Remarks by the President to the 2008 Football National Champion Florida Gators


Remarks by the President to the 2008 Football National Champion Florida Gators

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 23, 2009


East Room

3:50 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: All right. Well, this is not The Swamp that you’re used to, but D.C. is built on a swamp, so welcome to Washington, D.C., and welcome back to the White House. I know at least that the — some of the upperclassmen have been here before. Congratulations on the national champions — being the national champions for the second time in three years. That’s outstanding. And they deserve a big round of applause, so give them a — (applause.)

I want to congratulate everybody who makes this program run — from the assistants to the trainers, from the students to the ticket takers, all of you should be very, very proud. And I should mention, by the way, there are a whole bunch of members of Congress who are here from Florida who are very proud. And so — and they brag about you in Congress all the time.

I want to thank Coach Urban Meyer, his wife Shelley, and their family for being here. I was just mentioning, as we were walking down, there’s something about Coach Meyer’s teams, they just have a lot of heart. And that’s a reflection of coaching values that talk about character and integrity, and not just winning. And so we are very appreciative of the work that you’ve done, Coach. That’s also why it’s so easy to tell that these guys have operated like one big family. And that comes across on and off the field.

I do have to give a special shout-out to Marcus Gilbert. Where’s Marcus? (Laughter.) There he is. Marcus, I’ve got a soft spot for this guy, because his dad, Jeff, was the first Secret Service agent on my detail, almost two years ago. He was with me for most of the campaign; he is a great friend of mine — and there he is back there. So that’s Marcus’s pop right here. We always tried to figure out how Marcus got so big — (laughter) — because Jeff is not that big and his wife is even smaller.

People forget now, but this team was not ranked number one until the end of the season. That’s perseverance. And that’s thanks to the tone the Coach sets. He trains these guys for “competitive excellence,” as he calls it, on and off the field. And in sports, as in life, your number may be called just once — oh, who’s phone is that? (Laughter.) Is that one of the player’s phones? ‘Fess up. (Laughter.) All right. Coach is going to talk to you after — (laughter) — about not turning off your phone.

In sports as in life — I was going to say your number may just be called once, but I didn’t mean it literally. (Laughter.) And Coach makes sure that you’re — they’re ready when that happens.

I understand that a lot of times reporters ask Coach Meyer, what did you say to the team at halftime? But what I’ve heard is he doesn’t usually have to say too much because the leaders of this team step up and say what needs to be said. So there are guys like Percy and Brandon and Louis Murphy, and — I understand there are a couple of comedians here, the 300-pound Pouncey Twins. Where are they? (Laughter.) Right there? (Laughter.) All right.

And then of course there’s — there’s the quarterback — where’s Tebow at?

MR. TEBOW: Right here.

THE PRESIDENT: There he is, over there — Heisman Trophy winner. That’s what I’m talking about. (Laughter.) Everybody is going to get a handshake afterwards, just relax. (Laughter.) Tim is an inspiration to so many — a guy whose true strength comes not from the gym, but from his faith. He says he puts faith, family, and academics above football. And that’s incredible when you think about what he’s done on the field: first sophomore ever to win the Heisman Trophy, in a season in which he personally scored more touchdowns than 87 entire teams in Division I-A football.

I remember watching the upset when you guys lost to Ole Miss. I was actually doing a debate in Ole Miss right before the game and I remember Tim apologizing — watching him on TV apologizing to Gators fans and laying down a challenge to himself, making an commitment, a promise that in fact they were going to push as hard as he — they could and he was going to personally take it upon himself to make sure that you never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season.

You know, that’s the kind of leadership that you want to see from all our young people — taking responsibility, challenging yourself and others, rising to the moment. You didn’t promise that the Gators would win every game the rest of the way, but it’s a testament to his leadership that they did because he said we’ll always play hard.

Now, he’ll be the first to tell you he didn’t do any of this alone. Everybody stepped up. So there are guys like wide receiver David Nelson — where’s David? There we go — (laughter) — who went into Coach Meyer’s office after Tim’s promise and said he wouldn’t do — he would do anything for this team, then upped his play all year, ended up catching the clinching touchdown.

What Coach Meyer and all of these guys also understand is being a champion doesn’t stop when you leave the field. They’ve committed themselves to 400 hours each year in service to others, mentoring at-risk youth, showing them that — those youth that if they put their hearts into it, they, too, can succeed. They play with children in pediatric units, help kids learn to read, promote fitness and physical activity, and so much more.

And all of this makes the Gainesville community that much stronger, and makes Florida that much stronger, it makes our country stronger. And I know that the guys behind me get a lot of it — a lot out of it in return.

Now, last point I would make. 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.

I noticed they got all quiet after that. (Laughter.) But you know, I’m one of those politicians — I don’t just tell you what you want to hear, I tell you what you need to hear. (Laughter.)

I know final exams start this weekend, so I don’t want to keep you any longer. You guys are going to have to hit the books. But I just want to say good luck to those who are going to be back next year, to those of you who are moving on the wider stage. Congratulations to all of you for a national championship that I know that you are extremely proud of. And I look forward to continuing to enjoy watching all of you next fall.

So thank you very much, everybody. Give it up for the Gators. (Applause.)

Fruit Machines Vs Slot Machines

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The first slot machine was designed by the American Charles Fey, who started inventing and manufacturing them from his workshop in San Francisco in 1894. His ‘Liberty Bell’ machine continues to be used in gaming devices today – but the three old-style reels holding 20 symbols have now evolved into more sophisticated devices with up to five spinning reels holding hundreds of symbols. It wasn’t however until the 1930s that slot machines gained popularity in America, with their introduction to the Flamingo Hilton hotel in Las Vegas. It was originally intended that the slot machines be there for the entertainment of the wives and girlfriends of high rollers, but they quickly gained popularity, and now account for over two-thirds of casino revenue in the USA.

The symbols on each reel are programmed into a computer in order to make the jackpot rare enough that the machine will generate enough money to pay out for the jackpot whilst also making a profit for the casino – most machines are set to pay out anywhere from 83 to 98 percent of the coins that are played in the course of a pay cycle. Since the origin of the game there has been regulation, but in the UK in the1960s it was decided that there must be an element of skill involved in order for the game to be legal.

The first Fruit Machines (as opposed to Slot Machines) did not pay out any cash, but had prizes such as cigarettes and alcohol! They are now a huge presence in the UK in pubs, amusement arcades, and motorway services, but they are not found in casinos, which have slot machines like every other casino in the world!

Fruit Machines are now found online and their popularity is escalating rapidly!

Here’s a quick guide to some of the features of the Fruit Machine:

Hold: Every fruit machine, in order to qualify as a fruit machine must have a Hold button, plus a Nudge, Gamble Feature, Cash Ladder and Bonus Trail. The Hold Feature allows the player to put a hold on one or more reels in order to have a better chance of winning.

Nudge: allows the player to nudge one or more reels on the next spin, and show up on the payline (win line), giving you the chance to better the outcome that is showing on the reels.
Gamble Feature: usually activated after every win and offers a higher or lower bet allowing the player to gamble their win to either double it or lose it all.

Cash Ladder: flashes up and down and the player has to hit stop when it is as near to the top as possible to win the biggest possible prize amount.

Bonus Trail: small squares that have prizes or features on them and when you hit spin, you randomly select a number that causes the trail squares to light up as you move along the trail. Each square on a bonus trail makes something happen – your winnings could be doubled, tripled or even multiplied by 10, you could be sent over to the cash ladder or even win a set amount.

Why don’t you give online Fruit Machines a go?

Try online fruit machine games for free at

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