WASHINGTON – The jokes came fast and furious — and were mostly about him — as President Bush (search) on Friday hosted one of the White House events he loves most: Bringing in NCAA (search) championship teams.
Celebrating the 2004 victories of four teams — Indiana's soccer team, Cal State Fullerton's baseball team, Stanford University's women's volleyball team and Notre Dame's women's soccer team — Bush urged them to be their best off the field as well as on.
"You'll have a full life when you're able to say to yourself, I've really helped somebody in need," he said in an East Room packed with players, coaches and fans. "Frankly, it's more important than a sports trophy."
Seriousness aside, Bush was full of one-liners especially crafted for each team:
—He reveled in Indiana's second-straight NCAA title. "I kind of like that idea, back-to-back trips to the White House," he said. But he wasn't too hot on following the lead of the Indiana coach, who had told his players they could shave his head if they won. "That's something we don't want to get started here in the White House," Bush deadpanned.
—To the Notre Dame women, he joked that "it helps a lot you've got coaches from Texas," Bush's home state.
—He said he liked the Cal State Fullerton team's motto for the season — "Think How Good It's Gonna Feel." But, Bush said, "I didn't feel so good for the Longhorns." Cal State beat Texas in the final series.
—The Stanford team weren't favored for the championship, but won it anyway as part of taking 15 games in a row. "You know, sometimes they count you out of a race a little too soon, right?"