Beyond The Story: Things to know about Mina Kimes’ ESPN The Mag profile of Darrelle Revis

Darrelle Revis' ESPN The Magazine cover.
ESPN The Magazine’s Darrelle Revis cover for its NFL Preview Issue.

In “Revis, Party of One,” senior writer Mina Kimes helps uncover what makes New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis the savviest negotiator in the NFL and how he has managed his own career better than any player in NFL history. Kimes dishes on her experience behind-the-scenes with Revis, thoughts and reactions to her first cover story, and more. The Mag’s NFL Preview Issue is currently on newsstands.

What would you say was the most challenging aspect of this interview/story overall for you?
The most difficult part of reporting this story was getting Revis to open up – he’s extremely gracious, but also extremely reserved, and he isn’t prone to telling long anecdotes or dishing out opinions, especially when it comes to off-the-field stuff. With a profile subject like that, getting a great deal of access is key. We spent a couple of days together, so the conversation was pretty organic.

What was the thing he revealed that surprised you the most?
He spoke pretty freely about his interests and lifestyle, which really helped me paint a portrait of his character. For example, I was surprised and delighted to learn that he’s the kind of guy who goes to the movie theater alone – I think that says a lot about a person!

How do you feel about your first cover story?
I was very excited! From the beginning, I wanted to focus on Revis’ personality and lifestyle – but because the article ran on the cover, I also wanted to use the piece as a jumping off point to discuss broader issues, like NFL contracts and sports economics. He also has strong views on these subjects, which made the story a natural vessel for bigger topics.

Are you surprised about any of the reaction to your story?
I was really surprised by how fans reacted to his quotes about money and fairness – I expected way more acrimony. Instead, a lot of readers seemed to agree with his comments, and several people noted that the piece changed their opinion about his mercenary reputation.

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