Biden awards football trophy to Air Force Academy

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Air Force quarterback Haaziq Daniels, left, and Air Force running back Brad Roberts, right, present President Joe Biden with a jersey during the presentation of the Commander-in-Chief's trophy to the Air Force Academy in the East Room of the White House, Friday, April 28, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the Air Force Academy for winning football games against its rival U.S. service academies.

“Simply put, you can’t talk about the soul of the nation without talking about our service academies,” Biden told the team gathered in the White House's East Room. “And you can’t talk about the service academies without talking about duty, teamwork, service and excellence. That’s all about you.”

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Air Force beat both the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy during last year's collegiate football season, compiling an overall record of 10-3. It also beat Baylor University 30-15 in the Armed Forces Bowl, which Biden said was the coldest bowl game in history at 11 degrees.

The Air Force Falcons have won the trophy 21 times, compared with 16 for the Navy Midshipmen and 9 for the Army Knights.

The competition among the service academies began in 1972. The trophy — topped by three silver footballs — weighs 170 pounds.

“That trophy is bigger than the Super Bowl trophy,” Biden said. “No, it really is. So, you may need help carrying it.”