President Obama Honors the Super Bowl XLVI Champion New York Giants


Uploaded by whitehouse on 08.06.2012

Transcript:
The President: Hello, everybody!
(applause)
Everybody, please have a seat.
Welcome to the White House, and congratulations to the Super
Bowl Champion New York Giants.
(applause)
We've got some members of Congress and members of my
administration who are here today and rabid Giants fans.
I want to also recognize the Maras and the Tischs,
as well as, of course, head coach Tom Coughlin and general
manager Jerry Reese.
They have built this team into one of the NFL's most
outstanding franchises.
So we are very proud of them.
(applause)
Now, I know for some of you, this is just "welcome back."
(laughter)
You guys have been through this drill before.
The last time the Giants were here was in 2008.
A lot of folks thought that team didn't have a chance to
win a Super Bowl.
They ended up winning with a circus catch in the fourth
quarter, MVP performance by Eli Manning --
(applause)
-- a come-from-behind win over the Patriots.
So this is all starting to sound kind of like déjà vu
all over again.
But every season is different, and last year's Giants were
obviously a special bunch, not just because of where they ended
up, but because of how they got there.
Every team has to deal with injuries to the players.
Not many teams have to deal with a late hit on the head coach.
(laughter)
You saw that Jets game.
Now, Coach Coughlin reminds everybody, he did not go down.
That's a tough guy.
And you can see that toughness reflected in everybody else on
this team.
The Giants took a whole bunch of hits this season,
but they never went down.
From day one, they followed a simple motto: Finish.
Finish the play.
Finish the game.
Finish the season.
And after week 15, sitting at 7-7,
they knew that every game was a playoff game.
But the players, the coaches, the staff,
the owners -- they didn't quit.
They believed in each other.
And they kept winning, all the way to Indianapolis.
The night before the Super Bowl, they watched a highlight reel
set to Justin Tuck's good-luck song, "In the Air Tonight."
I don't know about a little Phil Collins before a big game.
(laughter)
I may try that before a big meeting with Congress.
But apparently it worked.
Next night, Eli Manning led the way,
earned his second Super Bowl MVP.
(applause)
So I would just advise the sportswriters out there the
next time Eli says he thinks he's an elite quarterback,
you might just want to be quiet.
(applause)
Eli wasn't alone, of course.
Justin Tuck got to the QB.
Victor Cruz scored and salsaed.
(applause)
Mario Manningham kept his feet inbounds for the biggest catch
of his life.
Nobody was perfect, but everybody did their job.
And when the Patriots' Hail Mary hit the ground,
the Giants were Super Bowl champions.
Of course, the fans back home went crazy.
Now, people from New York and New Jersey don't fall
for just anybody.
It's a tough crowd, let's face it.
(applause)
You've got to earn their respect.
They're never completely satisfied,
and you've got to earn it both on and off the field.
And that's exactly what the Giants did.
From fighting childhood obesity -- Michelle likes that -- to
wrapping up leftover food for homeless shelters,
to working with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to bring kids to
practices and games, Big Blue supports the folks
who support them.
They've certainly earned the respect of folks like Ray
Odierno -- is here, who is obviously one of our greatest
warriors and one of our greatest soldiers -- because this team is
always there for our men and women in uniform.
This is a New York Giants tradition that goes back
to World War II.
(applause)
Back in World War II, Wellington Mara served in the United States
Navy -- so there's a long tradition here.
And these guys have made it clear that no matter who you
root for on Sundays, if you're a veteran,
the New York Giants are on your team.
Whether it's setting up tickets to games,
or inviting folks to practices, the Giants never forget the men
and women who risk everything to protect our freedom.
And I especially want to thank and congratulate Coach Coughlin
on receiving the Army's Outstanding Civilian
Service Award.
That's a great honor.
(applause)
By the way, we've got some wounded warriors here today.
Let's give them all a big round of applause.
(applause)
Having these folks here today, seeing how much the Giants means
to them is a reminder of how important sports and football
can be, but it's also a reminder that there are some things that
are more important than football -- and the Giants know that.
They finished strong, they won six straight games with
everything on the line, they made a difference in the lives
of those around them.
