President Obama welcomed the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots to the White House today and praised them as America’s finest sports franchise — but also cracked a joke about Deflategate.
“The Patriots organization is as good an organization as there’s ever been in professional sports. To be able to maintain that kind of consistent excellence is a rare thing in any field, including on the football field. And that’s a testament to outstanding ownership. It’s a testament to a Hall of Fame coach,” Obama said.
Obama then moved on to a joke about the Patriots allegedly deflating footballs in the AFC Championship Game.
“I usually tell a bunch of jokes at these events, but with the Patriots in town I was worried that 11 out of 12 of them would fall flat,” Obama said, to mostly groans from the audience.
“That whole story got blown a little out of proportion,” Obama said.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not attend, citing a scheduling conflict, but Obama named Brady first when running down the accomplishments of the Patriots’ players. Obama called Brady and Bill Belichick the best coach and quarterback combination in football history.