Video: Presidential Steeplechase concludes week of Olympic-themed races

Nationals racing presidents steeplechase OlympicsNationals racing presidents Thomas JeffersonNationals racing presidents Olympics steeplechase TeddyThe Nationals racing presidents pushed the envelope once again as they wrapped up an Olympic-themed homestand at Nationals Park.

After taking on race walkingfencingrhythmic gymnasticstrack, swimming, and sailing, the Nats had turned to Twitter looking for suggestions for the final event.  Fan suggestions leaned toward the unlikely, such as shooting, rowing, handball, trampoline, and badminton; but nobody anticipated what happened on Sunday — the racing presidents turned equestrian with a Steeplechase that incorporated racing, hurdles, and water.

Of course, in the actual Olympics, the point is to jump over the water on horses, but on Sunday the presidents jumped into kiddie pools scattered around the warning track.

Unfortunately, Teddy Roosevelt took his time and seemed more interested in splashing around than in winning. As Jefferson raced ahead to victory, Roosevelt splashed in the pool, and failed to cross the finish line.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Racing presidents take on Olympic sailing via Segways fitted with sails

Nationals Racing Presidents Olympic Sailing SegwaysThe Nationals racing presidents once again stretched beyond the boundaries of track & field as their week of Olympic tributes continued at Nationals Park.

After taking on swimming on Friday, the mascot team stayed in the virtual water Saturday with their own unique take on an Olympic sailing regatta.

George, Tom, Abe and Teddy entered the field aboard Segway personal transporters, each of which was fitted with a sail.

Alas, the wind was no help to Teddy Roosevelt, who brought up the rear for loss #497.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Racing presidents take up swords in Olympic fencing tribute

Racing presidents Olympic fencing with swords Teddy v Abe LincolnRacing presidents Olympic fencing with swords Teddy v GeorgeRacing presidents Olympic fencing with swords Teddy v TomThe Nationals racing presidents continued their week of Olympic tributes on Wednesday night at Nationals Park with a rare non-race event — fencing.

Teddy Roosevelt emerged from the centerfield gate bearing a foil, a flexible sword used in Olympic competitions. With Abe Lincoln waiting to confront Teddy on the warning track, the two crossed swords, but Teddy knocked Lincoln’s foil into the air, and ran past.

George Washington was next, and Roosevelt quickly dispatched him with a thrust move that sent the Founding Father to the ground.

Teddy took off, but Thomas Jefferson was waiting for him at the finish line, standing motionless and blocking his path with a sabre. Roosevelt advanced and swung at Jefferson, but Teddy’s foil shattered against Tom’s much stiffer sword.

Jefferson lunged at the defenseless Bull Moose to score the victory. Teddy collapsed to the ground, and Jefferson walked across the finish line.

Here’s the finish line video, followed by the call by Bob Carpenter on MASN, with some good close-ups of Lincoln’s parry.

Finish lideo courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Abe Lincoln as Batman knocks out Teddy Roosevelt’s Bane

Abe Lincoln as Batman The Dark KnightTeddy Abe Bane Batman Dark KnightYes, you read that correctly. With the highly anticipated Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises opening in theaters Friday, Nationals racing presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln took the field Wednesday night dressed as Batman comics villain Bane and the Dark Knight himself, respectively.

Roosevelt jumped out to a big lead, with Abe bringing up the rear. As the finish line approached, Teddy/Bane turned to knock out George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but Lincoln/Batman caught up to Teddy and took him down, leaving Jefferson with an open path to victory.

The mascot team has a history of saluting popular culture with the presidents race. Wednesday’s movie tie-in led some in the stands and on Twitter wonder whether the Nationals have begun selling presidents race product placements, but rest assured no sponsor would pay for costumes this bad.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Presidents race on tandem bikes, George & Tom take the tape

Nationals Presidents race on tandem bikesNationals Presidents race on tandem bikes for 2Abe Lincoln has a reputation for pushing and shoving his way to the finish line, but pair him with Teddy Roosevelt for a night, and the Great Emancipator becomes a pussycat. Whether it’s a relay race or a shared bike ride, Lincoln has never one when teamed with Teddy. Coincidence? Hardly.

The team kicked off the second half of its home season Tuesday with a thrilling 10-inning victory over the New York Mets, and while the presidents livened things up by trotting out the tandem bikes, the result was more of the same. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson cruised to victory, and Teddy picked up loss #485.

