AP Photo/Ron Edmonds Toomer & President Bush
WASHINGTON, DC – Moments after handing George W. Bush a number 43 jersey signifying him as the country’s 43rd president, Amani Toomer referred to the Giants trip to the White House as “part of the package” for winning the Super Bowl.
Yes, indeed, these last three months have been nothing like basically any of the Giants have experienced before. But standing on the South Lawn of the White House and listening to compliments from the nation’s president was about as good as it gets.
“This is one place I never thought I’d be my entire life,” Toomer said. “This is a day I won’t forget for the rest of my life.”
“To be on that lawn was a special moment for all the players,” Eli Manning added.
After the Giants made their way out of the White House down two sets of stairs – led by Grey Ruegamer and Brandon Jacobs – Bush spoke for several minutes, recounting Big Blue’s season as only he could.
Bush credited coach Tom Coughlin for earning his extension, and brought down the house when he mentioned the three similarities between himself and Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.
1) “Eli has a father and a brother in the same business.”
2) “Sometimes the press is skeptical.”
3) “We both just survived a big wedding.”
Bush also drew wild applause after speaking about the Giants’ playoff win in Dallas.
“We’re going to send Jessica Simpson to the Democratic National Convention,” he deadpanned.
Then Bush turned the floor over to Coughlin.
“This is a group of young men that believed in themselves and refused to be beaten,” Coughlin stated of his club. “This is a once in a lifetime, hopefully more than that for us, opportunity.”
After the ceremony, Toomer was asked about an encore performance.
“You know what, I wouldn’t mind coming back,” he smiled. “You get a taste of the good life and you don’t want to give it up.”
* Noticeably absent from the ceremonies were Michael Strahan, Jeremy Shockey, Osi Umenyiora, Antonio Pierce and Kawika Mitchell. Gibril Wilson was on hand despite signing with Oakland during the offseason.