The weather gods were kind to the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday. They enjoyed a picture perfect day on the South Lawn of the White House where they met President Barack Obama.
It is tradition for the president to meet the Super Bowl Champions and the Ravens relished their chance to partake in the tradition.
Many players tweeted during their journey to Washington, DC. They posted pictures of themselves at the White House and with former and current teammates.
Recently retired linebacker Ray Lewis and former safety, now Houston Texan Ed Reed, made the trip. It was bittersweet seeing them reunite with their former teammates.
President Obama joked about Lewis and Reed:
“These two won’t be wearing purple next year, and everybody will have to get used to that,” Obama said. “That’s welcome news for quarterbacks…”
President Obama congratulated the team on winning the Super Bowl, made jokes about the players and acknowledged the Ravens off field contributions to the city of Baltimore.
Quarterback Joe Flacco got a shout out from President Obama who acknowledged his “elite” status:
“I don’t know about you, Joe, but I think that qualifies as elite,” Obama said. “I think if you keep playing like that, you’re going to challenge [Vice President Joe] Biden for most popular person in Delaware.”
Jokes aside, President Obama made some sentimental comments. He praised head coach John Harbaugh for his pride and humility, called former Raven and current Senior Advisor to Player Development “gritty” and described wide receiver Torrey Smith as resilient for playing after the death of his brother last season.
Coach Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome present President Obama with a 44 jersey with “MR. PRESIDENT” on it:
“On behalf of all the Ravens, I want to thank Mr. President for hosting us here today. It’s an unbelievable honor and we are grateful to be here,” Harbaugh said. “And I want you to know we have plans to be back next year.”
The Ravens had a day they will never forget.
I watched the live stream of the ceremony; it was awesome watching my team being honored by the President of the United States. Their smiles warmed me; I couldn’t be prouder of my team. Last season was a tough, now it’s easy reaping the rewards of being Super Bowl Champions.