Sunday, October 29, 2006

Deion Branch: thanks for bringing it

Dear Mr. Branch-

I need to start by apologizing for my lack of faith in you. Well, I didn't lack faith in you, but in the worthiness of trading a first round pick for you and then signing you to a huge extension. You see, we already had Bobby Engram, Darrel Jackson, D.J. Hackett, Nate Burleson, Jerramy Stevens, and Itula Mili. I didn't really think we needed another expensive receiver. You started showing me from the moment you put on the blue and blue and blue and blue and green that you weren't just another big name. You've already made some game changing catches, and those catches have excited me. But I still wasn't sold on you, since someone I trust a lot--Bill Simmons, whom you may know as the Sports Guy--said that you weren't worth the kind of money we were throwing at you. And he is a huge fan of your previous employer. Before we got you the Seahawks already had gamechangers, guys who can turn the momentum in one play. Matt can do it. Shaun can do it. Michael and Ken can do it, even if we're a little worried about Michael's performance so far this year. Lofa has been showing that he can do it. The list goes on. And that's why I'm writing you today, because the most important thing I learned from today's loss in Missouri wasn't that Seneca is for real, or that Lofa really can be one of those guys. No, the most important thing I learned has to do with you.

You want to win. I know, everyone wants to win. But when you stripped the ball from Jared Allen, I was convinced that you will do whatever you can to get a win. A lot of people would have seen a huge defensive end running toward the sideline as the clock ticked down and assumed that the game was over. In fact, I'm guessing that everyone on the field thought that. Except you. To watch you swing your arm like Lawrence Taylor sacking a quarterback, and then to see you pry the ball away from someone who is eight inches taller and 80 pounds heavier, well that convinced me that you're not going to let the Seahawks continue losing. And yeah, I know that we ended up losing today. But the attitude that you showed to the team will grow. Lofa, who already plays like that, will push the rest of his defense to give what you gave. And Mike will point out to the rest of the guys that you showed the heart of a world champion. He'll remind them about your Super Bowl ring. In fact, he'll probably have you show it to them. And he'll talk about your MVP in the big game, and how you play each game with the same intensity. When Shaun gets back, I know that he'll be excited to push himself and the rest of the team to be more like that. I haven't been this excited after a Seahawks loss in a long time.

And maybe that's really why I'm writing to you. Thanks for giving me something to be excited about. I think I am now fully onboard with signing you and giving up a first round pick. In fact, I'm hoping that you'll forgive me for delaying my allegiance. If it's not too soon, I'd like to be on a first name basis. Deion? Is that okay?

Well Deion, I'm pretty excited. I know that 4-3 doesn't feel very good, but we've got a lot of football left, and we're in a terrible division. Welcome to the blue and blue and blue and blue and green. It's a pleasure to have you with us, and I can't wait until you win a Super Bowl MVP with the Seahawks to sit next to the one you got with New England.

I've included this picture of you, I would love if you could sign it and send it back to me. This is the first autograph I've asked for in a long time, so it would mean a lot to me. I looked for a picture of the very play that convinced me to write, but could not find one yet. I'll check again, because it is such an important symbol of the future. Thanks again,


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