The New Orleans Saints were celebrated in the East Room of the White House by President Obama for their Super Bowl win. But after that event, Some of the Saints along with a White House Chef marched West to the White House Briefing room to spread the flavor of the Big Easy to the reporters who were surprised by the gesture of the delicious shrimp and sausage Kabobs all from New Orleans.
Some of President Obama’s quotes from the address to the Saints:
So this was an unbelievable season. After decades of frustration, the Saints finally won the big one. The “ain’ts” and the “sad sacks” gave way to the “Who Dats.” Local musicians even gave a jazz funeral to retire the “ain’ts” nickname. But I think we all know that this season meant far more than that to the City of New Orleans — and to all Americans, really.
Look, I’m a Bears fan. I’m not going to lie. (Laughter.) But this was a big win for the country — not just for New Orleans — because five years ago, this team played its entire season on the road. It didn’t have a home field. The Superdome had been ruined by Hurricane Katrina. The heartbreaking tragedies that unfolded there when it was used as a shelter from that terrible storm lingered all too fresh in a lot of people’s minds.
And back then, people didn’t even know if the team was coming back. People didn’t know if the city was coming back. Not only did the team come back — it took its city’s hands and helped its city back on its feet. This team took the hopes and the dreams of a shattered city and placed them squarely on its shoulders.
And so these guys became more than leaders in the locker room — they became leaders of an entire region. And the victory parade that we saw earlier this year made one thing perfectly clear, that New Orleans and the New Orleans Saints are here to stay.
So plenty of cities carry their sports teams through a tough season. It’s a rare thing when a sports team carries a city through tough times. And that’s why there’s such a deep bond between this organization and the city. I’m not sure there’s any other city that feels that same way right now. And that’s not just for what the Saints have done on the field, but what they’ve done off it to see that the city keeps rising.
In fact, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently said that every team in professional sports should use the Saints as a model for how to interact with their community.
This entire team has worked with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild neighborhoods in New Orleans. Many of these guys and the coaches and the players run foundations to help children in need. All of them are off to Walter Reed later this morning to spend some time with wounded warriors who served our country.
And obviously the Gulf region has spent the last few months besieged by yet another crisis. But last week we received the news that we had hoped for. Yesterday, we learned that a procedure to prevent any more oil from spilling with a cement plug appears to have succeeded. And the final steps will be taken later in August when the relief well is completed. But what is clear is that the battle to stop the oil from flowing into the Gulf is just about over.
Our work goes on, though. I made a commitment to the people of the Gulf Coast that I would stand by them not just until the well was closed but until they recovered from the damage that’s been done. And that’s a commitment my administration is going to keep.
So with the ongoing reopening of Gulf fisheries, we’re excited that fishermen can go back to work and Americans can confidently and safely enjoy Gulf seafood once again. We’re certainly going to enjoy it here at the White House. In fact, we had some yesterday.
While they’re here today, several Saints players are going to spend some time teaching our staff their favorite Gulf seafood recipes. So who’s cooking? (Laughter.) Which one — it’s you back there? All right. (Laughter and applause.) And Sam Kass, the White House — he’s very excited, he’s very excited. And after weeks of hearing about food from our response teams down in the Gulf, I can tell you that our staff is excited about the 30-foot po’ boy we’re serving at lunch today. (Laughter.)
But let me just say in closing, we are very proud of this team, and we are very proud of the owner of this team, because it required a great commitment on your part to help pull this team and this city along. And so there is a heartfelt congratulations not just from those of us here in the White House, but I think all across America. These are big guys with big hearts, and shoulders big enough to carry the hopes and dreams of an entire city with them.
So with that, congratulations to all of you — the New Orleans Saints, 2009 Super Bowl Champions. Congratulations. (Applause.)