But, most importantly, they did it not just on Sunday,
but every week.
So, again, I want to congratulate the
New York Giants.
Good luck this season.
It looks like we've got somebody singing for you.
(laughter)
That's how happy everybody is.
Give the New York Giants a big round of applause.
(applause)
Coach Coughlin: Thank you, Mr. President.
On behalf of the New York Giant organization we are honored to
be with you today.
I just want to mention a couple of things that the President,
although he covered pretty much everything that I wanted to say,
when we, following the Kanab Heroes Parade,
and following our return that same afternoon to Metlife
Stadium and to a reception of 40,000 people,
we began to focus on the inspiration that this football
team, the New York Giants presented to all Americans.
To those who perhaps were down on their luck,
whether it be because of an employment issue, the economy,
whatever, how this team might have inspired them to hope,
to believe in themselves, to never give up,
to strive to accomplish their goals,
no matter how difficult their situation might be.
But however as many people as we have touched along the way,
the real inspiration for our country are the men and women in
the military, those who protect us and our people every day,
they allow us to play the great game we love on Sundays.
They allow us to live freely in the greatest country in the
history of the world, the United States of America,
and the real heroes as The President has said,
General Odierno, Colonel Greg Gadson,
and the Wounded Warriors that are here with us today.
So another applause if you would, for them.
(applause)
As The President said, this team after 14 games
was seven and seven.
We had lost four straight games.
We needed to win the final two games of the year against the
New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys just to win the division
and just to get into the play-offs.
But once we did that and we were in the play-offs,
everyone played a key role.
Our special teams forced the two critical turnovers
at San Francisco.
Our special teams down three punts inside the 10 yard line
against the New England patriots.
Our offensive team as we did in '07 and '08 had only one
turnover, one turnover in the entire play-offs,
and our defensive teams that had given up 400 points during the
regular season, gave up only 56 points in the play-offs.
Offense, defense, and special teams doing their job,
each group having different objectives and motives,
but playing in harmony for each other for the good of everyone,
wouldn't it be nice if Congress operated the same way.
(applause)
The two mantras that we followed: Finish and All In,
finish we did.
We had seven 4th quarter comeback wins,
including that in Super Bowl 46.
All season we preached to our players: keep your dreams alive.
Understand, to achieve anything requires faith,
belief in yourself, vision, hard work,
determination and dedication.
Remember that all things are possible for those who believe
and that reigns both true in football as in life.
The most satisfying and rewarding experience for us
as coaches was to see our team truly come together to set aside
all selfishness, to commit to team above self,
to take the name off the back of the jerseys,
to eliminate all distractions, to love one another, support,
trust, and play for each other, and that's what
this team possessed.
The goal, the team, the commitment to do everything
the right way, to work hard and to be the best possible player
and teammate that we could possibly be,
we set aside pettiness because the team,
not the individual is the ultimate champion.
Mr. President, this is a great tradition.
You carry out the champions of the various sports are allowed
come to visit The President of the United States,
which is the highest honor many of us will ever achieve,
to visit the historic White House.
And we hope that when you think of the 2012 New York football
Giants a smile will come to your face.
We hope you think about the fact that no one, I repeat no one,
gave us a chance.
And by virtue of working together --
(cheering)
-- yeah, we did, yeah we did -- by virtue of working together,
believing each other and overcoming obstacles,
it's an honor to stand before you today and present the Super
Bowl 46 Champions and the world champion New York Giants.
(applause)
Thank you.
At the end of our team meeting, the night before the Super Bowl,
this was our final thought: maybe what matters most is not
only how we reach the finish line and why,
but who crosses the finish line with us.
We cross that line together as one,
and that's the reason that this team is world champions.
A few short years ago, I said that I hoped that this
experience to day was not a once in a lifetime experience.
Now I'm saying I hope Mr. President,
it's not a twice in a lifetime experience.
(applause)
We both have a goal to get back here next year.
(cheering)
We have a lot of work to do, so let's bring these captains up
here and get at it.
(laughter)
Come on up, guys.
The President: Come on, guys.
We going to strike the podium?
(applause)
(chattering)
(applause)
(chattering)
(cheering)