Barack Obama has honored NHL champion The Los Angeles Kings and MLS champion LA Galaxy with a congratulatory reception at the White House.
It was the second time in three seasons that President Obama had welcomed the team to his East Room and he joked during the formal address.
“Today feels a little like Groundhog day. If you’re feeling a little deja vu, you’re not alone. Two years ago we had the Galaxy and the Kings here together, so if you see Bill Murray playing piano in the foyer, you know something weird’s going on.”
There were no reported sightings of groundhogs, which would have arguably been weirder.
The Kings were recognized by the President for winning their second title since 2012 after beating the New York Rangers in five games, while The Galaxy won a third title in four seasons by seeing off the New England Revolution.
Obama also acknowledged Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick’s contributions to the U.S. hockey team in Sochi.
“I’ve also got to mention that in the middle of their season, a lot of these guys played for their national teams at Sochi, and we were proud to have Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown wearing the red, white and blue on behalf of Team USA. Very proud of them.”
Absent from the White House was recently waived Kings forward Mike Richards, a key part of the team’s 2012 Cup win and an ever present member for the 2014 victory. His new team, the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs, said Richards politely declined the invitation. Obama was also without the company of newly retired Galaxy legend Landon Donovan.
In the context of major global events, how important is it for such a show to be staged by Obama for domestic American sporting achievements every year? And particularly when it’s the same teams and similar people showing up each time? These are questions cynical voters and perhaps non-sporting fans might ask.
Dustin Brown of the Kings almost admitted that rocking up to the Obamas’ house wasn’t all that big of a deal.
“The first time was more exciting. It’s a pretty cool experience either way, but this time…it was more sit back and take it all in.”
Sounds like he’s being polite. Does LA Galaxy’s Irish wonder Robbie Keane even appear a little bored by the whole thing? Look at the picture.
For his part in tolerating all the guests, Obama was gifted a jersey by the Galaxy with “Barack 1” imaginatively printed on the back, and a hockey stick by the Kings. Despite the apparent lack of any real thought, he appeared delighted.
Following the White House, the Kings crossed town to the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Capitals, leaving Obama to play with his new hockey stick.
[Image – Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images]