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Obama Congratulates Super Bowl Champ Ravens

WI Web Staff | 6/5/2013, 2:30 p.m.
Retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hugs President Obama on June 5, 2013, as Obama welcomed the Super Bowl champion Ravens to the White House. (Courtesy of NFL via Instagram)

President Barack Obama brought the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens to the White House on Wednesday to congratulate the team on its improbable playoff run.

He extolled quarterback Joe Flacco, who signed a $100 million contract after his MVP performance in the Super Bowl, as well as a last-minute Hail Mary touchdown pass to keep the Ravens alive early in the playoffs.

"Good timing with that contract up," the president joked.

He also lauded defensive legends Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, neither of whom will be with the team this fall. Lewis retired after spending all of his storied career in Baltimore, while Reed signed with the Houston Texans in the offseason.

"You can't think about Baltimore without thinking of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, two of the greatest defenders who ever played the game," Obama said. "Now, these two won’t be wearing purple next year. Everybody is going to have to get used to that. It’s welcome news for quarterbacks."

He also teased the aging Reed about the veteran safety's gray hair.

"I’m not the only one," the president said to laughter. "You’re like an old man."

"You know what they’ll do to you," Reed replied.

Obama also praised the franchise for its work with charities, from players visits schools and hospitals to providing new uniforms for local high school teams at public schools.