It was a perfect ending to the New York Football Giants’ five months of superbowl celebratory events, THE WHITE HOUSE. Last Friday, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on the South Lawn was full of sun and faces with smiles from ear to ear. The NFL tradition continues with the winning Super Bowl team having the honor of meeting with the President and getting an exclusive private tour of the White House. Big Blue showed up gleaming with pride after a magical run that left them again standing with the Lombardi Trophy at the end.
President Obama had nothing but high praise while discussing the Super Bowl XLVI champions, crediting the g-men for their toughness, teamwork, and resiliency. Obama gave his thoughts on some players and how they executed some crucial plays. He saluted Tuck for his safety on Brady in the first quarter but conversely, also took a fun jab at Tuck listening to Phil Collins (In the Air Tonight) before playing games. The laughter did not stop there. He told Cruz he loves the way he salsa-ed in the end zone after scoring and gave credit to Manningham (although not in attendance) for making (in his opinion) the biggest catch of his career! Obama also said that the Giants showed the world what true champions they were when they repeatedly stepped up in the fourth when the game was on the line.
Many of the 2011-2012 players were not on the team in ’08 when the team met with President Bush, so you can just imagine how some of them felt having this once in a life-time experience. Cruz told reporters, “It was crazy”. He spoke of how he will never let go of the amazing feelings he had meeting the president and touring the White House. I think everyone including President Obama was surprised and a little upset that “The Salsa Man” did not perform on the White House steps. Antrell Rolle said this was their final hour of 2011 and that Superbowl run; he is now looking to bigger and better things.
What a week for Tom Coughlin! Wednesday he signed a contract extension through 2014 (making him one of the highest paid coaches in the NFL) and then two days later was being honored at the White House as the coach who got the G-men two trips to D.C. in five years. He began by thanking our nation’s troops for all that they do. In terms of winning the Super Bowl and going back to the White House he said, “A few short years ago I said I hope this experience was not a once in a life-time experience, now I hope its not a twice in a life-time experience”
Mr. Elite, QB Eli Manning, arrived two hours earlier than the team to film a public service announcement against domestic violence with Vice President Biden. When talking about his experience on the tour of the West Wing, Eli noticed that the President had the highest chair in all of the meeting rooms. The reigning Superbowl MVP thinks it’s a good idea for him to have one for his team meetings.
As part of the customary proceeding, Justin Tuck, Eli Manning, Zak DeOssiee (team captains) alongside Coach Coughlin presented President Obama with a blue Giants jersey with the number 44 (for the 44th president) and a signed football. Tuck even mentioned how good the President looked in blue!