WASHINGTON, D.C. –
In the course of his 9½-minute speech while honoring the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama managed to give shouts out to 13 players. Impressive stuff for a guy who has much more serious matters to deal with on a minute-by-minute basis, especially when you’re one of the players the President mentioned.
“That speech was phenomenal,” said wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who then added with a smile, “I’m a little biased because he dropped my name in there.”
President Obama also gave recognition to owner Paul Allen, coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider, team president Peter McLoughlin and the Seahawks’ 12th Man fans.
"Let's give it up for this quiet, reserved bunch: the Seattle @Seahawks. World champions!" —President Obama— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 21, 2014
We’ve already touched on several of President Obama’s comments, but here are some of the rest:
On Carroll: “I want to congratulate coach Pete Carroll for his outstanding leadership. I think those of us who are in leadership positions … we’re always looking at folks who do things the right way. I think it’s pretty clear coach Carroll does things the right way and we’re very proud of him.”
On Schneider, who was caught on camera wearing a WWE championship belt during Super Bowl weekend: “We’ve got John Schneider, who put together this outstanding organization. But I’m curious where the championship belt is today, John.”
On Coleman: “And it’s not just about football, these guys have been overcoming adversity off the field as well. We’ve got fullback Derrick Coleman, who has been legally deaf since he was 3-years old.”
On Sherman: “I joke about Richard Sherman, but he grew up in Compton (Calif.) amid some wonderful people, but also gangs and drugs and guns. His dad had to wake up before 4 a.m. every day to drive a garbage truck. But because of his dad’s hard work and his family and his mom, Richard ended up earning a 4.2 (grade point average) in high school, won a scholarship to Stanford. He showed kids from his neighborhood that they could make it. And if he seems a little brash, it’s because you’ve got to have attitude sometimes if you are going to overcome some of this adversity. And the fact that he still goes back to inspire high-schoolers for higher goals and making better choices, that’s all-star behavior.”
On the 12th Man: “We can’t talk about the Seahawks without talking about the 12th Man. Last season, the 12’s set a record not once but twice for the loudest crowd noise in history. Now, history is a long time. So that’s really loud. So loud on multiple occasions they actually created minor earthquakes. Which is disturbing, and you should think about that.”
"Last season, 'the 12s' set a record not once, but twice, for the loudest crowd noise in history." —President Obama on the @Seahawks' fans— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 21, 2014
And then there was this comment that tied a bow around what was a surreal afternoon at the White House for the Super Bowl champions: “Let me just say as a guy who was elected President named Barack Obama, I root for the underdogs. 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. That’s what team is all about. And this is a team.”
Carroll seconded that notion, offering: “This is a bunch of guys who came together. You’re looking to celebrate unique and differences, this is a different bunch of guys now, I want to tell you. They’ve got a way about them that’s very, very special. They’ve come together and shared a unique mission and goal to do something really special that we’re really proud of.”