4:51 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, welcome to the White House — (applause) — the 2023 Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs! (Applause.)
Now, I have to be careful what I say today. I’ll explain in just a second.
You can smile, man. It’s okay. (Laughter.)
I married a Philly girl. That explains a lot, doesn’t it? Fortunately, she is overseas right now, in the Middle East. (Laughter.) She’s a rabid Eagles fan, and the way — the way the game ended, I might be in for a rough night. Jill still doesn’t even believe the Eagles player who acknowledged the holding penalty.
But I figure if the Kelce family can make it work with Travis and Jason, the first two brothers to play against each other in the Super Bowl, then I know there’s hope for — hope for the rest of us.
Please sit down, by the way. Please sit.
It’s an honor to be with Super Bowl champs, who include former University of Delaware players.
Brett, your GM, was born in Pennsylvania and went to college at the University of Delaware. That’s one heck of a combination from where I come from. A wide receiver.
Matt, your offensive coordinator, was Delaware’s star quarterback, setting 20 school records.
And Joey, your wide receivers coach, played the same position in college when Delaware won the national championship in 2003.
The three of you had one of the same coaches that I had, the great Tubby Raymond, who was named — who was — anyway, he’s a hell of a coach. (Laughter.)
I played freshman football at Delaware and ended up low- –I shouldn’t say this, but you had to have 2.0 to keep going and I had 2.99 — I mean, a 1.99. And my mother made me quit, but I went back out my — my junior year to play, and my senior year.
And while Tubby was the assistant coach, I played defensive back. And after running the drills in that — that spring practice, he came over and he said, “Biden…” — you know how he’d kind of — (coughs) — cough when he talked to you like this — some of them will remember this — “you run faster backwards than anyone I’ve ever seen.” (Laughter.)
Well, my political opposition thinks the same thing of me. (Laughter.)
Look, we’ve got a lot of Chiefs fans here today — (applause) — including Kansas Governor Laura Kelly. Laura — (applause) — aww, look at her. There you go. God love you.
And Kansas City Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas. (Applause.) Quinton, how you doing, man? Good — you are good, man. And, by the way, he can still go to his left. Any rate —
And several members of the Congress from Kansas and Missouri are present as well. But all — would you all stand up — all the members of congress? (Applause.)
I tell you what, man, we don’t get a quorum that quickly. Good to see you guys and ladies. Appreciate it very much.
And we also know that we’re missing one of the most loyal Chiefs fans there ever was, Norma Hunt, who passed away this weekend. I’d like to suggest a moment of silence.
(A moment of silence is observed.)
You know, Norma was known as the “First Lady of Football.” She attended every — every single Super Bowl in history, all 57, including the past one, where her Chiefs won.
And Jill and I send our condolences to the entire Hunt family, including their son and current CEO Chief — of the Chiefs, Clark Hunt.
The Chiefs not only hold the title again, they’re building a dynasty. (Applause.) Super Bowl champs in 2020 and 2023, dominating the league with 64 wins in the last five years, the best record in the NFL. (Applause.)
Yet somehow, last summer, people still counted you guys out. But you kept the faith, you overcame injuries, dominating the regular season 14 and 3.
In the playoffs, you beat the Jaguars then the Bengals, averaging la- — averaging last year’s — excuse me, avenging last year’s AFC Championship game.
And then with 200 million people watching, yet another thrilling game, you beat the Eagles, becoming the Super Bowl champs again.
You know — (applause)– it’s no surprise. You got a young quarterback named Patrick. The boy can play, man — (laughter) — two-time MVP, comeback king, the only player in history with a winning record when down by 10 points or more.
We saw him play with that high ankle sprain, another legendary chapter in the story of one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation and, I predict, of any generation. (Applause.)
You also got Travis, one of the greatest tight ends ever. (Applause.)
You’ve got a young team built from unheralded draft picks that turned into a deep roster of six All-Pros, an explosive offense, and a tough defense.
And then there’s Coach Andy Reid. (Applause.) And I was asked by the mayor of Philadelphia to arrest him and take him back to Philly, but I can’t do that. (Laughter.) Twenty-four seasons, the only head coach in NFL history with at least 100 wins for two different teams. You know, they’ve called him “a beacon of offensive brilliance,” “a beautiful mind.”
Well, the guy who gives full meaning to the word “coach” because he makes you believe in yourself.
Most important, as much as these guys know about football, they know about life and how to use their platform to make a difference: speaking out for racial justice, honoring veterans as you do, supporting tutors and mentors for local schools.
This is an organization that emphasizes community service and encourages players to create their own charitable organizations, which many have done. And it matters.
You’re showing the power of one of the most elusive things in the world: unity. When people from different backgrounds, each with your own personalities, work together as one team. You play together with a distinct style, in constant motion with a real joy of the game and a love for each other and a great city to — you represent.
