Crimson Tide honored by President at the White House

President Obama accepts a football, jersey and helmet from the Crimson Tide 3/8/10.
President Obama accepts a football, jersey and helmet from the Crimson Tide 3/8/10.

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSFA) - The 2009 National Championship Alabama football team is visiting the nation's capital. Just before 1pm Monday they were greeted by President Barack Obama in the White House's East Room. Read full text of his speech here.

President Obama joked that only his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, wasn't excited to see the Tide at the White House. Gibbs is an Auburn native.

A large crowd of people including Alabama Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions were on-hand for the event, as was Alabama-native and current U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.

The team departed from Tuscaloosa for Washington this morning and, once they were in the capital city, took part in a service project for children.

At the White House Mr. Obama thanked the team for a great season and recognized the franchise for its high graduation rate. He concluded his remarks with a hardy "Roll Tide!"

"The trip has been great so far," Alabama senior captain Mike Johnson said following the visit to the White House. "Meeting the President was an awesome experience. Javy (Arenas) and I got a chance to give him a jersey, helmet and football on behalf of our team. We are about to tour the U.S. Capitol and then see the monuments at National Mall before finishing the day at the Pentagon. Everyone is having a good time and learning a lot."

The University of Alabama beat out the University of Texas Longhorns for the 2009 BCS National Championship on January 7th in Pasadena, California.

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