Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Seahawks were honored at the White House by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.
The president praised several members of the team that beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. He also had some quick jokes, but mostly commented on the team's accomplishments from the 2013 season. He commended the team's defense.
"I don't need to tell you how outstanding the Seahawks are because they did a pretty good job of describing themselves as outstanding during the year," Obama said to an applause. "You may have heard about the Legion of Boom -- Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor, and Byron Maxwell, who combined to form the best secondary in football. You had a dominating defensive line with guys like Michael Bennett and Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane ... and Brandon Mebane's belly roll dance ... all combining to ... we can't do that here in the White House."
Obama, who was presented with a "12th Man" banner, also spoke about the seriousness of Sherman's rise to stardom.
"I joke about Richard Sherman, but he grew up in Compton amid some wonderful people, but also gangs and drugs and guns," the president said. "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 GPA in high school. He 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."
Quarterback Russell Wilson was also given kind words by the president.
"Russell has won more games through his first two seasons than any quarterback in history," the president said. "He also became only the second African American quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl. And the best part about it is nobody commented on it, which tells you the progress that we've made, although we've got more progress to make."
One big player from the offense was not in attendance Wednesday, running back Marshawn Lynch, but he too was recognized by Obama.
"I am sorry that Marshawn is not here, because I just wanted to say how much I admire his approach to the press," Obama said to laughter, referring to Lynch's decision to limit his speaking to the media throughout the season. "I wanted to get some tips from him."