In 2004, Deion Branch's record-tying 11 receptions for 133 earned him a well-deserved Super Bowl MVP. He helped the New England Patriots to a 24-21 Super Bowl 39 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
But on Monday, a couple of high profile characters began to re-litigate Branch's MVP award. At Rodney Harrison's Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony, he and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reopened the debate.
"I'm happy for you even though you stole my Super Bowl MVP," Harrison directed Branch's way in his induction speech.
— Patriots on NBCSB (@NBCSPatriots) July 29, 2019
Later in the ceremony, Belichick took the mic. He praised Harrison as one of the hardest-working, best defensive backs in history and that Harrison belongs in Canton, joking that he wishes he was "smart enough to draft him." Plus, he fed the fire on the Harrison-Branch MVP argument.
Bill Belichick says he'll let Rodney Harrison and Deion Branch fight over the Super Bowl MVP trophy that Harrison joked Branch "stole" from him. But, Belichick likes Harrison's logic. "I do agree that defense wins championships." pic.twitter.com/YmLuHdF2oj
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) July 29, 2019
"I do agree that defense wins championships," Belichick said.
In Super Bowl 39, Harrison picked off two Donovan McNabb passes and made a team-high 12 total tackles.
While Branch won the MVP award, Harrison has beaten him to the Patriots Hall of Fame. Perhaps Branch will be able to make his case at next year's induction ceremony.
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