Tim Tebow and the rest of his national championship team went to the White House on Thursday so that Mr. President Obama could congratulate the team on their second national championship in three years.
President Obama invoked the words “playoff system” Thursday when the Florida Gators, college football’s national champions the past three seasons, visited the White House.
The president spent eight minutes congratulating the Gators, mentioning several players by name. Near the end of his remarks, as he has done before, Obama again called for a playoff system:
“I don’t want to stir up controversy. You guys are the national champions — I’m not backing off the fact we need a playoff system. But I have every confidence that you guys could have beat anybody else. And so we’ll see how that plays itself out.”
After what surely must have been an awkward pause, Obama added: “I noticed they got all quiet after that.”
According to the White House transcript, that was followed by laughter.
Apparently there was a bit of controversy stirred up by Obamas ‘playoff’ comment as sports announcers on ESPN and other places seemed to feel that Mr. Obama has more pressing matters and that he should keep out of the business of college football. There has been talk of Congress getting involved, at the encouragement of President Obama, in forcing the hand of college football to develop some sort of playoff system.
While I personally would love to see a playoff, I absolutely agree with the guys at ESPN that Mr. Obama has bigger fish to fry and he needs to stick to things that matter a lot more than college football… like people’s livelihoods, their homes, and the safety of American troops deployed around the world.
Obama recognized Tebow by specifically mentioning him during the brief visit. (I really wish Tebow could hang with Obama for a day or two, maybe Obama could benefit from having a little bit of Tebow in his life…)
Obama called Tim Tebow, the Gators’ quarterback, an inspiration for many people. Tebow is a Heisman Trophy winner who speaks openly about his Christian faith.
“He puts faith, family and academics above football. And that’s incredible when you think about what he’s done on the field,” Obama said.
Tebow said in an interview after the ceremony that he appreciated the president’s remarks.