At long last, the Kansas City Chiefs have experienced a time-honored tradition afforded to Lombardi Trophy winners.
President Joe Biden hosted the Super Bowl LVII champions at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Monday, nearly four months following the Chiefs' thrilling 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in February.
"You've shown the power of one of the most elusive things in the world -- unity," Biden said on the South Lawn with Chiefs players standing behind him. "When people from different backgrounds feature their own personalities, work together as one team. You play together with a distinct style, in constant motion with a real joy for the game and a love for each other and a great city to represent. And from that unity, you strive to bring out the best in yourselves and each other. In fact, I've heard how even after the wins, Patrick (Mahomes) and those players go up to coach (Andy) Reid and ask him how we can do better. 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, that's the power of this country. That's the power to remind us who we are as Americans. We are the United States of America, and there's nothing beyond our capacity when we do it together like these guys behind me."
Appearing in three of the past four Super Bowls, the Chiefs are a burgeoning dynasty that has taken the NFL by storm thanks to their exciting play on offense. It's a reputation produced by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, whom Biden called "a beacon of offensive brilliance -- a beautiful mind -- the guy who gives a full meaning to the word coach because he makes you believe in yourself."
"I'll tell you what, we're fired up to be here as a football team," Reid said on Monday at the podium. "President Biden, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for inviting us to the White House for this celebration of a championship. From the tour that we had to the history here to the great food -- can't forget the great food. We thank you. It has been 100 percent first class."
The culmination of the Chiefs' latest Super Bowl triumph was done so with heavy hearts following the death of Norma Hunt, the mother of Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. President Biden prefaced his speech with a moment of silence for Norma Hunt.
"Today our entire organization is mourning the passing of our matriarch, Norma Hunt, who is an amazing woman," Chiefs president Mark Donovan said. "Our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers are with the entire Hunt family. Norma was a joyful soul. She loved her Chiefs. She was really proud of this team and was really proud of that they had the opportunity to be here today."
Monday marked the first time in franchise history the Chiefs graced 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue following a Super Bowl victory.
Kansas City's Super Bowl LIV championship celebration in 2020 was unable to conclude with a White House visit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chiefs' Super Bowl IV win came more than a decade before the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL champion to be hosted by a U.S. President in 1980.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was named Super Bowl LVII MVP, and tight end Travis Kelce graced the stage together for the ceremony's final tradition. The star duo and two-time Super Bowl champions presented Biden with a customary No. 46 Chiefs jersey, signifying him being the 46th President of the United States.
"It's just surreal to be here, " Mahomes said after the proceedings. "... To be able to be here and see that and see the history of this great nation that we have, it was really cool for me to just be here and be in the moment. I never imagined it being as cool as it was."
Said Kelce: "I don't know if it's better than winning the actual Super Bowl, but to share it with America and to be up here, it's such an honorable experience. One we will never forget, that's for sure."