Video by YouTube member lfahome

Teddy Roosevelt learns you can’t run and Tweet at the same time

Nationals Ignite Your Natitude TweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt participates in the Nats tweetupWashington Nationals Racing Presidents Vote for Bryce HarperJackson Fleischauer and Corbin Haviland hold the presidents race finish lineThe Nationals celebrated the first “Ignite Your Natitude Tweetup” at Nationals Park Tuesday night, as the team kicked off its final homestand before the All Star break.

Among the near-sellout crowd were over 700 Twitter users who RSVP’d to the event, filling section 140 and collectively doing their part to bring local cellular networks to their knees.

Participants who registered in advance via Twitter were treated to a variety of surprise gifts and experiences, from posters to t-shirts to opportunities to leave their seats and rub elbows with Stephen Strasburg and yes, Teddy Roosevelt.

The 26th president participated by tweeting before and after the 4th-inning race, and by posing with tweetup participants afterwards.

Unfortunately, Teddy tried to tweet during the race as well.

When the gates opened, TR emerged carrying an oversized Curly W cell phone.  He surged ahead to a huge lead, which he held into the home stretch.

But then he tried tweeting.

Fans following @Teddy26Nats saw Teddy’s tweet as he approached the finish line looking at his phone:

This is it, I’m soo close! I’m winnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

And with that, the Hero of San Juan Hill tripped and executed a face plant along the first base line.  Abe stole the win.

The team continues to use the racing presidents to promote All Star voting, and Tuesday night enlisted the Rushmore Four to hold signs up after the race imploring fans to use hashtag #BryceIn12 and cast their vote for Bryce Harper in the MLB “Final Vote” contest.

The effort to get out the vote has certainly had an impact on young Nats fans Jackson Fleischauer and Corbin Haviland, who won the opportunity to hold Tuesday night’s presidents race finish line. All they had to do was fill in 10,000 paper All Star ballots.

Yes, ten thousand. Congrats Jackson and Corbin. Well deserved!

Finish line video below, but first, Bob Carpenter’s call (he was a bit confused):

Finish line video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Thomas Jefferson whacks George, Abe and Teddy, but is not disqualified. Bob Carpenter calls for an inquiry.

Nationals Presidents Race Thomas Jefferson CheatsNationals Presidents race Thomas Jefferson Cheats Shoves Teddy RooseveltNationals presidents race Teddy Roosevelt LosesPresidents Race Teddy Roosevelt finish line Amanda RykoffThe Nationals’ conspiracy against Teddy Roosevelt was on full display Sunday at Nationals Park, as Thomas Jefferson flaunted the rules to steal a race from our favorite president, yet avoided disqualification.

Over the years, it’s been president #16 Abe Lincoln who has built up a reputation for cheating, but something got into Jefferson Sunday, as the Sage of Monticello went on a rampage, first slamming George Washington into the outfield wall, then pushing aside Abe Lincoln in the corner.

That left only Roosevelt to beat, and the crowd roared with anticipation as Teddy surged ahead in the home stretch, but just before the finish line, Jefferson reached out and shoved Teddy to the ground. There was nothing subtle about it, yet Screech declared Jefferson the winner.

The double standard was not lost on MASN play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter. “I think we should find out why Screech did not disqualify Tom Jefferson,” he said on the broadcast, “because Teddy, in my opinion, won that race. Inquiry!”

Inquiry indeed. Here’s Carpenter’s call of the race, followed by the finish line video. Note that’s espnW’s Amanda Rykoff holding the sign at Sunday’s finish line.

Finish line video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Nationals announce first-ever Ignite Your Natitude Tweet-up

The Washington Nationals will be announcing the inaugural Ignite Your Natitute Tweet-up to be held at Nationals Park during the July 3 game vs. the San Francisco Giants.

The team will be setting aside a section in Nationals Park for those who RSVP via Twitter, with a special discount ticket package.  The exact location of the tickets will be announced late in June, and the team has promised that the location of the tickets will improve based on the number of RSVPs received.

To RSVP, simply tweet “RSVP” and use the hashtag #IYNT.  Tickets will go on sale June 22.

The Nats have promised an evening of prizes and giveaways based on Twitter activity, both before and during the game.

“Twitter will be integrated into the whole evening, from the pre-game through the end,” said Nationals Director of Creative Services and New Media Chad Kurz. “Teddy will have a hand as well.”

Washington (George, that is) returns to winning ways, Orioles Bird expected Saturday

The Orioles Bird did not make an appearance as expected during the presidents race for Friday night’s kickoff of the annual Battle of the Beltways.

Washington-Nationals-Presidents-Race 5-18In the fourth inning, the racing presidents mixed things up, running toward the third base side, but the Bird’s absence was no help for Teddy. George Washington easily passed a tired Roosevelt before doing jumping jacks at the finish line.

