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Mama McCourty debuts Patriots split jersey on Sunday

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Before Sunday's warm-ups even begin, the crowd lining the front rows of Gillette Stadium cheer for a McCourty.

No, it's not Devin. It's not Jason. The cheers are for their mother, Phyllis Harrell.

She makes her way down the Patriots sideline, waving warmly to the fans who recognize her and her signature jersey. It is half navy and half white. It's half Devin and half Jason.

When Jason played for the Titans, Phyllis rocked a split jersey, rather than choose just one of her sons. The question of the offseason was how would she represent both Devin and Jason now that they wear the same uniform. With weeks of crafting, sewing and bedazzling, Phyllis figured it out.

And on Sunday, she rocks the home and road split jersey as she watches her twins play on the same field for the same team for the first time since 2008 and their Rutgers days.

"I don't even know if you could put it into words. I didn't think I would feel nervous but I feel nervous," Phyllis said. "Maybe because it's the beginning of the season and I want them both to do well. I don't know but I do. I got up this morning, and I'm going about getting myself ready, and all of a sudden, I was like, 'Oh, I feel a little nervous.'"

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Standing on the sideline, she watches as Devin and Jason run through warm-up drills alongside her sister, Brenda, and her daughters-in-law, Michelle and Melissa McCourty. All four have their cellphones poised and ready to capture the McCourtys at work.

It is a family football day at its finest.

"A lot of us look forward to coming up for games. As a family, it just brought us all together I think," Phyllis said. "Everybody wants to talk about football and that way that maybe starts the conversation, but it'll go into other things also."

While early in their NFL careers, Phyllis would try to make it to as many games for both as possible, she now only goes to home games. With Foxborough being home base for both her sons, traveling for games is now a whole lot easier. This trip, she stayed with Jason. Next time, she'll stay with Devin, but Phyllis is just happy all of her grandchildren are in the same place -- only a short walk down the street from each other.

And at Gillette Stadium, she is greeted like family. Robert Kraft makes sure to say hello, and Pat Patriot wanders over with a hug.

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"Nice to meet you, Pat Patriot, after all these years! Oh, I forgot he doesn't talk," she said with a laugh.

But when her boys run over to the sideline to greet her, their wives and aunt, the day is complete. They both plant kisses on her cheek, and as they run off the field, the smile on Phyllis's face says it all.

For her, despite the NFL games, the illustrious moments and the Super Bowls, her favorite memory of her boys on the field is from Pop Warner. At the start of a game more than 20 years ago, Devin, Jason and their teammates ran over to give their mothers roses.

"I always remember that. It's so long ago," Phyllis said. "Devin's won Super Bowls and all that, but that's something that's just heart-touching."

But as both Devin and Jason take the field for their first game together in the NFL, it is a moment that is sure to be a close second.

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