The week of celebrating the Baltimore Ravens once again as Super Bowl XLVII Champions began Wednesday morning with a visit to the White House in a small ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.
Members of the team, coaches and staff posed for pictures, received a tour of the White House from President Barack Obama and enjoyed an afternoon in the sun in Washington D.C. as the team was honored as Super Bowl champions in the long-standing tradition of inviting the winning team to the Nations Capital.
Before addressing the team, President Obama shook hands with players and staff of the Ravens and was presented with a No. 44 jersey. “Mr. President” donned the back of the jersey as head coach John Harbaugh was given the honor of presenting Obama with the jersey.
Obama spoke briefly to the crowd, congratulating them for the team’s success in 2012 winning the Super Bowl and wished them luck in the 2013 season. A fan of Chicago sports teams, the President jokingly quipped, “You’re going to need it in Week 11 when you go to my hometown of Chicago to play the Bears.”
Obama also remarked at the Ravens Super Bowl MVP quarterback about his incredible playoff run and subsequent contract extension. “That was some good timing,” Obama joked.
He also called Flacco a word that was thrown around and bantered about all season long in town; “elite”, adding, “I’d say that if you keep on playing like that, you’re going to challenge [Vice President Joe Biden] for the most popular person from Delaware.”
President Obama also took time out to recognize O.J. Brigance as he continues to battle with ALS, calling him an “inspiration to Americans all across the country.”
Both John Harbaugh and GM Ozzie Newsome accompanied the team on the trip. Harbaugh spoke briefly and proudly about the team’s run last season, thanking the President for inviting them to the White House and offered this promise to the 44th President of the United States, “it’s an unbelievable honor. We are grateful. And I want you to know, we have plans to be back next year.”
It was a reunion of sorts for the team as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Dannell Ellerbe, Bobbie Williams and Brendon Ayanbadejo all made the trip Wednesday morning. Other key members of the team, Anquan Boldin and Bernard Pollard did not attend the ceremony.
On Friday June 7th, the Ravens will cap the week of celebration and remembrance with a private ceremony at the Under Armour Performance Center where they will receive their Super Bowl rings. Its reported that most of those that did not attend today’s ceremony at the White House will attend the ceremony in Owings Mills.