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Seattle Seahawks visit the White House

By Alyssa Kleven

The Seattle Seahawks and President Barack Obama broke a long standing tradition of posing for a photo with a team jersey when they met at the White House Wednesday.

The team and President Obama posed with a 12th Man flag instead.

President Obama congratulated the team, noted quarterback Russell Wilson’s new short haircut, as well as his success story.

“(Russell Wilson) also became only the second African American quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. And the best part about it is, nobody commented on it, which tells you the progress that we’ve made – although we’ve got a lot of progress to make,” said Obama. “Part of the reason why I think Russell inspired a lot of folks is that he’s been proving the doubters wrong for a very long time. For years, folks said he’d be too short to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL. A lot of quarterbacks were drafted ahead of him, which is a familiar story for a lot of these Seahawks.”

The President said that as an underdog himself, he enjoyed seeing a team considered underdogs win the Super Bowl.

“Of course, I don’t need to tell you how outstanding the Seahawks are because they did a pretty good job of describing themselves,” he said.

Coach Pete Carroll shared a few words while at the White House, too, thanking President Obama as he took the podium.

But Carroll’s comments didn’t come before Obama could commend the coach’s leadership style. “I want to congratulate Coach Pete Carroll for his outstanding leadership. I think those of us who are in leadership positions across disciplines, we’re always looking at folks who do things the right way. I think it’s pretty clear Coach Carroll does things the right way. And we’re very proud of him.”

While Obama praised the team, he did say he was disappointed he wouldn’t be able to get any media tips from a noticeably absent Marshawn Lynch.

“I am sorry that Marshawn’s not here because I just wanted to say how much I admire his approach to the press,” said Obama.

See photos of the Seahawks meeting President Barack Obama

Listen: President Obama honors Seahawks

We’ve also been following the Seahawks on Twitter and sharing some of our favorite tweets: