WASHINGTON (AP) - Even when football season ends, superstar quarterback Peyton Manning is hard to miss on TV. He has become such a marketable pitchman that his commercials - a sports drink here, a credit card company there - seem endless.
Apparently, President Bush has taken notice while flipping the channels.
``So a lot of people here in the White House compound have been really looking forward to seeing Peyton Manning,'' Bush said Monday on the South Lawn. ``They wanted to see a guy who gets more air time than I do.''
The good-natured poke came as Bush welcomed another championship team to the White House: The Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17, in a pounding rainstorm last February to become Super Bowl champs. On Monday, players basked in the sunshine below the South Portico, as Bush hailed them for ignoring naysayers and playing as a well-balanced team.
As he usually does at these events, Bush played up the theme of perseverance. He liked that the Colts fought through ups and downs.
``Isn't that what life is about, isn't it really?'' Bush said. ``Through the ups - it's easy to fight hard in the ups. It's when the downs come that you've got to be a fighter.''
The team's coach, Tony Dungy, became the first black coach to win a Super Bowl. Long one of the most respected figures in the National Football League, Dungy coped with the suicide of his son, James, in late 2005. Bush alluded to that.
``He is a man who has used his - a position of notoriety to behave in a quiet and strong way in the face of personal tragedy that has influenced a lot of our fellow citizens,'' Bush said of Dungy, who stood next to him on stage. ``And I want to thank you for your courage.''
The Colts are used to getting showered with attention. More than 93 million people watched the Super Bowl. Yet the team's players and executives seemed awed to be at the White House, and they didn't hide it.
Players pulled out personal cameras to get photos with Bush. They did the same with another political star and football fan who showed up for the ceremony - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Earlier, players visited injured troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Manning, Dungy and a handful of others also got a 20-minute tour of the Oval Office from Bush.
``Winning the Super Bowl a few months ago was probably about as special as you could get,'' Manning told reporters after the White House ceremony. ``But I'm not sure you could actually beat what's happened here today.''
As for all those commercials, Manning said he's used to getting ribbing from teammates. All Bush did, he said, was provide ``more ammo for the offensive line to have some fun with me.''

Recent NFL Discussions

sun night play on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
sun night play on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961
nfl 2nd set on Sun, Oct 2016 by Timmy1961

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Seahawks vs. Cardinals Prediction Which team will cover tonight on Sunday Night Football when the Cardinals host the Seahawks at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Seahawks vs. Cardinals Odds Two NFC West rivals collide tonight when the Arizona Cardinals face the Seattle Seahawks at 8:30PM ET on NBC....
Thumbnail Patriots vs. Steelers Prediction With Ben Roethlisberger out for the Steelers, are the Patriots a safe bet to cover today when they visit Pittsburgh at 4:25PM ET?
Thumbnail Bucs vs. 49ers Prediction Will the 49ers cash as a small home favorite today when they host the Bucs at 4:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Chargers vs. Falcons Prediction Are the Chargers one of the better underdog plays in Week 7? They'll visit the high-flying Falcons at 4:05PM ET today.
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages