The New England Patriots made their way to Washington D.C. to meet President Obama as celebration for their Super Bowl victory. Quarterback Tom Brady was unable to attend due to a prior obligation with his family, while there were multiple reports that defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and cornerback Brandon Browner were not present.
Browner expressed a desire to meet the President for the second year in a row, and felt that his starting role with the Patriots was more deserving than when he was suspended with the Seahawks. He tried to make the trip, but was unable.
President Obama offered opening remarks and took a lighthearted approach. He noted all of the Patriots fans that work at the White House and chirped, "Obviously I didn't screen properly."
He went on to state that the Patriots were "as good as an organization as there's ever been in professional sports."
The President also alluded to the deflated footballs from the AFC Championship game, stating "I had some jokes prepared, but I was afraid eleven of twelve would fall flat." This received a chuckle from Bill Belichick, along with a thumbs down. The President quickly followed up to say that the whole ordeal was overblown.
When the President welcomed Belichick, he stated, "I'm particularly grateful that Coach decided to dress up. We had some scissors if he wanted to cut the sleeves off." He also noted that he asked tight end Rob Gronkowski to keep his shirt on, or else the Secret Service would have to act.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman expressed how amazing it was for the President to single him out, and all of the players were thrilled with the experience.
Congratulations to all of the players on a great season and, to quote team owner Robert Kraft, "we hope to be back here next year."