For the past 10-15 years, the Alabama Crimson Tide has dominated college football. They’ve won the title five times in the last decade. And have been a part of eight of the last 10 championship games.
Major games like this one draw attention from sports bettors around the nation. And with Alabama’s track record, perhaps this one seemed like an easy bet.
This year was no different from the rest–Alabama dominated the regular season and reached the championship game with relative ease. Except this time, things didn’t exactly go their way once they got there.
In the fourth quarter with just one minute left on the clock, Alabama found themselves down eight, staring down a 3rd and 10 on the 50. A touchdown was needed–but before they could do anything they had to insure the first down.
Alabama QB Bryce Young dropped back and launched a pass twenty yards downfield. But to his dismay, the ball was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
On the receiving end of that ball was Georiga Bulldog cornerback Keele Ringo, the five-star recruit out of Saguaro highschool. Ringo returned the interception for a 79-yard touchdown. And the rest was history: The Georgia Bulldogs were the National Champions for the first time in 40 years.
Let the celebrations begin
Following their historic National Championship victory, the entire state of Georgia was bursting with excitement. Over 100,000 fans gathered on UGA’s campus and lined down Lumpkin street to witness the school’s first championship parade in four decades.
The celebrations then made their way into Sanford Stadium. Where over 90,000 people gathered for a formal ceremony acknowledging the Bulldogs Championship. At the end of his 10-minute speech at the ceremony Smart said:
“A new standard of excellence has been set, and we expect that to be upheld. We’re burning the boats, baby. We’re coming back.”
But if over 100,000 screaming fans weren’t enough for the Georgia faithful, then maybe some recognition from the President would quench their thirst
Joe Biden congratulates the Bulldogs
Almost ten hours after the Bulldogs first lifted the championship trophy, Joe Biden sent his congratulations via Twitter, tweeting:
Congratulations @GeorgiaFootball on your national championship! Your skill, grit, and determination show us what is possible – and how to win your school’s first title in 41 years. I’m proud of you, Bulldogs.
Typically, the White House invites the winning schools to dinner and a meet-and-greet with the current President. It has yet to be announced whether or not the championship Bulldogs will be invited to DC to celebrate their win.
Biden most recently invited the NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks and the WNBA Champion Seattle Storm in 2021. Biden will likely extend the invitation to the Bulldogs. But the recent surges in Omicron cases may throw a wrench in things.
Most memorable championship White House visits
1980 US Olympic men’s hockey team
Just three days after their historic Olympic gold medal run, President Jimmy Carter welcomed the ‘Miracle on Ice’ team to the White House. This win was more than a gold medal for the US. The young team of inexperienced players had to run through the juggernaut Soviet Union to secure victory.
1999 Houston Comets
The 1999 WNBA Championship winning Houston Comets became the first WNBA team to visit the White House. The league was three years old at the time, and the Comets had won each season’s championship. To celebrate their accomplishments, President Bill Clinton invited the team to a ceremony at the White House in his last year in office.
2019 Clemson Tigers football team
In 2019, President Donald Trump invited the National Championship-winning Clemson football team to the White House for dinner. However, the elegant meal they were expecting was nowhere to be seen. To everyone’s surprise, the players were served a buffet of fast food.
It’s unexpected happy endings like the Bulldogs upset over Alabama that makes sports betting so exciting. We hope football fans in GA will have the chance to get in on the fun and vote to legalize sports betting in 2022.
Photo Credit: Rob Carr / Associated Press