For the second time in three years Thursday, the Alabama Crimson Tide football program was honored for its crystal accomplishments by the President of the United States.
Led by head coach Nick Saban, the Tide contingent — which also included the mayors of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham — met with President Barack Obama on the South Lawn of the White House, with event jump-started by the playing of “Yea Alabama”. Obama was presented a No. 14 jersey — the number of titles the Tide claims, incidentally — and a helmet by Saban and offensive lineman Barrett Jones as part of the festivities.
“I told Coach Saban he’s making this a habit,” the POTUS stated during his remarks, adding, “[b]est of luck next season. Who knows, I may see you again.”
With more than a dozen starters returning and Saban still stalking the sidelines, the Tide will be one of a handful of favorites heading into the 2012 season.
“Still can’t believe president Obama put my national championship ring on,” starting quarterback AJ McCarron tweeted. “What a great man. Told me I played a great.”
The President also took the time to take a little jab at the mishap that befell the Tide’s latest title trophy.
“So this team didn’t just shatter records,” President Obama said, setting himself up for the punchline. “I hear the championship trophy also took a bit of a spill earlier this week.”
Below are a couple of pictures of the event, courtesy of the UA athletic department: