WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin share the same goal – getting back to the White House next year.
Obama honored the Super Bowl champions on Friday, noting the similarities between the Giants' 2008 championship and its most recent triumph.
"They ended up winning with a circus catch in the fourth quarter, MVP performance by Eli Manning ... a come-from-behind win over the Patriots. So this is all starting to sound kind of like déjà vu all over again," Obama said.
In his speech, Coughlin injected some political references for a president in the heart of a re-election campaign, telling his team and guests on the South Lawn that he hoped coming back to the White House "was not a twice-in-a-lifetime experience."
"We both have a goal to get back here next year. We have a lot of work to do," Coughlin said to cheers and a pat on the back from Obama.
Coughlin noted that his team overcame a 7-7 start to win their final two regular-season games and win the NFC East. The Giants won four postseason games, capped by a 21-17 Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots.
"Offense, defense and special teams doing their job. Each group having different objectives and motives but playing in harmony for each other, for the good of everyone. Wouldn't it be nice if Congress operated the same way?" Coughlin said, drawing a smile from Obama, who has frequently clashed with House Republicans.
Obama also got into the act, reminding the team that it watched a highlight reel the night before the Super Bowl set to defensive end Justin Tuck's good-luck music: Phil Collins' 1980s song, "In the Air Tonight."
"I don't know about a little Phil Collins before a big game," Obama said. "I may try that before a big meeting with Congress."
The team presented Obama with a blue No. 44 jersey and a football signed by the players.