After winning the national title following the 2009 season, the Alabama football team got to do what all the really cool athletes get to do these days — take a trip to the White House and be on the receiving end of a back-slapping photo-op with the President.
One year later, it’s their in-state rival’s turn to be so honored.
According to al.com, the Auburn Tigers will visit the White House and meet with President Obama later this month. The official announcement is expected to come later today.
“On Friday, April 29, at 10:00 a.m. ET, President Obama will welcome Auburn University’s football team to the White House to honor the team’s 2010 BCS National Championship,” a White House staffer told the paper via email Thursday.
In addition to the meet & greet with the leader of the free world, head coach Gene Chizik and his players will take part in a youth football clinic on the White House lawn.
What will be perhaps most interesting to see — aside from Finebaum callers comparing the decibel level of the President’s “War Eagle!” to his “Roll Tide!” — is whether players such as Cam Newton and Nick Fairley will be able attend. The first round of the NFL draft is the night of April 28; Newton is expected to go within the first five picks, if not No. 1 overall, while Fairley will likely be selected at some point during the top 10 picks.
While the NFL’s labor “issue” does not allow clubs to have contact with its players during the lockout — charitable causes notwithstanding — PFT’s grand poobah Mike Florio informs us that draft picks are permitted to go to the team facility for a post-draft press conference. For players taken in the first round, especially as high up in the draft Newton and Fairley are expected to be taken, those pressers normally would take place the day after the selections were made; in this case, that’s the same day of the White House ceremony, although we can’t imagine an NFL club would be unwilling to tweak their plans in order to allow Newton and Fairley to join their ex-teammates for what will likely be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Then again, we couldn’t imagine owners and players being dumb enough to tag-team the golden goose and beat it half to death, but yet here we are today.
Anyway, and for those interested in this kind of stuff, it cost Alabama in the neighborhood of $85,000 for their D.C. junket last year; Auburn’s total will likely come in somewhere north of that figure.
With that, let the whining about wasted money — and the President having more important things on his plate than meeting with a bunch of football players and coaches — commence in three… two… one…