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The Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2011 National Championship team visited The White House on Thursday.

President Barack Obama hosted the team and spoke at a news conference about the Tide’s BCS win.

He also praised the team for sticking together during adversity and coming back after the tornadoes of April 27, 2011.

“They played as a team because of what they had endured as a team,” President Obama said.  “And so each victory was about more than getting to the title game — it was about the lives of these players and coaches that they’d carried with them and what they meant to each other.”

Alabama head coach Nick Saban thanked President Obama for his support and presented him with an Alabama crimson jersey and helmet.

The President joked, “I think I’m going to need a helmet between now and November.”