The Super Bowl XLVIII champions Seattle Seahawks were honored by President Barack Obama at the White House on May 21.
David Hudson of the White House's official website reports the president highlighted both the Seahawks on-field and off-field achievements during the ceremony:
"Today, President Obama welcomed the Seattle Seahawks to the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win this past season -- the first championship in the team's 38-year history.
"As the president noted in his remarks, the Seahawks were tied for the best record in the regular season, and the team's 'suffocating defense' led the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, interceptions and takeaways.
"It also led to the team's 43-8 rout in the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos, who had the highest-scoring offense of any team in the regular season.
"But the president also explained who the Seahawks are making just as strong an impact off the field -- whether it's quarterback Russell Wilson visiting kids at the Seattle Children's Hospital every single Tuesday, or coach Pete Carroll helping at-risk youth steer clear of drugs and violence through his 'A Better Seattle' and 'A Better LA' organizations.
"'That spirit of working hard and giving back has endeared this team to its fans in a way few cities can replicate,' the president said.
"And the Seahawks fans -- known as 'the 12s,' because a football team only has 11 players on the field at a time -- played an undeniable role in the champioship run as well, setting two Guinness World Records last season for the loudest crowd noise at a sporting event.
"So congratulations to the 12s, congratulations to the players, the coaches, the staff, the owners,' President Obama said. 'Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and the whole city for an outstanding season.'"
Clare Farnsworth of the Seahawks' official website adds more details of the team's visit -- which was without starting running back Marshawn Lynch -- to Washington, D.C.
"President Obama also mentioned 20 or so players during his remarks, including nose tackle Brandon Mebane and his sack celebration.
"'You had a dominating defensive line with guys like Michael Bennett and Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane,' the president said. 'And Brandon Mebane's belly-roll dance. You can't do that here in the White House.'
"Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks' Beast Mode running back, did not make the trip. But that didn't mean he wasn't fair game for the president.
"'I am sorry that Marshawn's not here,' President Obama said. 'Because I just wanted to say how much I admire his approach to the press. I've got to get some tips from him.'
"The trip was also a reunion of sorts, as the players who helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl and then signed elsewhere in free agency or were released and signed with another team also were part of the festivities -- defensive backs Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond and Chris Maragos; offensive linemen Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan; defensive linemen Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and Clinton McDonald; wide receiver Golden Tate and tight end Kellen Davis."
During the proceedings, Obama made special mention of Wilson, the Seahawks' underdog staus and cornerback Richard Sherman, according to ESPN's John Keim.
"He's (Wilson) only the second African-American quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl, and the best part about it is no one commented on it.
"Part of the reaon Russell inspired a lot of folks is he's been proving the doubters wrong for a very long time. For years, folks said he's too short to succeed as quarterback in the NFL. Five quarterbacks were drafted ahead of him -- a familiar story for a lot of the Seahawks.
"So let me say as a guy who was elected president named Barack Obama, I root for the underdogs. Seeing folks overcome the odds excites me. It also excites me when you see the whole thing being greater than the sum of the parts, and that's what this team is all about.
"He (Sherman) showed kids from his neighborhood that they could make it. If he seems brash, it's because you have to have attitude sometimes if you're going to overcome adversity."