Yes, it will be a very merry Christmas for the McCourtys.
“It was his rookie year in Tennessee, but ever since then, it’s been FaceTime,” Devin said. “So, we’ll do everybody at his house, and we’ll have a blast.”
They can do that this year because the twins are fulfilling a longtime dream of playing on the same NFL team — Devin in his ninth season in New England and Jason his first. Devin entered the NFL as a first-round pick of the Patriots in 2010. Jason was a sixth-round selection of the Titans (2009 to 2016), and he also had a one-year stop in Cleveland (2017).
Picture the scene at Jason and Melissa McCourty’s home, where there’s plenty of activity with daughters, Liana and Kai, and son, Kaiden.
Devin and wife, Michelle, daughter, Londyn, and son, Brayden, will be there.
So too will Phyllis Harrell, who goes by the Twitter handle “Mama McCourty.”
“That’s going to be special. Every year, no matter our situation, Mom always made Christmas special,” Jason said.
“I remember waking up as early as possible on Christmas and going downstairs, and the living room would be converted. We’d go to sleep the night before, and there would be a few presents under the tree for a few people; but we’d wake up, and it was all set up, whether it was X-Men, PlayStation, action figures.”
What Jason and Devin didn’t realize at the time — when they would often go through closets looking for gifts leading up to Christmas — was the effort their mother put in to make it happen.
“As we became adults, Mom told us she would start saving for Christmas in the summer,” Jason said.
As Devin added, “We came to realize her sacrifice. She told us she was laying away stuff back in September and October to make sure we always had a special Christmas. It’s something we try to take pride in now with having kids and making sure they always see the sacrifice and what it means to be a family and raise kids.”
There also are poignant memories when they look back on Christmases past.
“We vaguely remember, it was the last Christmas we had when my father [Calvin] was alive. I just remember a ton of toys under the tree and kind of running around. It was one of the few memories we have of him, so that always sticks out in my head,” Devin said.
The McCourtys were 3 years old when Calvin died at 34 due to complications from asthma that led to a heart attack.
This year, Devin’s and Jason’s stepfather will be celebrating with them. It truly would have been extra special to have their older brother, Larry White, with them as well, but his work schedule made it a challenge for that to happen.
Having most of the family together after winning the AFC East championship, though, adds to the sweetness of the day, especially with Jason forcing a fumble and notching an interception in Sunday’s home win against the Buffalo Bills to earn his first division title. Jason, Melissa, Devin and Michelle gathered on the field after the game for a photo that they posted on social media.
“The way he played — and really the way he’s played all year — I’d say from a position where not many people expected it all year, it’s been awesome,” Devin said of his twin.
There’s a lot of pride between them.
“Getting a chance to play alongside Dev, I told myself, ‘Savor every moment of it. You don’t know how long it’s going to last.’ It’s a unique thing for us, to go all the way from Pop Warner football to now, being in the same National Football League locker room,” Jason said.
“Obviously, with everything Dev has been able to accomplish, and this organization in general, I’m just excited, honored and humbled to be part of it. And try to do my part — big, small, whatever it is — to try to help.”
As they prepared to be together on Tuesday, perhaps Devin said it best.
“Honestly,” he said, “we’ve had a Christmas gift all year.”