WASHINGTON — It has been almost three months since the Giants beat the Patriots. Wednesday the team was hailed by President Bush...

Share story

WASHINGTON — It has been almost three months since the Giants beat the Patriots. Wednesday the team was hailed by President Bush for being patriots.

The Super Bowl winners visited the White House, the traditional last stop on the championship circuit, where the President honored them with a ceremony on the South Lawn. Prior to their stop at 1600, however, many players and coaches spent the early part of their day visiting with wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“I appreciate the fact, Coach, that you and your players support our troops,” Bush said to Giants coach Tom Coughlin, “but more importantly our troops appreciate the fact that you support them.”

To that end, the Giants were joined by Lt. Col Greg Gadson at the White House. Gadson, who lost both of his legs in Iraq a little less than a year ago, offered the team a pregame pep talk in Week 3 last season in Washington. He was also with them at various points during the playoffs and at the Super Bowl. And Wednesday, he was greeted by the President along with the players and coaches. “To me, it’s a symbol of your respect for our country and your patriotism that you would let Greg Gadson be a part of this team,” Bush said. “He has got the Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars, and now he’s got a Super Bowl ring minted for a true giant.”

The event was not entirely somber. Bush cracked several jokes during his remarks. He noted with Texas-sized despair how the Giants beat the Cowboys in the playoffs. “We’re going to send Jessica Simpson to the Democrat National Convention,” he said, referring to the starlet and the supposed bad luck she brought the Cowboys and boyfriend Tony Romo in January.

Bush, who was presented with a jersey and a commemorative football signed by all of the players, called the Giants’ win in Super Bowl XLII “one of the great, legendary football games in our country’s history.”