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President Obama hosts champion Baltimore Ravens

President Barack Obama walked out Wednesday to welcome the Baltimore Ravens to the White House lawn, but one thing was missing.

Kinkhabwala: White House welcome

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"No smoke machine?" Obama asked.

No matter how you lean politically, it's always a pleasure to have a president who talks sports so comfortably. (Just like it was awesome to have a president who could throw a first-pitch strike.)

The Super Bowl champions' visit to the White House is an annual tradition, and it usually comes with plenty of jokes. Obama lauded Joe Flacco for one of the greatest postseasons ever, saying the Ravens quarterback could challenge Vice President Joe Biden.

"Good timing with that contract," Obama said.

Obama also commented on Ed Reed looking like an old man with his gray hair and wondered aloud if Ray Lewis actually hurt his triceps performing his pregame dance. Lewis tried to get Obama to do an impression.

"I'm not doing that dance," Obama said.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome represented the champs with brief comments. Owner Steve Bisciotti was not present. Harbaugh told the assembled Ravens faithful that they plan to be back, which we hear every year. No team since the 2003 New England Patriots has made good on such a plan. A return trip from the Ravens would be even more surprising than their title in the first place.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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