For the fifth time this decade, the Alabama football team will be taking a trip to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, although there’ll be a decidedly different host this time around.
As had previously been announced, the Crimson Tide is set to be honored at the White House at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon. The 2017 College Football Playoff champions will be feted for the first time by President Donald Trump, who also played host to the Clemson Tigers football title squad last year.
The first four trips to the White House came during President Barack Obama‘s administrations.
Despite the fact that some champions in other sports flat-out refused to be feted by the current POTUS, there doesn’t appear any hint of reservation on the part of the ‘Bama team — thanks in very large part to head coach Nick Saban.
“Coach Saban addressed it and just said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this regardless of your political thoughts. We’re going, just to celebrate this team. It’s an honor. And just to be able to say that you’ve gone to the White House is something that you can cherish forever,'” offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher said by way of al.com in the run-up to the visit. “So that was basically the extent of that.”
“It’s an incredible honor for us to be invited to the White House,” said running back Damien Harris. “It’s something that comes with being national champions, so we’re definitely thankful for the opportunity. There’s a lot of young guys that haven’t been able to make that trip yet. We’re glad we’ve got guys that can go for the first time and experience it the way that we did when we were young. Obviously, all the older guys have been there, and we’re looking forward to going back again.”
Incidentally, if you’re so inclined, you can watch the festivities live at whitehouse.gov.