And from that unity, you strive to bring out the best in yourselves and each others.
In fact, I’ve heard how even after the wins, Patrick and those players go up to Coach Reid and ask him how we could do better. That’s pretty incredible. That’s pretty incredible.
For everyone watching, especially our children, that’s the power of this team, the power of sports, and, I might add, it’s the power of this country.
It’s the power to remind us who we are as Americans.
We’re the United States of America, and there is nothing — nothing beyond our capacity when we do it together, like these guys behind me. (Applause.)
Folks, congratulations to the Super Bowl champs, the Kansas City Chiefs. And good luck next season.
And, by the way, you’ve got three coaches from the University of Delaware, or played there. (Puts hat on.) I got my University of Delaware hat on. (Applause.)
God bless Norma Hunt’s memory. And God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to turn this over to the team president, Mark Donovan.
You can use the handheld, Mark, or you can use — they work as well, though.
MR. DONOVAN: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Get this out of your way.
MR. DONOVAN: Appreciate that, President.
Mr. President, on behalf of the entire Kansas City Chiefs organization, thank you for having us here this afternoon. It is a tremendous honor to be here. (Applause.)
Today, our entire organization is mourning the passing of our matriarch. Norma Hunt was an amazing woman. And our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers are with the entire Hunt family.
Norma was a joyful sur- — soul. She loved her Chiefs. She was really proud of this team and really proud that they had the opportunity to be here today.
I can tell you from personal experience, there was no one better to celebrate a championship with than Norma Hunt. And I know for a fact that she wants us to celebrate today.
So please join me in celebrating Norma and celebrating this great team. (Applause.)
Sixty years ago, Lamar Hunt brought this team to Kansas City. And although this is the third Super Bowl championship team, this is the first Chiefs team to ever visit the White House.
And for that reason, we’re even more proud to be here representing our organization and our town on this national stage. (Applause.)
I want to thank the Missouri congressional congress — or delegation and the Kansas congressional delegation who are here with us today. I’d also like to thank members of the President’s team who helped us coordinate all the details of this special, special visit.
The men who stand behind me are just remarkable examples of the American spirit, and not because they won a lot of football games. It is because they exhibited the qualities that lead to success.
First, they worked together. This season was never about one individual. It was about a group of men having each other’s back, coming together to accomplish something special.
Secondly, overcome adversity. From a completely retooled roster with a lot of young players counted on to the injury to our star quarterback, these players persevered all season long.
Third, they believed in themselves. When the media experts and the NFL draftniks said that “Maybe the Chiefs’ run is over, and maybe the division was just too tough,” the guys behind me proved the naysayers wrong.
And lastly, we are all particularly proud of how they united our community. As the President said, sports has the power to do that. And we’re proud to that they united Chiefs Kingdom, a fan base that has proven their reputation as the most passionate in all of football. (Applause.)
Finally, I have to acknowledge and recognize our amazing leadership team that makes all this possible: our Chairman and CEO, Clark Hunt; our General Manager, Brett Veach; and the man you’ll hear from next, our head coach and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Andy Reid. (Applause.)
COACH REID: I’ll tell you what — we’re fired up to be here, as a football team.
President Biden, your staff — we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for inviting us to the White House. I mean — (speaker malfunction) —
MR. MAHOMES: All right now.
COACH REID: Everybody good? (Laughter.) We’re really fired up. (Laughter.) We are really fired —
Inviting us to the White House for this celebration of a championship. From the tour — from the tour that we had, to the history here, to the great food, man — you can’t forget the great food — to the great food, and to this right here — this celebration: We thank you. It’s been 100 percent first class, and we appreciate your hospitality.
To the Hunt family, we’re thinking about you. Doggone, we’re thinking about you.
To the Veaches, we — we love you. To the Donovans; to — to our — our staff — the Kansas City Chief staff; to — to the coaches and to the players: What a phenomenal job we have been able to put things together this past season.
And what a great challenge it is to present ourselves this next year, like President Obama — or excuse me — “President Obama” — doggone. (Laughter.) Like President Biden said, nobody believed us before. Nobody believed us before. And I’m sure it’s going to be that same way this time, and we come out and prove them wrong. (Applause.)
To Chiefs Kingdom and the city of Kansas City, man, we appreciate all the support that you give us. It’s week in and week out; it’s on the road, it’s at home. You’re the best fans in the business. We love you. We appreciate you. We sure appreciate our support here too.
And then, again, I’m proud to be the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, man. Oof. Doggone. Doggone. (Applause.)
Anyways, listen, it’s been a long wait to stand before you. Again, we’re fired up. We missed the first one to due to COVID, but we are here strong, man — Kansas City strong.
Thank you. (Applause.)
With that, Travis Kelce and Pat Mahomes are going to take over this stage. (Applause.)
(The President is presented with a Kansas City Chiefs jersey.) (Applause.)
5:07 P.M. EDT