bad intentions. They want to see if the kid is for real.

Football is a tougher sport in the boardroom than on the playing field. The players have far too little leverage in a sport where the average tenure is less than five years. When most of these players’ careers are over, they haven’t reached 30.

Darrelle Revis seems to have the upper hand. It appears he has the Jets over a barrel. Not true. The beat goes on. They are not about to destroy their salary structure because the Raiders overpaid Nnamdi Asomugha.

If Revis commands 15 millys (millions) annually, what does a “decent” Mark Sanchez command? So in this game of chicken, the Jets may not be the first to blink.

Now, a few losses may change that — it’s possible. However, that means Revis comes back in less-than-great shape. He’s not only risking injury, he’s risking his aura.

The only person in the Jets organization who would be a more sizeable poster child for an underwhelming season would be the coach, Rex Ryan. But Revis would be public enemy number two in a town that can be very mean, not that the media’s and fans’ scorn pays his bills.

But it could adversely affect his Madison Ave. (advertising) staying power. Derek Jeter’s in the last year of his contract, and you see how he’s handling things. Of course he wants a new contract — yesterday, but you see how he’s handling his business.

Like many athletes, Revis signed a bad deal. But at the time, it seemed like a good deal. If Revis thought he was going to be as good as he turned out, he would have never signed his original deal.

In other words, at the time, he thought it was a fair deal based on his potential to perform. I understand him wanting a new deal, but his agent/manager is doing him a disservice. I’d tell him:

“Take the 12 milly per year. You’re not worth 15 or 16 milly even if you duplicate 2009. Let’s take 12 and make 5 in endorsements and appearances. Let’s start building our brand. We don’t want the persona of ‘just another greedy athlete.’ Not during these economic times.

Not when PSLs (Personal Seats Licenses) cost a small fortune based on most incomes. Brett Farvre sells Wranglers because his persona is that of the Regular Joe, even though his bank account defies that perception. The Jets represent the working class; the Giants represent the elite. Sell Poland Spring, not Perrier.

“These Jets fans are feeling their oats. It’s been 40+ years since the last Super Bowl. They don’t realize their winning the Super Bowl that year against that team (the Baltimore Colts of the NFL) was by far the greatest victory in the sport. It was a win for the ages.

But if you were born in the mid 1960s, you can’t really recall it. If you were born in the 1970s, you missed the boat. If you were born in the 1980s, you were more than a decade too late. I won’t comment about those born in the 1990s or the new millennium.

So these are fans who have blood in their mouths. They’ve waited faithfully. Their hopes are pent up in the Jets winning. Rex doesn’t understand this. Someone needs to tell him. It’s win or take the next “Jet” out of town. So Revis, don’t become Rex.

Don’t become the focal point of something that could be damaging to your legacy. Jets fans still love Wayne Chrebet — a poor man’s version of you (Revis). You’re in a pretty big market, New York — you could be in Buffalo. ‘Hard Knocks’ was the best commercial you could have. Look at how G.M. Tannenbaum is making it work.”

Now if Revis is still determined to be the highest paid cornerback in the league and will risk playing this season, he needs to embark on a public relations campaign. Visit shelters, schools, hospitals, group homes, correctional facilities, senior citizen centers, etc.

The cameras will follow.

Bring some turkeys and feed the homeless. Donate some toys to underprivileged children. Show up at a Pop Warner football game. Practice with some high school football teams. Take mass transit. Be everywhere. Just like when playing defense.

Embrace the fire departments (especially volunteer fire departments). Do the “Revis Report” on ESPN. Be seen — the right way. No clubs — strip or dance. Come out only in the day. Be a “Daypire” not a “Vampire.” Be seen.

But I’m not in Revis’s camp. Too bad. Many athletes are in need of sound advice. Somebody, send him this article. Please!!! Somebody better tell Revis to Revise—his Future or be the victim of Revis-ionist History.

BASN Nation. Get back to me. Here’s my question to you: What would you tell Darrelle Revis as is agent/manager?

Readers Note: At BASN Sports Business, we want the BASN Nation to be writers, not just readers, in other words, a “dollar” (figuratively speaking) for your thoughts. E-mail your P.E.A.R.L.S. (Perspective, Expertise, Advice, Reasons, Learnings & Solutions) to cbenton@blackathlete.com. I want to incorporate your feedback in subsequent articles.