BY Art Thiel 01:38PM 05/21/2014

White House now has Seahawks’ ’12’ flag

Instead of the traditional jersey with his name, President Obama Wednesday was given a symbol of the bigger picture in Seattle: A “12” flag.

President Obama had plenty of wisecracks ready for the Seahawks. /

Finally, President Obama learned what it felt like to be a big deal. He had a chance to hang out Wednesday afternoon with the Seattle Seahawks. If he does all right in the next year, the Seahawks will let him do it again on their next trip to Washington, D.C.

Then perhaps he’ll get to meet RB Marshawn Lynch. The President not only disclosed that Lynch was absent from the traditional ceremony of champions, he said he was a personal fan of Beast Mode’s media style.“I just wanted to say how much I admired his approach to the press,” Obama said. “I want to get some tips from him.”

Chuckles erupted around the White House’s East Room. The President, a big sports fan, demonstrated he knew a little about the Super Bowl champs, including Lynch’s notorious shyness when it comes to big media events he can’t control.

This show wasn’t Lynch’s style, even if the trip was the final get-together for the 2013 team. For everyone else, it was a celebration of the pinnacle of American team sports achievement, particularly for the Twelves, the Northwest’s manic fan base.

For them, the Seahawks offered a nice touch. Rather than give Obama the traditional team jersey with his name on the back, he was presented with a 12th Man flag.

Obama even had a snarky remark for Seattle’s intense home-field dominance.

“It’s kinda cheating,” he said, grinning, referring to CenturyLink’s acoustics. “They hired some physicists to make it so. There’s lots of smart people at Microsoft designing those things.”

Sounds like a 49ers fan.

In fact, his mention in introductory remarks of the win over the rivals in the NFC Championship drew perhaps the biggest spontaneous yelps in the crowd of Washington state politicians, business leaders and other invited expats in the nation’s capital.

“I knew you’d clap on that one,” he said.

Obama mentioned DT Brandon Mebane’s belly roll sack dance (“you can’t do that in the White House”), Russell Wilson’s newly shaved head (“he looks OK — he doesn’t have a peanut head”) Richard Sherman (“We’d give him the mic, but we gotta go in a little bit”), the Seahawks receivers being called pedestrian in a national story (“That made Angry Doug Baldwin made even angrier”) and the team swagger (“We don’t have to tell you . . . they do a pretty good job themselves”).

A little more seriously, he mentioned Wilson’s being the second African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl, “and the best thing about it was nobody commented on it,” as well as the team’s relative lack of pedigree: “It excites me when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Obama even mentioned the downtown victory parade’s famous photo/video of the raucous curbside crowd politely waiting for the “walk” signal before crossing the street.

“That’s Seattle for you,” he said.

Responding for the Seahawks, whose owner, Paul Allen, stood in the front row with the team, coach Pete Carroll expressed his gratitude by suggesting that Obama, as commander of special forces, could enlist his squad for help.

“The Boom is here,” Carroll said. “Just a phone call away.”

The celebration marked one of the most majestic moments in sports history for a place that has had a long, dreary stretches between sports-team highs. And the White House as a souvenir from the folks who made it possible.





  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Its too bad beast wasn’t there today. Looks like Obama was disappointed he didn’t get to meet him.
    Funny to me that Lynch chose hanging out back in Cali over being with the team for a simple reason.
    You never know when if/when they will be back. Ask San Fran.
    The 49ers are STILL looking for their 1st Tour thru the White House since Bill Clinton was signing bills…those poor guys.
    Hopefully next year we are doing it again.
    Looks like our players did a pretty good job of having fun with it. Golden Tate sure was doing a fine job of getting into numerous photo opportunities since it was his last chance to feel the Super Bowl Glow with the fellas he used to go to battle with. Bet he misses the Seahawks already…guessing his post season future figures to be the couch for him come February.

    World champs represented us well today…even the ones that no longer have Hawk jerseys on their backs
    Congrats again Seattle. What a lifetime memory they will have about today.
    Go HAWKS!

    • Edgar Martinez

      Marshawn is extremely shy and I’m not surprised he didn’t go. He gets nervous just talking to the media. Imagine how he would feel meeting the president?

      • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

        Oh sure…your point is well taken. In some Ways Marshawns attitude is refreshing because while millions of Americans might comment they would never miss a chance to meet the Pres? Its just not for Lynch and he stands by his convictions…i just hope he never tells his grandkids….yah i shanked the punt on that one…i had a chance to meet the 1st black American president , kids and shrugged it off cuz i just hate big media events. But they would probably say back that sure is like you grampa. lol

        • Edgar Martinez

          Actually, I just heard that a family friend just died, so that’s why he didn’t go.

          • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

            The most prudent of reasons…sorry to hear of his loss.

          • art thiel

            That’s what his mother said. We have yet to hear details.

        • art thiel

          If he had a chance for a private, real conversation, Lynch would do it. He does it all the time with the rich-guy funders of his Oakland foundation.

      • art thiel

        Marshawn is not shy. He just doesn’t like answering media questions about football. Seems silly to him. He has a point.

    • art thiel

      Lynch has said he prefers action to words. There was no action for the three-day trip. That seems hard for people to accept. During the parade, he had plenty of action on that Duck.

  • jafabian

    Interesting that Browner was directly behind Obama for the official pic. I wonder if the White House knew of his suspensions? Agree that it was very cool that Wilson is African-American never came up in the Super Bowl.

    • art thiel

      Judging from his remarks, the White House knows everything. And when he cited the Legion of Boom by name, he mentioned Maxwell and not Browner.

  • notaboomer

    obama admires lynch’s dissing of the media b/c obama doesn’t want to talk to the media about his secret targeted kill orders, drone bombings, surveillance of the world, etc. i hope lynch skipped b/c he is as disgusted with obama’s extension of horrible bush-cheney admin policies as i am. but i doubt it.

  • RadioGuy

    I wonder which closet or storeroom is holding all those #1 replica jerseys collected over the years that the 12th Man flag is going to get tossed into? And how long it’s going to be before Barry Halper bids on all the contents of said closet/storeroom so they can be auctioned off later at Sotheby’s?

    • art thiel

      My guess is Clinton and Bush kept theirs as White House highlights. Giving them away means the terrorists win, right?