President Barack Obama’s approval rating might have briefly dropped in New England on Thursday.
Obama made a DeflateGate joke just two minutes into welcoming the Super Bowl XLIX champion New England Patriots to the White House.
“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 joked. “All right, all right, all right, that whole story got blown a little out of proportion.”
The quip drew two thumbs down from Patriots coach Bill Belichick but laughs from the players.
Quarterback Tom Brady did not attend the ceremony, reportedly because of a prior family commitment. Former Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis, running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, and linebacker Jonathan Casillas did attend.
Cornerback Brandon Browner, who signed with the New Orleans Saints last month, did not attend. Browner visited the White House last year with the then-Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks but famously was snubbed by Obama.
The NFL’s DeflateGate investigation still is ongoing.
Thumbnail photo via Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press