Wall Street Journal reports Teddy seeks meeting with Obama, McCain calls it a “vast left wing conspiracy”

Teddy Roosevelt Racing President sketch Wall Street Journal

Dot drawing of Teddy Roosevelt from the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal

The Nationals are seeking a tête-à-tête between racing president Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama, as Arizona Senator John McCain calls Teddy’s losing streak a “vast left-wing conspiracy being organized by pinko commie liberals,” according to Saturday’s Wall Street Journal.

The front page story by diplomatic correspondent Neil King, Jr. caps a week in which the Let Teddy Win movement has become national news, following an ESPN profile by Ken Burns and a White House statement in support of the cause.

King’s profile revisits the outrage expressed by McCain and White House spokesman Jay Carney over Teddy’s losing streak, adding additional perspectives from Roosevelt biographer Edmund Morris, and from Teddy’s great great grandson Kermit Roosevelt.

“I find this whole thing extraordinarily unfunny,” Morris tells the Journal.

“Teddy would have physically dominated any of those guys,” adds Roosevelt, who turns out to be a Phillies fan, and believes in a curse. “The Nationals will not win the World Series until Teddy wins the presidents’ race,” he said.

The Let Teddy Win blog gets a few nods as well, and the online story features a compilation of our race videos taken by longtime blog contributor lfahome:

Huffington Post says: Don’t let Teddy be our goat

Brandon Wetherbee of the Huffington Post writes today about the Let Teddy Win movement from the perspective of a Cubs fan, arguing that the Nationals shouldn’t let Teddy win until the season after a World Series victory.

It’s not that Wetherbee isn’t a supporter. He simply argues that a Teddy victory followed by anything short of a championship will forever link Roosevelt to an alleged curse, much like the probably-coincidental Curse of the Billy Goat that has haunted Wrigley Field for 104 years.

On the other hand, perhaps we’re already suffering from the Curse of Teddy Roosevelt.

Reader Poll: When Will Teddy Win?

Speculation about a looming victory for Teddy Roosevelt has reached an all-time peak, with dozens of media outlets reporting that an October victory for Teddy is in the cards.  A feature article is expected on the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, and even the Nats themselves have gotten in on the act.

Everybody including the president of the United States seems to have an opinion these days on when it’s going to happen.  Today’s WTOP listener poll seems to point to next week as the date, but we think the choices are inadequate, thus we introduce the OFFICIAL LET TEDDY WIN READER POLL.  We’ll keep it open until Teddy Wins, or until after the playoffs, whichever comes first.

Don’t like the choices? Share your theory in the comments below.

U.S. News report: Teddy could win on October 3

Washington WhispersSpeculation continues to run rampant about an impending first victory for Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals’ presidents race.

Today’s “Washington Whispers” column in U.S. News and World Report speculates that Teddy Roosevelt’s first victory is likely being planned for the Nationals’ season finale next Wednesday, October 3.

Reporter Elizabeth Flock cites cites a number of recent indicators that hint at an October 3 win for Teddy, including the Nationals’ own announcement of a “Teddy in 2012″ theme for the final homestand.

Lara Potter, VP of Communications for the Nationals, didn’t deny that the fix was in, telling Flock “that’s just something that I’m not going to comment on.”

Nationals announce Teddy giveaways for final homestand

With the Let Teddy Win movement becoming national news, the Nationals are ironically trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Washington Nationals Teddy RooseveltThe Nationals social media team introduced the #Teddyin2012 hashtag, implying that they somehow want to see Teddy win, along with a new Teddy-focused page on Nationals.com.

The page prominently features the quote from Teddy’s “Man in the Arena” speech that has been featured on Let Teddy Win t-shirts and was quoted by Arizona Senator John McCain in the recent Ken Burns video that has been running on various ESPN shows this week.

The team also announced that fans attending next week’s final homestand of the season October 1-3 will receive a Teddy-themed giveaway.

The first 20,000 fans On Monday October 1st will receive Eye Black Strips (“Teddy” for one eye and “26” for the other). On Tuesday the 2nd, it’s Teddy bumper stickers for the first 20,000 fans, and on fan appreciation day Wednesday the 3rd, it’s Teddy pins for the first 20,000 fans.

I think I need at least 40 sets of those eye black strips.

Ken Burns’ Let Teddy Win profile on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight

The Ken Burns narrated video profile of the Let Teddy Win movement airs tonight again on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

The 8-minute mini-documentary, which inspired president Barack Obama to join the Let Teddy Win movement, almost led to a prediction from Baseball Tonight host Karl Ravech.
Presidents Race blockade
“Gotta believe when they clinch first place that that’ll be the day when perhaps…,” Ravech said on tonight’s show, before cutting himself off.

Teddy, meanwhile, lost again today in the final race of the homestand. The hero of San Juan Hill was forced to cut the outfield corner when Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln formed a makeshift blockade in centerfield.

