WASHINGTON -- Most of the players for the New England Patriots were at the White House Wednesay to take a victory lap after their Super Bowl win over the Atlanta Falcons.
"You had the best record in football with 14 wins and two losses and that didn't happen by accident," President Donald Trump told the team gathered behind him on the south side of the White House.
Before the ceremony, tight end Rob Gronkowski popped his head into the White House press briefing room to ask Press Secretary Sean Spicer if he needed any help.
"I think I got this, but thank you," Spicer replied with a smile.
Patriots' owner Robert Kraft compared his team's remarkable comeback, after being down 21 to 3 at halftime and overtime, to President Trump's unlikely campaign to win the White House.
Trump "launched his campaign against 16 seasoned politicians… facing odds like we did," Kraft said, adding that both the Patriots and Trump persevered.
The president borrowed a line from Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick to compare the heavy lifting he's trying to do as president to that of winning a Super Bowl.
"Whether trying to win a Super Bowl or rebuilding our country there are no days off," Trump said.
Both Belichick and Kraft are vocal supporters of Trump. Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady is also friendly with the president but didn't attend the ceremony, citing personal matters with his family. His name wasn't even mentioned during the event.
Reports indicate a handful of other players chose not to attend for political reasons.