Bush Honors Mids for 4th Year in a row

President George W. Bush presented the Commander in Chief's trophy to the Navy football team, for the fourth consecutive year, on Monday, April 2nd in the Rose Garden at the White House. The President did not miss the opportunity to note the significance of the Midshipmen's recent run of success, noting in his opening statement that Navy's visit to the White House has become a "spring tradition."

He also recommended that the Rose Garden may need to be renamed "The Yard" – the nickname for the Annapolis campus.

In his remarks, the President ran through the many successes of the 2006 Navy football team including its "blowout of Stanford" and its fifth win in a row over Army, of which Bush said, "They tell me that's a pretty big deal."

Navy coach Paul Johnson followed President Bush's remarks with some of his own, calling winning the Commander in Chief's Trophy the number one goal of the team. He also said that Navy "plans on being back next spring" and was hopeful that the President would be "kind enough to host them again." Johnson spoke extremely highly of the senior class, saying that the departing 35 seniors will "leave a trend of leadership, character and determination for the younger guys to follow and hopefully maintain."

Some other observations from my visit to the White House…

  • White House landscapers used brooms to sweep leaves off the perfectly manicured Rose Garden lawn prior to the ceremony – talk about a smooth surface.
  • I asked a Navy football player before the ceremony began to comment about their recent scrimmage in which Johnson called their effort, "freaking awful." He confirmed that they probably wouldn't be coming back to the Rose Garden if they played like that next fall. I thought it was nice of Coach Johnson to not mention the scrimmage during his remarks at the White House.
  • Did I mention going to the White House is cool? Even in near 80 degrees, it's still pretty darn cool.
  • I did not see the President walk out into the Rose Garden, but I knew he was visible by the reaction of the crowd who collectively let out a big gasp of awe-inspired air from their lungs. I think it's safe to say not too many people cause such a stir just by walking out of a door.
  • The nickname for the area on the White House grounds where news correspondents hang out is called "Pebble Beach." I thought about standing behind the CNN camera during their live shot – I thought about it.
  • The Rose Garden is smaller than I imagined but the views of the Washington Monument and South Lawn of the White House aren't too shabby.
  • Even though it was the fourth year in a row for the Midshipmen to be visiting with the President, I got the impression that the experience isn't getting old. It's hard to believe that some players have been in the company of the President four times now. How many college athletes can say that? 

Have a comment for David? Send him an email at Ausiellodp@yahoo.com

Read President Bush's Speech

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