President Obama and the Seattle Seahawks / JIM WATSON, AFP/Getty Images
WASHINGTON -- President Obama joked Wednesday he wouldn't have to spend too much time praising the Seattle Seahawks because the boisterous pro football champions tend to do that on their own.
"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, noting, for example, that the defensive backfield dubbed themselves "the Legion of Boom."
Obama also told the crowd of Seahawks fans gathered in the East Room to "give it up for this quiet reserved bunch!"
That said, Obama did single some of the players who helped Seattle to a championship year that ended with a 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
He joked that he almost allowed talkative defensive back Richard Sherman to speak during the ceremony, but "we've got to go in a little bit."
The president expressed some frustration that running back Marshawn Lynch did not attend the White House ceremony because "I just wanted to say how much I admire his approach to the press" -- i.e., he doesn't speak to reporters.
"I wanted to get some tips from him," Obama said.
People in "leadership positions" admire the job that Coach Pete Carroll did, Obama said, adding that "it's pretty clear that Coach Carroll does things the right way."
True to their unique nature, the team did not -- as previous football champions have -- present Obama with a football jersey.
They gave him a "12th Man" flag instead, reflecting Seattle's famously loud home stadium crowds.
As for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Obama noted that he is only the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl -- a fact that is not all that well known.
"The best part about it is nobody commented on it," Obama said, "which tells you the progress that we've made, although we've got more progress to make."
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