“Let’s give it up for this quiet, reserved bunch called the Seattle Seahawks,” joked the president, flanked by players and coaches from the team, the winners of this year’s Super Bowl.
Obama celebrated the first Super Bowl victory for Seattle with Microsoft’s Paul Allen, owner of the team, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and Rep. Jim McDermott, a Washington Democrat, among other fans.
“You may have heard about the Legion of Boom,” the president said, referring to the term associated with the team’s “dominating defensive line.”
“I root for the underdog, so seeing folks overcome the odds excites me, the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, and that’s this team,” he said, praising fullback Derrick Coleman and cornerback Richard Sherman for being exponents of beating the odds.
Coleman has been legally deaf since childhood. Sherman, the son of a garbage truck driver, grew up around “guns, gangs, and drugs” to graduate from Stanford University with an A average. Sherman is known for his fiestiness and for unsavory remarks on his Twitter account, but the president said he still admired his fighting spirit.
* * *
Tuesday night, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, sat at a table where gardenias were placed in science lab flasks.
The occasion was the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences dinner at the National Academy of Sciences Building.
“I gave the NIH my salary during the ( government) shutdown because they were hit so hard,” Klobuchar explained before the meal. “I paid in increments.”
This year’s prize was given to Jennifer Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley.
* * *
Monday night,veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw and Comcast executive vice president David Cohen hosted a reception and screening of “D-Day: Normandy 1944” at the National Air and Space Museum.
Cohen pointed out that Brokaw was hired by NBC News in 1966. “I think I was in the sixth grade. I hope you don’t feel too bad,” he said.
The film, which Brokaw narrates, tells the story of this historic event that shaped the outcome of World War II, something which has fascinated Brokaw “since I went to Normandy 30 years ago. My life changed.”
Among the guests Monday night: Tom Blakely, one of the few remaining members of the 82nd Airborne Division.