George Washington took the win.

And if you missed it the first time:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Presidents show playoff Natitude, ambush Teddy on Pups in the Park day

Pups in the Park say "Let Teddy Win"

Sarge the black lab joins the movement

Presidents Race NatitudeA sold out Nationals Park crowd had much to celebrate Saturday afternoon, from Pups in the Park day, to a post-game concert by Dierks Bentley, to a stellar league-leading 20th victory for pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

Those expecting a Teddy Roosevelt win unfortunately had less to celebrate.

The movement has spread to the canine community, as evidenced by dogs now showing up in Let Teddy Win t-shirts; but despite looking good out of the gate for the second day in a row, Teddy was ambushed in the right field corner by his fellow commanders-in-chief.

The hit by George Washington knocked Teddy out of the lead, and Abraham Lincoln pulled away for the win.

The presidents then yanked off their uniforms to reveal president-sized versions of the Nationals’ official
playoff “Natitude” t-shirts.

Twitter photo by espnW’s Amanda Rykoff
Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy shows promise but comes up short in first playoff-era presidents race

Teddy Roosevelt Looking GoodTeddy Roosevelt Loses“Look at the running of Teddy Roosevelt,” Bob Carpenter advised viewers on Friday night’s MASN broadcast.

“He’s either dropped a few lbs., been training seriously, or a combination of the two because  I’ve never seen him run this well.”

“He’s training for something,” added color commentator F.P. Santangelo.  “He’s on a mission.”

With Arizona Senator John McCain in the Nationals Park stands for the first time since calling for a congressional investigation into the presidents race on ESPN’s E:60, Teddy came up just short in his first bid to taste presidents victory of the Nationals’ post-playoff-clinching era.

With the Brewers in town for the only time this season, Friday’s race was also notable for the absence of the “un-racing sausages.”  The cardboard replicas have been a fixture at Nationals Park since Milwaukee first declined to bring the real racing sausages to DC in 2008.

Of course, after Teddy got a chance to clobber the real thing at this year’s All-Star game, perhaps the cardboard version just doesn’t make the cut.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Is tonight the night? Let the Speculation Begin

For years now, many Nationals fans have been advancing a common theory about the presidents race: Teddy will win when the Nationals win.

Teddy Roosevelt Washington Nationals presidents raceFrom the Nationals Park stands to the Red Loft bar to Twitter and online discussion forums, the only thing up for debate among many fans is the exact timing.  When they make the playoffs. When they win the division. When they finish their first winning season. When they host their first playoff game. When they win a pennant. When they make the Worlds Series. When they win the World Series.  Everybody has a theory.

On Thursday night, the first of those milestones passed.  The Nationals clinched their first playoff berth, and if the chatter on Twitter is any indication, quite a few people are expecting a Roosevelt victory Friday night at Nationals Park.

In today’s Washington Post, columnist Tracee Hamilton argues that the Nats can’t let Teddy win now.

“If, say, Teddy wins during the Nationals’ first home playoff game, and the Nats subsequently lose that game,” Hamilton writes, “the ‘When will Teddy win?’ discussion will devolve into ‘The Curse of Teddy.’

Hamilton’s solution? “Avoid the decision. Announce he’s reached his (between) innings limit for the season, and shut him down. It worked with Strasburg.”

Cute.

Personally, I don’t know when Teddy’s going to win. I just know I have to be there when it happens.

Barack Obama joins the Let Teddy Win movement

President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind the Let Teddy Win movement, the White house said Thursday.

Obama was responding to Republican Senator John McCain’s call for a congressional investigation into the Washington Nationals’ conspiracy against racing president Teddy Roosevelt in a video report that aired Tuesday on ESPN’s E:60.

White House spokesman Jay Carney opened Thursday’s  press briefing aboard Air Force One with a prepared statement about the presidents race as an example of the possibility for bipartisanship in Washington.

“Senator McCain gave an important interview the other day,” Carney said, calling Teddy’s losses “an outrage.”

“I agree with Sen. McCain,” he continued.  “I’m comfortable saying my boss agrees with Sen. McCain.”

Carney went on to note that president Obama has long been a fan of Theodore Roosevelt.

The White House has posted the full transcript here.

Teddy Roosevelt declares “Argh!” after losing on Talk Like a Pirate Day

Nationals Mascot Screech as a PirateThe Nats brought the best record in baseball home to DC as they kicked off the season’s penultimate home stand with a doubleheader vs. the Dodgers Tuesday at Nationals Park.

Nationals mascots Teddy Roosevelt and Screech the Eagle aren’t allowed to talk on duty, but that didn’t prevent them from celebrating National
Teddy Roosevelt Argh Talk Like a Pirate DayTalk Like a Pirate Day during the fourth inning presidents race.

Teddy Roosevelt came out for the nightcap race sporting a pirate’s bandana and a hook for a right hand.

