The champion New York Giants continued an NFL tradition Friday with a trip to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl XLVI title with President Barack Obama.
Our president is a noted Chicago sports fan, but spared us of any Bears-related innuendo, giving coach Tom Coughlin and his men their full due.
"The Giants took a whole bunch of hits this season, but they never went down," Obama said. "From Day 1, they followed a simple model: Finish. Finish the play, finish the game, finish the season. And after Week 15, sitting at 7-7, they knew that every game was a playoff game. But the players, the coaches, the staff, the owners, they didn't quit."
Obama jabbed at football writers everywhere for being late to the draw on naming Eli Manning an elite quarterback.
After the president spoke, Coughlin took center stage. He thanked our nation's troops and talked about the inspiration the Giants represented to Americans down on their luck:
"How this team might have inspired them to hope, to believe in themselves, to never give up, to strive to accomplish their goals no matter how difficult their situation might be," Coughlin said, talking of New York's gritty playoff run.
The ceremony closed with Justin Tuck and Manning presenting Obama with a No. 44 Giants jersey (likely headed for the same dusty box housing last year's Packers garb).
Other moments of note:
• Coughlin lauded his team's all-for-one approach and drew laughter when he asked out loud, "Wouldn't it be nice if Congress operated the same way?"
• The coach, who also visited the White House after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, semi-killed with his closer: "I hope this is not a twice-in-a-lifetime experience, " Coughlin said to Obama. "We both have a goal to get back here next year."
• Strangely, we were not treated to Victor Cruz salsa dancing on the White House steps, which seemed to us like a natural PR machination.
Congratulations to Big Blue and their fans, crowned king of the NFL.