MANITOWOC, Wisconsin (AP) — Crushed when the Green Bay Packers defeated his beloved Chicago Bears to reach the Super Bowl, President Barack Obama predicted on Wednesday his team will even the score next year.
"Sunday was a tough day for Bears fans," he said at a Wisconsin energy company. "But even if it didn't go the way that I wanted, I'm glad to see that one of the greatest rivalries in sports is still there.
"And we will get you next year. I'm just letting you know."
The Packers won last weekend's game 21-14, dashing Obama's hopes of going to Cowboys Stadium for the Super Bowl on Feb. 6. He had said he would attend the game if the Bears emerged victorious.
Obama didn't let his hurt feelings get in the way of congratulating the Packers.
"In the spirit of sportsmanship, I wish you 'good luck' in the Super Bowl," he said.
Obama was greeted on Green Bay's airport tarmac by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Green Bay Mayor James J. Schmitt. They gave Obama two Packers jerseys — one with his name on the back and the other with the name of Packers cornerback Charles Woodson.
"They're rubbing it in," Obama told reporters who traveled with him and witnessed the presentation.
Woodson signed the jersey, "See you at the White House . Go Packers." He's also seen on a Packers video rallying his teammates. "The president don't want to come watch us win the Super Bowl," he says. "Guess what? We'll go see him."
A trip to the White House is traditional for the Super Bowl winner. Obama welcomed the New Orleans Saints last August.