After race judge Screech, sporting full pirate regalia, declared Thomas Jefferson the winner, Teddy pulled out a sign reading “Argh!”

Here’s race #1, in which the presidents wore their red day game uniforms (Abe won):

And here’s race #2 feature Screech and Teddy’s pirate day tribute:

Videos courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Ken Burns narrates and John McCain featured as ESPN E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement

As usual, Teddy Roosevelt pulled up the rear but stole the show, as  ESPN’s E:60 ended  Tuesday night with an eight minute Ken Burns-narrated feature story on the conspiracy surrounding Nationals racing  president Teddy Roosevelt.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt ESPNTeddy Roosevelt's great great grandson Winthrop RooseveltJohn McCain with Teddy Roosevelt DollTeddy Roosevelt Presidents Race Abe CheatsESPN’s Michael Johns set out to produce the definitive piece on the Let Teddy Win movement, and by all accounts, a new bar has been set. The mini-documentary featured the Let Teddy Win blog along with interviews with Senator John McCain and the great great grandson of Theodore Roosevelt himself, Winthrop Roosevelt.

“Theodore Roosevelt is one of the great presidents in history,” McCain says in the video. “I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the fact that one of the truly great presidents in history has never won a race. I’m outraged. That’s why I’m calling for congressional hearings to right this horrible wrong.”

The Arizona senator called Teddy’s losing streak “one of the more traumatic experiences I’ve had as I watch my hero, my childhood idol, being treated in such a cavalier fashion.”

“He is Mount Rushmore’s Rodney Dangerfield,” Burns intones has he describes Teddy’s lot in modern day Washington, “a legendary president that gets no respect.”

Moments after the feature aired on ESPN, it had already inspired a “Make Teddy Win” charity campaign.

Charity Fund applies Game Theory to pressure Nats to Let Teddy Win

CORRECTION: Because of a tweet I attributed to Senator John McCain, I inadvertantly reported  Tuesday night that this fund had been established by McCain.  My apologies to Mr. Halperin and Mr. McCain.

Moments after  Tuesday night’s ESPN E:60 profile about the Let Teddy Win movement, Nats fan Jon Halperin announced the establishment of a charitable fund designed to put pressure on the Nationals to let Teddy win.

“I have been attending Nats games since April 14, 2005,” Halperin writes. “I have seen Teddy suffer vicious attacks and unfair disqualifications. After watching the ESPN E:60 report, I decided enough was enough. I am going to do something to help ‘Make Teddy Win’.

Halperin set up the fund at Indiegogo.com, and is soliciting donations from members of the movement. 50% of the funds collected will be designated to be split between the DC Central Kitchen and the The Fisher House Foundation.

Then here’s where it gets interesting, as Halperin applies a little game theory logic on the Nationals:

If the Teddy wins a race this year and the win is officially recognized in the standings by the team, then 50% of the funds collected will go to the Nationals’ own Dream Foundation. If Teddy doesn’t win, those funds will be split between the other two charities.

“I have been going to Nats games since they moved back to DC and I have always cheered for Teddy,” Halperin told me via email. “I wanted to pick causes that all of DC area can support. The Fisher House does a great job supporting Military families while members of our Armed Forces are hospitalized and DC Central Kitchen helps fight against hunger and homelessness while providing job training. Also both organizations have a strong record of accountability.”

But will it work?

“I do think there is a certain amount,” Halperin says, “where the Nats would have to stop and think if its worth Letting Teddy Win.”

The goal set for the campaign is $6,000, but here’s hoping Teddy fans will bust through that mark (it might take more than that to sway the Nats).

ESPN’s E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement (Preview)

ESPN’s E:60 will will be profiling the Let Teddy Win movement this Tuesday night at 7:00pm on ESPN and WatchESPN.com. I haven’t seen the final piece by Michael Johns, but he set out to produce the definitive documentary on the presidents race and Teddy Roosevelt’s travails, visiting Nationals Park and the area monuments with the presidents earlier this season.

ESPN got a lot of cooperation from the Nats, so it’s good to see this airing before the postseason.  It seemed doubtful the Nats would let Teddy win before before it aired.

UPDATE: Here it is, narrated by Ken Burns and featuring Senator John McCain.

U.S. Embassy tweets about racing presidents Gangnam Style dance

The Nationals’ racing presidents “Gangnam Style” dance during the recently-completed homestand has quickly become the most viewed presidents race video of all time, having been picked up by media outlets and bloggers worldwide.

Gangnam Style racing presidents Washington NationalsThe Rushmores’ riff on the Korean dance pop phenomenon further cemented the racing presidents’ role in popular culture, reaching as far as the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea, which tweeted the following:

“#GangnamStyle has infiltrated Washington! Watch the Presidents salute Psy at a @Nationals game.”

In Korean, of course:

Racing Presidents Gangnam Style Korea US Embassy Tweetb

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