President Barack Obama honored the Denver Broncos at the White House Monday for winning the Super Bowl with one of the best defenses of all time and one of the greatest quarterbacks in Peyton Manning.
Obama cited the Broncos' record 11 games won by a touchdown or less, saying teams can't do that without a great defense.
"On and off the field these guys are champs. Apparently, John Elway knows what he's doing," Obama said, before receiving a Broncos Obama jersey and signed helmet.
U.S. & World
A huge Chicago Bears fan, the president felt obliged to mention that franchise's defense from the 1985 Super Bowl champions, but Obama said he's got to admit this past year's Denver defense "was pretty good, too."
On Manning, Obama said he was a little disappointed to see him hang it up after one of the greatest "Hall of Fame careers ever" but he understood why.
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas had planned to deliver a hand-written thank-you note to President Barack Obama for commuting his mother's drug sentence last summer.
Katina Smith was able to attend the Broncos' 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 four months ago after Obama cut short her sentence as part of his push to reduce the prison population of non-violent drug offenders.
"I don't know if I'll say something to him. I might give him a letter," said Thomas, who figures it's going to be a quick meet-and-greet and the president won't have much time to chat with the champs. "There's going to be a lot of people there, so I can't waste his time."
Thomas' mother was released five years early from a minimum-security prison in Florida. She had been serving a 20-year sentence after refusing to testify against her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, who is serving life.
The Broncos won their third Lombardi Trophy in February when they defeated NFL MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers behind Von Miller's two sack-strips that led to both of Denver's touchdowns.