February 7th, 2011
07:03 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In keeping with post Super Bowl tradition President Obama placed a phone call not to a head of state, but to a head coach.
The president “congratulated” Coach Mike McCarthy of the winning Green Bay Packers and commended him “on his leadership in guiding the team through a rash of injuries both throughout [the] season and during the game,” The White House said in a written statement.
While Obama didn’t speak directly with Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, he did ask his coach to “pass on how impressed he was” with the quarterback’s “game and season.”
It was a tough pill to swallow for the president, who would have rather been toasting his hometown Chicago Bears. But alas, they never made it to the Super Bowl. “Look, the president was hoping for a meaningful process that resulted in his Bears being in the Super Bowl,” White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs lamented.
However, the president didn’t let a friendly state rivalry get in the way of his sportsmanship. “Even a Bears fan can appreciate what the victory means to the people of Green Bay and Wisconsin,” he told McCarthy.
In what was a competitive game, the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 to 25. Ouch! Another blow for the president. His close friend and long-time supporter Ambassador Daniel Rooney is owner of the Steelers.
As they say in sports, “there’s always next season,” but until then, the president will have to celebrate with the Packers.
He “looks forward to hosting the team at the White House, just as Charles Woodson predicted,” the statement said.
Woodson, the Packers star cornerback had signed his number 21 jersey, along with this prediction: “See you at the White House. Go Packers.”
The jersey was presented to the President during a recent trip to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. “They’re rubbing it in,” Mr.Obama said at the time.
The bravado worked! On Sunday, the proof was on the scoreboard