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.

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