Jerry Coleman: Ravens Honored During White House Ceremony
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Every year at the White House the President welcomes Championship teams from college and the pros as a gratitude for their accomplishment. Now in 2013 those champions are the Baltimore Ravens, who four months later were greeted by President Barack Obama. It was a glorious afternoon with not a cloud in the sky. But Plenty of shades of purple, as the team entered the South lawn with the “Colts theme song” playing in the background.
It was a celebration with friends and family as Obama opened with how the Ravens overcame so much adversity and no matter what obstacle was thrown in their way their way, the team always prevailed. “I imagine there were times last year when these players were the only ones who knew that they’d make it here to show off this trophy, because during the year, they lost player after player to injury. They dropped four of their last five regular-season games. In the playoffs, they trailed Denver by a touchdown with 70 yards and less than a minute to go. And then in the Super Bowl, just when it looked like they had the momentum, the lights went out for a half hour. But these Ravens always pulled through.” Current and former players joined to be a part of what teams work so hard for in the offseason for to win a Super Bowl and be a part of history to have a chance to visit the White House, including the retired Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed, who has since signed with the Houston Texans. Those missing include Anquan Boldin, Cary Williams, Paul Kruger, Bernard Pollard and the retired Matt Birk .
Obama even joked with players such as Jacoby Jones about being on Dancing with the Stars and Joe Flacco’s new contact. With the phenomenal postseason which had a story book ending. Obama chimed “I don’t know about you, Joe, but I think that qualifies as elite,” He recalled a team that went through so much to get to where they are now. Furthermore, the Ravens are not just champions on the field they are champions in the community. The president highlighted their latest commitment to donate brand new uniforms for boy’s football and girl’s basketball teams at public schools across Baltimore. He said, “So this year, Baltimore won’t just be seeing the Ravens on Sundays or Monday night or Thursday night,” Obama said. “You’ll see their impact in high schools under Friday night lights. And that’s a testimony to the connection they feel to this city.”
Obama did show some emotion when talking about the Ravens Senior Advisor to Player Development O.J. Brigance, who is battling ALS, he said, it is gritty. Then he mentioned how wide receiver Torrey Smith was resilient for playing after the death of his brother. At the end of ceremony the Ravens brass presented Obama, the 44th president, a Ravens jersey emblazoned with “MR PRESIDENT” and the number 44. The Ravens have made it to the the zenith of their profession , and as coach Harbaugh warned, do not be surprised if they are in the same spot this time next year.