President Obama praises Denver Broncos for Super Bowl 50 win during event at the White House

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 20:32:04-04

President Barack Obama honored the Denver Broncos at the White House Monday for winning Super Bowl 50.

The Super Bowl champs were joined by Broncos General Manager John Elway, Coach Gary Kubiak, and Annabelle Bowlen, was there on behalf of her husband, owner Pat Bowlen, who could not attend.

"Last year was a high-water mark with third Super Bowl trophy and a dominating win over Carolina. That doesn't mean it was always pretty. Or ever pretty. Coaches acknowledge this a gritty, hard-nosed group of grinders," President Obama said. "Last year the Broncos won an NFL record 11 games by a touchdown or less. And you don't do that without one of the greatest defenses of all time."

The president praised several Broncos players by name.

"It all starts with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, who terrorized opponents from the edge all season long," Obama said.

He also praised defensive end DeMarcus Ware and "an extraordinary defensive line."

"Down the stretch, they smothered three of the four top offenses in football," said Obama.

He also mentioned running backs CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman and receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.

"And we can't forget to mention the heart and soul of this team's offensive firepower - kicker Brandon McManus!" Obama joked, drawing laughs from the team and the crowd.

"And then there's this guy from the commercials. Doesn't matter whether you need insurance, pizza, a Buick... you basically can stock your whole household with stuff this guy is selling. You know where to turn, it's Peyton Manning!" the president joked.

The players and the crowd erupted into applause.

"I'm so pleased to host Peyton here at the White House before I left. Anybody who has been a football fan has watched what is one of the greatest Hall of Fame careers ever," Obama said. "We were all obviously a little disappointed to see him hang it up this spring, but as somebody who's just little bit older than he is I was sympathetic to the idea that running around with these guys, you know, it takes its toll."

"It is great to see somebody with a career like that, who always conducted himself on the field and off the field the way he did, to be able to go out on top," Obama continued.

"Peyton and I were talking and he said 'You should try it. Don't overstay your welcome.' But I've got term limits so I have no choice," the president joked.

"Of course, this team is far more than a collection of players. The Broncos are a way of life. Not just in Colorado, but throughout the mountain west. They call it Broncos Country. They've sold out just about every game in Denver since 1970," the president continued.

"And for all the love the fans give to this team, the Broncos give it right back," Obama said. "In just the last year, the Broncos have served the community more than 360 times. From holding fitness clinics, to mentoring young people, to honoring our troops, all told, the Broncos have distributed more than $25 million to local charities since 1993. And earlier today Peyton and the guys spent some time with our wounded warriors and there's nothing I appreciate more."

Obama said he'll always be a Chicago Bears fan, but accepted a Broncos jersey with his name and the No. 44.

Obama said the team had one of the best defenses of all time and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning.

You can watch the president's speech in the video player at the top of this article.