Green Bay defensive back Charles Woodson sent a Packers jersey to the nation's Bear Fan in Chief with his autograph. Along with his signature, Woodson penned this message: "See you at the White House."
The corner back referred to the traditional invitation national sports champions receive to visit the president for congratulations - and, of course, the related photo opportunity. Perhaps it's a thrill for the champs to visit the White House, but the truth is it boosts the presidential image to be seen in the company of winners. Unless it's the opposition party which won a majority of seats in Congress.
As far as I can tell, the ritual dates back to 1869, when the Cincinnati Red Stockings visited President Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential home office. And as far as I'm concerned, it's a routine which could be discontinued. You might argue the president still should congratulate collegiate sports teams that win national titles, but where would you draw the line? Would you invite the NCAA Div. III women's water polo champs?
Looking ahead to the Super Bowl next weekend, I anticipate seeing another tradition I would rather be discontinued: the ceremonial dousing of the winning head coach with a container of Gatorade. Considering the climate during some of the playoff games, the ice-cold bath can be dangerous. The players should resume carrying the coach off the field on their shoulders.
I realize neither of these changes is likely to happen, so I'll attempt to achieve change by addition: If the president still plans to meet with the winner of national competitions, I suggest he add one more champion to the list.
And to make the experience even better, the champ should be invited to not only meet the president, but members of Congress as well. In fact, for the convenience of all involved, it would be best to make the winner an honored guest at the next State of the Union address.
There, during a joint session of Congress, the president - and members of the Cabinet, too - could greet and, more importantly, listen to the uplifting message of how dedication, self-denial and healthy discipline were essential to winning the title of ... The Biggest Loser.
And then our leaders in Washington could apply those same lessons to trimming down the federal budget and eliminating the national debt.