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Obama hosts Alabama Crimson Tide at White House for fourth time

President Obama welcomed the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team, winner of the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship, to the White House on Wednesday, his fourth time hosting the team in the seven years he’s been in office.

“Now my first question is, coach what took you so long? It’s been three whole years since I last saw you,” Obama joked.

The president went on to commend the team for its dominance, adding that head coach Nick Saban is “somebody who’s in the running to be the greatest football coach of all time.”

“This is the fourth time I have hosted Alabama here at the White House,” Obama continued. “So clearly I have brought you some good luck.

“In fact, you could call me ‘Oh-Bama.’”

The president also lauded the team’s star running back, 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who recently gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.

“He led a gathering in a powerful but humble prayer,” Obama said of Henry. “He prayed not just for the leaders in the room but also for people who weren’t able to eat breakfast that day, people who don’t have clothes on their backs or shoes on their feet.”

Noting Henry’s humble upbringing, Obama added, “That’s the kind of grit he played every game with, and that’s the kind of determination that defines this entire team.”

He also went on to detail the team’s performance in the championship game against Clemson, including their successful onside kick in the fourth quarter.

“That was one of the few times you ever saw Coach Saban smile on the sidelines,” Obama said to laughs.

The team captains also presented the president with a jersey and helmet that featured the number 16, a reference to the number of football national championships the school claims.

“I’d like to say I’ll see you guys next year, but we’ve got this thing called term limits,” Obama added.


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