GREEN BAY - The world champion Green Bay Packers leave Friday morning for Washington D.C. for the traditional White House visit and that includes the entire current roster.
However, only the Super Bowl champion members of the team will participate in the formal event with President Barack Obama.
“I'm really particularly excited for the players,” said team president and CEO Mark Murphy.
One might say the presidential recognition is long overdue thanks to a four month plus lockout.
“As the lockout went on we were kind of concerned we might not be able to fit in the visit to the White House,” said Murphy.
Murphy said he's glad the trip to see President Obama is finally happening.
“I think it’ll go pretty quickly, but it’s a chance to spend some time with the president. We have a couple of gifts that we want to present to him, and I think we'll have some fun with the president,” Murphy said.
Murphy wouldn't elaborate on the "fun," but during a visit last January, Obama, a Bears fan, received a Charles Woodson jersey. The cornerback had signed it, "See you at the White House."
“He's a Bears fan, but he does like the Packers, and I think he appreciates sports and family and that's what the Packers are all about,” said Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.
Schmitt is also headed to Washington D.C. for the Packers White House visit.
“It's nice that he's taking the time, as busy as he is, to celebrate with the community of Green Bay and all the loyal Packer fans out there,” said Schmitt.
The Packers last visited the White House as Super Bowl champs in 1997. So what is the experience really like? We caught up with one of the players who made the trip to find out.
“Just getting the chance to meet Clinton in his office, his domain, interrupting his world responsibilities for a moment, just to say congratulations was a special moment for me,” said former Packers fullback William Henderson.
Henderson was part of the team claiming victory at Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans.
He says meeting President Bill Clinton, who personally congratulated each player, was an unbelievable experience.
“The president was a few minutes late getting to us, and he had a good couple of jokes for us when he finally got there. But, having that handshake, taking that photo with him was an experience,” said Henderson.
An experience the current Super Bowl champions will soon come to know and remember.