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Saints have yet to visit White House

The New Orleans Saints have gotten their Super Bowl rings. But they’ve yet to make their traditional trip to the White House for a visit with the Commander-in-Chief.

Usually, the visit has occurred before late June. Last year, the Steelers made the trip to D.C. in May. The year before, the Giants stopped by in April. After the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, the visit also occurred in April. In 2006, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter adopted the Secret Service look, wearing his shades inside the White House on June 2.

So why haven’t the Saints gone yet this year? The talk is that owner Tom Benson, a Republican, has resisted the trip due to his political leanings. Apparently, coach Sean Payton has been pushing the issue, explaining that the team has to make the trip to see President Obama, who was rooting for the Saints when they upset the Colts in February.

We’re told that the visit tentatively has been scheduled for August, in conjunction with the team’s trip to New England for a preseason game against the Patriots. Whether Benson attends remains to be seen; the current thinking is that he won’t.