Obama praises Super Bowl champ Seahawks at White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks received a rousing welcome Wednesday at the White House during a historic visit with the president.

President Obama hosted the team and congratulated players and coaches for their triumphs in the field and their contributions to their community.

And of course there was a mention of that 43-8 Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos.

"We are here to celebrate the first Super Bowl victory for the city of Seattle," President Obama said as he introduced the team, dressed in their suits and ties, to a cheering crowd.

Noting that some football analysts didn't see Seattle as a top-tier tem, Obama said he always roots for the underdog because, quote, "seeing folks overcome the odds excites me."

The president didn't forget to congratulate Seattle's 12th Man and his ability to shake the earth with a record-shattering roar.

"Last season, 'the 12s' set a record not once, but twice, for the loudest crowd noise in history," Obama said. "Now, history is a long time, so that's really loud."

And several players came in for praise as well.

"There's Super Bowl MVP Malcom Smith. You've got breakout star Percy Harvin," Obama said. "He's not here today, but we've got to give props to Beast Mode - Marshawn Lynch. I am sorry that Marshawn is not here, because I just wanted to say how much I admire his approach to the press. ... I wanted to get some tips from him.

"And then there's Russell Wilson (who) has won more games through his first two seasons than any quarterback in history. ... And part of the reason that I think Russell inspired a lot of folks is he's been proving the doubters wrong for a very long time."

Derrick Coleman, who has been legally deaf since he was 3 years old, was singled out by the president as well, along with Richard Sherman.

"He (Sherman) grew up in Compton amid some wonderful people, but also gangs and drugs and guns," Obama said. "But because of his dad's hard work and his family, and his mom, Richard ended up earning a 4.2 GPA in high school. He won a scholarship to Stanford. He showed kids from his neighborhood that they could make it."

The president also offered high praise for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

"I think those of us who are in leadership positions ... we're always looking for folks who do things the right way. I think it's pretty clear that coach Carroll does things the right way, and we're very proud of him," Obama said.

For his part, coach Carroll offered the services of the 12th Man in case of a national emergency

"We are very proud to be here, and I do know that you have access to some of the great special force units anywhere, and you can do whatever you need to do. But I want you to know that just a phone call away is the boom," Carroll said to applause and cheers.

And one of the loudest cheers came from the president himself.

"Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and the whole city for an outstanding season," he said.