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Obama Congratulates Packers, Reluctantly

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) — President Barack Obama welcomed the Super Bowl XLV Champion Green Bay Packers to the White House Friday, saying he’s pleased the NFL lockout is over.

“This hurts a little bit. This is a hard thing for a Bears fan to do,” Obama said. “But in the interest of good sportsmanship, congratulations to the Green Bay Packers on your fourth Super Bowl championship and record 13th NFL championship. …

“It’s good to have football right around the corner. Like every football fan, I was thrilled to have the lockout ended. Nobody likes long, frustrating negotiations with a rigid opposition, taking it to the brink.”

Obama accepted a Green Bay jersey from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and shares in the team from Coach Mike McCarthy.

“Even a Bears fan can admit that the relationship between Green Bay and its team is something special,” Obama told the crowd gathered at the South Portico of the White House.

“It reflects those old-school, small-town values of community and hard work that have always defined what it meant to be an American. And Super Bowl spotlight or not, that’s something that’s alive in towns across this country every single day.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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