Video: Alabama visits the White House – again

Graham Watson
April 19, 2012

Hosting a team from Alabama at the nation's capital is starting to become a tradition.

Thursday, the University of Alabama football team was welcomed to Washington, D.C., and honored by President Barack Obama for their BCS national championship.

Somewhere, Les Miles is rolling his eyes.

This marked the second trip in three years for the Crimson Tide. Last year, Auburn made the trip.

"I told Coach he's making this a habit," President Obama said in his opening remarks.

But Thursday's trip was about more than Alabama winning a national title; it was about celebrating the state of Alabama's ability to overcome adversity a year after being hit with a major tornado. President Obama visited Alabama two days after the tornado struck and was awestruck by the destruction.

"Now, obviously this is a team that knows something about adversity. It was one year ago next week that an F4 tornado carved a path right through the town of Tuscaloosa… I've got to tell you, I'd never seen anything like it," the president said. "The storm took the lives of 248 people, including six students. And it touched this team personally. Long snapper Carson Tinker's girlfriend lost her life in the storm. And a few weeks later, there was fresh grief -- for Aaron Douglas, an offensive lineman who passed away."

President Obama recapped the Tide's season and praised the defense, kicker Jeremy Shelley, who had a BCS record five field goals, and running back Trent Richardson, who was not in attendance, for scoring the game's only touchdown.

The president also poked fun at the trophy mishap earlier this week.

"So this team didn't just shatter records, I hear the championship trophy also took a bit of a spill earlier this week," he said.

Coach Nick Saban presented the president a 2011 championship jersey with the No. 14 on it in honor of the school's 14 championships and a helmet, something the president said he sorely needed.

"I was mentioning yesterday, I'm probably going to need a helmet between now and November," he said.

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