President Obama just couldn't help himself.
When the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots visited the White House on Wednesday, Obama did not shy away from the Deflategate controversy that has followed the team since the AFC championship game back in January.
“I usually tell a bunch of jokes at these events, but with the Patriots in town I was worried that 11 out of 12 of them would fall flat,” Obama quipped.
The joke was met with groans from the players and a thumbs-down sign from Coach Bill Belichick. But it was still a better reception than this guy got at his attempt at Deflategate humor.
The NFL found 11 of the Patriots' 12 game balls were underinflated during the first half of their Jan. 18 game against the Indianapolis Colts and five days later hired Ted Wells to find out why. The findings of the investigation have not been released.
Obama also said Thursday of Deflategate, "That whole story got blown a little out of proportion."
And he also had plenty of praise for the Patriots, who won their fourth Super Bowl despite “huge distraction and media circus.”
“The Patriots organization is as good an organization as there’s ever been in professional sports," Obama said. "To be able to maintain that kind of consistent excellence is a rare thing in any field, including on the football field. And that’s a testament to outstanding ownership. It’s a testament to a Hall of Fame coach.”