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The President: All right, everybody have a seat.
Welcome to the White House.
Let's give it up for this quiet,
reserved bunch called the Seattle Seahawks.
World champions.
Best football team in America.
I considered letting Sherman up here to the podium
today -- (laughter) -- giving him the mic,
but we've got to go in a little bit.
Obviously we've got some big Seahawks fans
here today.
That includes -- I know there are some members
of Congress here who are huge Seahawks fans.
We've also got the Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell,
who is a big Seahawks fan.
We've got Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the house,
a big Seahawks fan.
I want to congratulate Coach Pete Carroll
for his outstanding leadership.
I think those of us who are in leadership positions across
disciplines, we're always looking at folks who do things
the right way.
I think it's pretty clear that Coach Carroll does things
the right way and we're very proud of him.
Seahawks owner Paul Allen, who has done a great job,
congratulations to him.
We've got General Manager John Schneider who put
together this outstanding organization,
but I'm curious where the championship belt
is today, John.
We are here to celebrate the first Super Bowl victory
for the city of Seattle.
During the regular season,
the Seahawks tied for the best record.
Suffocating defense led to -- led the league in points
allowed, yards allowed, interceptions, takeaways,
turnover margin.
They beat the rival 49ers --
I knew you guys would clap on that one --
in the NFC Championship Game and then dominated
one of the best offenses in the NFL, beating the Broncos
by 35 points.
Of course, 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.
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.
There's Super Bowl MVP Malcom Smith.
You've got breakout star Percy Harvin.
He's not here today, but we've got to give props
to Beast Mode -- Marshawn Lynch.
I am sorry that Marshawn is not here,
because I just wanted to say how much I admire
his approach to the press.
I wanted to get some tips from him.
It's about the action.
And then there's Russell Wilson,
who you may not recognize because his locks are shorn --
he has cut his hair.
Where is Russell?
There he is.
I was telling him he looks okay this way too.
He doesn't have a peanut head or anything.
So Russell has won more games through his first two
seasons than any quarterback in history.
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.
And part of the reason that I think Russell
inspired a lot of folks is he's been proving the doubters
wrong for a very long time.
For years, folks said he'd be too short to succeed
as a quarterback in the NFL.
Five quarterbacks were drafted ahead of him,
which is a familiar story for a lot of these Seahawks.
You got three starters in the secondary who were taken
fifth round or lower.
Nineteen players on the roster weren't drafted at all.
Last year, a pundit had the gall to call the receiving corps
"pedestrian," which I heard made "Angry Doug Baldwin"
even angrier.
So let me just say as a guy who was elected
President named Barack Obama, I root for the underdogs.
And 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 team is all about.
And this is a team.
And it's not just about football.
These guys have been overcoming adversity off the field as well.
They've got fullback Derrick Coleman,
who has been legally deaf since he was three years old.
I joke about Richard Sherman, but he grew up in Compton 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 GPA
in high school.
He won a scholarship to Stanford.
He showed kids from his neighborhood that
they could 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.
And he's not the only one giving back.
Russell spends every Tuesday -- even during the season --
visiting sick kids at the Seattle Children's Hospital.
Coach Carroll's "A Better Seattle" and "A Better LA"
organization works to keep at-risk youth away
from drugs and violence.
Paul Allen's Family Foundation has given millions of dollars
for medical research into traumatic brain injuries,
which obviously is a concern in the NFL,
but also is a concern to our troops and people
all across the country.
As a team, the Seahawks raised more than $700,000
this year for causes like supporting our troops
and strengthening our schools.
And that spirit of working hard and giving back has endeared
this team to its fans in a way that most cities
can't replicate.
Now, part of it is you all have that stadium that is kind
of cheating, because it's so loud.
You hired some physicist to make it so.
(Laughter and Applause.)
There are a lot of really smart people
at Microsoft and up in those places that can design
these things.
So we can't talk about the Seahawks without
talking about the 12th Man.
Last season, "the 12s" 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've actually created minor earthquakes,
which is disturbing.
And you should think about that.
After the Super Bowl,
when they had the chance to celebrate,
they let loose in true Seattle style.
And while some got a little carried away,
there's actually video of a huge group of Seahawks fans
interrupting their celebration to wait for the walk sign before
crossing an intersection.
(Laughter and applause.)
So that's Seattle for you.
So congratulations to the 12s,
congratulations to the players, the coaches, the staff,
the owners.
Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and the whole city
for an outstanding season.
Pete Carroll: Thank you, Mr. President.
I can't believe I'm saying that.
Pete Carroll: Thank you, Mr. President,
on -- for all of the guys here that represent this football
team that represent so much more than just ourselves,
our owner Paul Allen, this tremendous following that we
have, the 12s are here again.
It's a very, very special opportunity for us.
We're very thankful and grateful to be part of it.
You know, this is a bunch of guys that came together.
We were looking for -- to celebrate uniqueness and
differences, and this is a different bunch of guys.
Now, I'm going to tell you.
And they've got a way about them that's very, very special,
and they've come together and shared a unique mission and goal
to do something really special that we're really proud of,
and I hope we can continue to demonstrate that.
These guys are that kind of people,
and so we're very proud to be here.
And I do know that you have access to some of the great
Special Force Units anywhere, and you can do whatever you need
to do, but I want you to know that just a phone call
away is the boom --
The President: The boom is here.
The President: In case we need, for some sort
of special mission.
Pete Carroll: That's right, that's right.
You never know, you never know.
The President: All right.
Pete Carroll: They will just be a phone call away.
Pete Carroll: And so we're grateful to be here.
Thank you very much, and we're very proud.
Thank you.
The President: Congratulations.
Thank you.
The President: All right.
You guys want to (inaudible)?
Why did you guys take -- let's take this down and we'll get a
good picture, all right?
Hold on a second, wait.
Sherman probably wants to say something.
He wants to --
(laughter and applause)
Richard Sherman: We're going to hold this up.
You're an official twelth man member.
The President: Why don't we put this podium down,
and that way we can get a good picture?
Come on.
Male Speaker: Wow.
(Laughter and applause.)
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President Obama Welcomes the Seattle Seahawks to the White House

1611 Folder Collection
rain published on October 4, 2014
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