(CBS Seattle) — The champions of Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks, were honored by President Barack Obama during a visit to the White House on Wednesday.
Most of the 2013 roster was in attendance including players who have moved on to new teams like Golden Tate, Red Bryant and Chris Clemons.
“Let’s give it up for this quiet, reserved bunch called the Seattle Seahawks,” the President sarcastically said during the ceremony, drawing a handful of laughs from the crowd. “The best football team in America.”
The President praised Seattle’s performance over the season — including the 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. “I don’t need to tell you how outstanding they are,” said the President. “They did a pretty good job of describing themselves as outstanding over the year.”
President Obama joked about the absence of Marshawn Lynch from the event saying he admired the running back’s “approach to the press.”
The President put jokes aside near the close of his press conference to talk about the idea of overcoming adversity — something he said he appreciates about several players on the Seahawks roster, including quarterback Russell Wilson.
“Part of the reason that I think Russell inspired a lot of folks is that he’s been proving the doubters wrong for a very long time. Let me just say as a guy who was elected president named ‘Barack Obama,’ I root for the underdog. So seeing folks overcome the odds excites me, but it also excites me when you see the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And that’s what being a team is about.”
The President also expressed his excitement over seeing players like Richard Sherman and Derrick Coleman overcome the odds to reach the Super Bowl, praising both players for their performance on the field as well as for their commitment to giving back off the field.
“All the guys here representing this football team represent so much more than just ourselves,” said head coach Pete Carroll who followed the President in speaking. “[These] guys came together, looking to celebrate uniqueness and differences, to celebrate a unique mission and goal that we’re very proud of.”
Carroll joked that while the President has secret service members and trained bodyguards at his disposal, the Legion of Boom is “just a phone call away.”
Rather than present the Commander in Chief with a personalized jersey, the players gifted Obama a 12th man flag — a fitting offer from a team that possesses a special relationship with its fan base.
The players posted photos and updates from their trip to Twitter.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin had his eye on taking home a few souvenirs.
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