WR for the New England Patriots, Deion Branch is heading into his 11th season, what would be his 7th with the Patriots. Although his contract is set to expire there’s a good reason to believe he will be joining the Patriots again as they look capture the championship title next season.
“Deion’s a very instinctive receiver,”Pats Coach Belichick has said. “He’s smart. He learns very quickly, and he understands receiver concepts and techniques. He almost always does what the quarterback would expect him to do. He just has a good instinct and a good feel for what the right decision to make is based on what he’s seeing, so that he can help the quarterback, where he can be in the spot where the quarterback wants him to be when he wants them to be there.”
Shola Branch, the stunning wife of Deion also has good instincts. She has been one of my clients since 2003 when I made her very first jersey…her SUPER BOWL MVP jersey after the Patriots won the 2004 Super Bowl in Jacksonville, FL and Deion earned the MVP award.
For this year’s Super Bowl, Shola’s jersey began 3 weeks before the game with rough design sketches. We had already pre-ordered the leather, spikes and camo material before we even knew for sure they would be in the SB. (SHE had complete faith) Her jersey was the most time consuming, difficult, elaborate and HEAVY jersey we ever made (I’d guess around 15 lbs). And she looked AMAZING it! I was SO PROUD of her in that jersey!! We also made her spike boots to go with it. Between the jersey and boots she had ~500 spikes on….she got a serious workout wearing that ensemble. I told her she would need to soak her arms in the cold tub after wearing it around for 8 hours.
Early in his career, Branch helped the Patriots win two Super Bowl championships (XXXVIII, XXXIX). In those games, he was particularly effective, recording 10 catches for 143 yards and touchdown, and 11 catches for 133 yards, respectively. The latter performance against the Philadelphia Eagles tied a Super Bowl record and earned him MVP honors. He is from Albany, Georgia and attended the University of Louisville. In the 2002 NFL Draft, he was selected by the New England Patriots in the 2nd round with the 65th overall pick.
How Deion Branch Met and Proposed to Shola
Shola and Deion met at the University of Louisville while they were college athletes. He was a star wide receiver and she was a track star. She jokes that she “threw track,” she didn’t “run track.” She was a stand out in the shot put, hammer and the discus that earned Athlete of the Year titles, Conference USA, AND she was awarded The Athlete of the Decade award once she graduated! That’s incredible…and she doesn’t look like a lumber jack either!
Deion proposed, on bended knee with D’ahni by his side, to Shola when they were in New England while in their first stint with the Patriots back in 2005, although they have been together for 11 years. In those 11 years Shola has steadfastly given him a pre-game care package containing baked goods, gifts or candy and a hand written letter before every single game! Now that’s what I call LOVE and DEDICATION!
Every year we outfit her and her two little divas, D’ahni (6) and Nylah (3), to support him. Shola always has some of the most in depth, dramatic and complicated jerseys we make. They usually weigh 10-15 pounds, too! She always out does herself!
Leah J. Miller made her name as a personal designer and custom outfitter to MLB, NBA and NFL families with the launch of Bella Artistry. Known affectionately throughout the professional sports industries as “The Diamond Duchess”, she has been custom tailoring and embellishing the official jerseys and wardrobes of ballers’ significant others and children with Swarovski crystals since 1999. Her designs have been featured in the 2008, 2009, and 2010 HBO Hard Knocks football training camp special as well as the Washington Post, and the Diamond Duchess will make her debut as a Costume Designer this Fall for the ABC-TV drama Ghostbreakers. You can learn more about Bella Artistry and see many of Leah’s creations by clicking here.
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