As is custom for those who hoist the Lombardi Trophy, the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks paid a visit to President Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday.
With the number of dynamic personalities the Seahawks have from their 2013 team and the overall swagger and fun head coach Pete Carroll promotes from within, it was bound to be a memorable occasion.
President Obama began his speech by hinting at those brash antics, per the White House's official Twitter account:
"Let’s give it up for this quiet, reserved bunch: the Seattle @Seahawks. World champions!" —President Obama— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 21, 2014
Several Seattle players took to social media in documenting their landmark trip in the nation's capital. The Seahawks' official Twitter account captured bearded standout defensive lineman Michael Bennett soaking in the scenery:
The "Legion of Boom" secondary was a big driving force in Seattle's success as an elite defense, which shut down Denver Broncos superstar quarterback Peyton Manning in the 43-8 Super Bowl triumph. Free safety Earl Thomas was rewarded this offseason with a $40 million contract extension, and cornerback Richard Sherman also received a new lucrative deal.
Sherman backs up his talk on the field as many of his teammates do, and he took to Instagram to include his more mild-mannered quarterback, Russell Wilson:
Another corner, Walter Thurmond, was an underrated contributor to the defensive backfield this past season, but he signed with the New York Giants as a free agent. That didn't stop him from celebrating the occasion, along with other ex-teammates who have moved on to different organizations.
Thurmond had a moment with one of the best secondaries in recent NFL history:
Golden Tate was the team's leading receiver in 2013 but is no longer around, inking a contract with the Detroit Lions this offseason. However, he still reconvened with the Seahawks of yesteryear—even snapping a selfie with a portrait of former President Bill Clinton in the background:
Wilson, who figures to be under center in the Emerald City for years to come, also had some fun of his own in posting multiple photos:
One notable absence from the festivities was "Beast Mode" running back Marshawn Lynch. President Obama seemed a bit salty that Lynch didn't show, but he made light of how the bruising ball-carrier tends to avoid the media, per NFL Around the League:
Obama on Marshawn Lynch (not in the House): "I admire his approach to the press. I want to get some tips from him. It's about that action."— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) May 21, 2014
A defining characteristic of this nucleus in Seattle is how many of its players are underdogs. Most of these Seahawks played with a noticeable chip last season. Lynch seems to run as if he has something to prove every time he totes the rock, and Wilson is certainly no exception as a former third-round pick who was widely criticized for his lack of height.
It's incredible what can happen when apparent misfits of the NFL band together, believe and achieve such great things.
Cindy Boren of The Washington Post tweeted a majestic image of the Super Bowl trophy:
But someone had to assemble such a roster, and much of the credit for that goes to general manager John Schneider. In the spirit of this Seahawks bunch, Schneider was a source of buzz when he roamed around the locker room the week before the Super Bowl with a WWE-inspired title belt.
President Obama made sure to poke fun at the GM for that, per CBSSports.com's Will Brinson:
Considering how colorful some of the Seahawks tend to be with their bold words and sensational play on the gridiron, most of them were dressed to impress and rocked rather conservative suit looks.
That wasn't the case with defensive lineman Jesse Williams, though, per NFL cap expert Brian McIntyre:
Snazzy suit coat on Seahawks DL Jesse Williams pic.twitter.com/osfEtAIgXp— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) May 21, 2014
Part of what made this past year's team so formidable was the massive advantage Seattle enjoyed playing in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field.
The "12th Man" is the moniker used to describe the impassioned Seahawks fanbase, and NFL Network's Jeff Darlington noticed that those who made the trip to Washington, D.C., were in midseason, enthusiastic form:
The 12th man is real. Seahawks fans are getting rowdy here in the East Room of the White House while The President speaks.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) May 21, 2014
This was the concluding photo President Obama took with the team, which presented the "12" flag as opposed to a jersey:
By downplaying individual or even team accomplishments in this instance and paying tribute to the fans, it shows that Seattle's players are eager to win more than gain personal acclaim.
How will the Seahawks fare in 2014?
The Seahawks are gearing up to defend their Super Bowl title and perhaps build a dynasty in the midst of a league ridden with parity. They are also well away from the time significant games are to be played. That allowed them to take part in this privileged visit to the White House and enjoy familiar company after an amazing run through the playoffs.
Many key pieces from last year's championship winner remain intact, and Seattle has a slew of incoming rookies from a deep draft who figure to have an impact. However, the NFC West division promises to be tough, as the rival San Francisco 49ers have played in the past three conference title games and the Arizona Cardinals are coming off a 10-win season.
Whatever happens moving forward, it appears the foundation is such in Seattle that the fans can enjoy a long-term winner. Every season begins anew, but since so many prominent stars are still with the Seahawks, Wednesday should serve as a strong reminder of what it took to get to the White House and how they can apply that for the 2014 season.