Deion Branch Day in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deion Branch Day in Albany

February 21, 2004

Albany-- Albany celebrates a hometown hero. Saturday morning hundreds poured into downtown for a parade for Super Bowl winning football star Deion Branch. Family, friends and fans expressed a big "Welcome Home" for one of the city's native heroes.

It was a parade complete with a marching band, pageantry and anxious fans. "He is one of my favorite football players," says one young fan. "Of course Deion is number 83,"says another excited fan showing off her Branch jersey.

Number 83, Deion Branch, is wide receiver for the New England Patriots. He helped lead his team to a Super bowl win. And, the star player got his start at Albany's Monroe High.

"As a little football player into high school from high school to college and then to the University of Louisville and entering the draft was more proudness, "says Branch's mother, Mary. "Entering the draft was even more proudness but I knew my son had the potential to make it into the big game," she says.

And winning those big games and becoming one of the few players good enough to live out his NFL dreams makes Branch a role model and a hero to his young fans.

"I want to be a running back and go to the NFL,"says one young onlooker. 

Branch says he's humbled and honored his hometown is celebrating his accomplishments. "I'm blessed for one just to be apart of this and for the city to do this thing for me is just great, "says Branch.

And with a handshake and the spirit of hometown pride the "good life city" opens it arms to honor and celebrate a man they considers there own MVP.  At the celebration Saturday  the Mayor declared February 21st Deion Branch Day.

posted at 4:52PM by scott.hunter@walb.com