President Donald Trump was greeted uproarious applause at the College Football Playoff championship game in New Orleans Monday night.
In the game No. 1 Louisiana State University faced off with No. 3 Clemson for the championship title at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
‘It’ll be a great game. It’ll be something that a lot of people want to see,’ Trump said as he left the White House.
Trump headed onto the field hand in hand with First Lady Melania where they sang the National Anthem before the stadium filled with thousands of fans before kick off.
The president and First Lady appeared to be in good spirits as they walked on the field, smiling and waving enthusiastically at the cheering crowd. Some fans were heard chanting ‘USA, USA’ and ‘Four more years’.
Monday’s game was a positive reception for the president, who has been bombarded with a fair share of boos at sporting events. Trump drew a mixed response last fall when taking in a mixed martial arts match in New York City. He also was jeered and booed at a World Series game in Washington, with some attendees chanting ‘lock him up’.
But Trump was in friendly territory for the game in Louisiana, where he secured a nearly 20-point victory in the 2016 presidential election.
This is also the second time Trump has attended an LSU game.
He watched the team play Alabama back in November. At that game he drew applause and made headlines. Ahead of his visit to the game in Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s team warned attendees against ‘disruptive behavior’ during the president’s visit.
He also met with many of Clemson’s coaches and players when they visited the White House in January 2019 after winning last season’s national championship. That visit occurred during a partial government shutdown. With much of the White House staff on furlough, Trump arranged for a fast food buffet of burgers and pizza. White House cups bearing the presidential seal held the fries.
Monday’s game featuring two undefeated teams offered Trump a brief break from another turbulent period in his presidency as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prepares to send two articles of impeachment to the Senate and tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to simmer.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who predicted a championship for Clemson, flew with Trump aboard Air Force One to Louisiana for the game. Graham is an outspoken supporter of Trump who opposes the president’s impeachment. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., also hitched a ride to the game.
On Monday January 6 Trump called LSU Coach Ed Orgeron to praise him for the team’s defeat over Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl and reportedly express interest in attending the championship game.
‘I was very honored to get a call from President Trump,’ Coach Orgeron said Tuesday morning, according to The Advocate. ‘He was very pleasant to talk to. Very complimentary of our football team, our coaching staff. Complimentary of the way the state of Louisiana has rallied around us. Was complimentary of the way we played all year and wished us good luck in the game.’
‘The appearance] cements his relationship with his core constituency,’ former NYT editor and MSNBC commentator Howell Raines said on Trump’s appearance at the game. ‘Certainly, he couldn’t be safer politically in South Carolina and Louisiana.
Secret Service officers were seen lined up at the stadium behind the metal detectors due to the president’s visit.
While Trump has routinely sparred with professional athletes during his time in office, college football has managed to avoid similar political controversies.
The president attended the Army-Navy football game last month in Philadelphia. Both at that game and the LSU-Alabama game he was greeted with standing ovations. .
‘Regardless of your political views, that’s pretty cool, having the president at the game,’ LSU quarterback Joe Burrow said at the time.
The Playoff title game is the first sporting event Trump has attended in the new year.
While college football seems to be an apolitical zone for the president, he has notorious beef with the NFL.
Trump has been one of the greatest critics of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who kneeled during the National Anthem as a form of protest against police brutality, particularly against people of color.
In September 2017 Trump said NFL owners should ‘get that son of a b***h off the field’ when players protest during the national anthem.
In the end, Louisiana State won the college football national title with a 42-25 win over defending champion Clemson.
Geaux Tigers! LSU clinches college football national title by snapping defending champion Clemson’s 29-game winning streak thanks to Heisman winner Joe Burrow’s record-setting six-touchdown performance
Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow saved his best for last by delivering a six-touchdown performance in his final college game as he guided Louisiana State to a national title with a 45-25 win over defending champion Clemson.
The victory marks LSU’s fourth national title, but the first for head coach Ed Orgeron, who replaced the fired Les Miles in 2016. A native of Larose, Louisiana, the 58-year-old Orgeron is the first coach from the Bayou State to win a title at LSU.
Burrow threw for five scores, giving him 60 passing touchdowns on the year to set a new single-season record for the top level of NCAA football. He also added a rushing touchdown as well, finishing with 58 yards on the ground.
Most impressively, the former Ohio State transfer who is expected to be the top pick in April’s NFL Draft tallied a whopping 463 passing yards for the game.
The win comes three weeks after after a plane carrying six people to LSU’s Peach Bowl matchup with Oklahoma crashed on its way to Atlanta.