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Bush to Attend Army-Navy College Football Game

Add this to President Bush's final acts in office: attending one more college football game, in one of the more storied rivalries around.

Bush was to preside over the coin toss of Saturday's Army-Navy game in Philadelphia and then settle in for the 109th meeting between the two service academies. He planned to sit with wounded troops and military officials, switching from the Army side in the first half to the Navy's for the second.

This is the third time in Bush's eight years as president that he has made time to attend the game. For him, it is a chance to honor the military while soaking in his love for sports.

Before the football, Bush will get a look at another bit of history -- his lasting image.

The Union League, a private club founded in 1862 to support the policies of Abraham Lincoln, was unveiling a portrait of Bush that will be part of its presidential collection.

Bush was expected to make some remarks when the painting was shown for the first time.

The artist, painter Mark Carder of Birmingham, Ala., has done portraits of such other prominent figures as the president's parents, George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush.

The current president sat for Carder in the Treaty Room of the White House in March, when the artist took hundreds of photographs to capture details, such as Bush's skin color.

The portrait was commissioned by the Abraham Lincoln Foundation and paid for with a grant from The Thornton D. and Elizabeth Hooper Foundation, the White House said. The Union League also plans to give Bush its gold medal, which the club awards for service to the country.

At the game, Bush intended to stop by the Army and Navy locker rooms before kickoff, then head onto the field to handle the ceremonial coin toss. His public schedule anticipated he would stay for the entire game.

Bush also attended the game in 2004, when he was asked on the field who he thought would win and responded: "The United States of America." His first Army-Navy game as president was in 2001, less than three months after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Navy, 7-4 this season, has won six in a row over Army, which comes into the game at 3-8.