Teddy was quick to make excuses for his poor outing. “Still hurting a bit from last night,” he said via Twitter, but #26 promised he’d be ready to go on Saturday.  “Rumor has it a certain Bird will be visiting…”

George Washington takes two in the rain. Pierogies next.

It’s still early, but George Washington is separating himself from the pack.

The Nationals racing presidents kicked off the latest homestand with two rain-soaked races Monday and Tuesday at Nationals Park, and apparently George Washington likes his track sloppy.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race by Cheryl NicholsOn Monday night, the presidents raced to the third base side and Washington separated himself early, then danced backwards over the tape in a showboat move. The next day, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt all slipped and fell on the warning track, leaving George with a clear path to the finish line, and a 3 game lead over second place Thomas Jefferson.

The forecast is outstanding for the rest of the homestand, but George’s opponents may have some different obstacles to deal with, as the Pirates and Orioles are both expected to bring their mascots along.

Photo:Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page

Racing Presidents help christen “Natitude Park,” but Nats still don’t Let Teddy Win

Natitude on display at Washington Nationals Natitude ParkNatitude hastagPresidents race with NatitudeGeorge Washington wins the presidents race at Nationals ParkWhen the Washington Nationals introduced their much-misunderstood “Take Back the Park” program in February, and followed it in March with their 2012 Natitude marketing campaign, they put a lot on the line.

In shining a spotlight on past indignities, team president Andy Feffer left little room for error.  A poor start by the team or an overwhelming invasion by Phillies fans, and the Nats marketing team would be under major heat.

On Friday night, the Nationals doubled down on their brash marketing approach, renaming the stadium “Natitude Park,” and passing out “Our Park” signs to fans at the bottom of the stands.

Like it or not, the Nationals relentless marketing had an impact, as the term “Natitude” passed even “DC” and “Mitt Romney” among trending topics in the DC Twitterverse.

With group ticket sales curtailed, Phillies fans were dispersed throughout the ball park, and various attempts to start Phillies cheers were quickly drowned out by a packed house of Nats fans who clearly got the message, repeatedly drowning out the Phillies cheers every time they started.

The racing presidents ignited their Natitude by running through a giant hashtag to start their fourth-inning race. Apparently George Washington brought more Natitude to the table than his opponents, running away with the victory.

Before the game, rumors were flying from inside the stadium that the Nationals might let Teddy win if the game was a sellout.  It wasn’t, but it’s still very possible for Saturday afternoon, when the busloads arrive from Philly.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Nationals trot out “classic” presidents for Harper’s debut

Washington Nationals racing presidents begin the presidents race at Nationals ParkPresidents Race runs left George Washington Wins photo by Cheryl NicholsPresidents Race Teddy Roosevelt Loses with bulging pantsNationals Park was buzzing Tuesday night as the hometown fans got their first glimpse of rookie sensation Bryce Harper.

Harper is already beloved for his throwback-style approach to the game, and perhaps in appreciation, the Nationals brought back the “classic” racing presidents to kick off the homestand.  It was their first appearance of the season, and with luck they’re back to stay.

For those who hoped Harper’s debut might be an excuse for the team to finally let Teddy win, the fourth-inning festivities were yet another cause for disappointment.

The presidents ran left for the third time this season, moving the finish line to the third base side.  Teddy had an early lead, but may have been slowed by his bulging belly, which seemed to drop lower and lower as the race progressed.

George Washington put on a burst of speed to take the victory and move past Abe Lincoln in the season standings.

Finish line photos courtesy Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page

Video: Presidents race twice. Abe ambushes Teddy in the 13th inning. TJ takes two.

As promised, the Nationals moved the presidents race back to the first base line for Friday’s outing, but despite getting a rare second chance, the result was the same for poor Teddy Roosevelt.

The racing presidents on Segway personal trainersPresidents-Race-Extra-InningsIn the 4th inning, the presidents competed aboard Segway personal transporters, and despite his height, Jefferson managed to outmaneuver the other racing presidents, speeding around Teddy to take the victory.

Fans in attendance got a rare treat when the game stretched into the 13th inning: a second official presidents race. It was the ninth such opportunity in Nationals history — an opportunity that was wasted on Lincoln, who chose to hide in the bullpen instead of participate, then jump out mid-race to ambush Teddy Roosevelt.

With Teddy on the ground, Jefferson and Washington burst by and made it a two-man race, with Tom edging George at the wire to take an unprecedented 3-0 lead in the standings after just two home games.

The first race:

And the second race:

Videos courtesy YouTube member lfahome

Nats say presidents race move wasn’t to avoid foul play

The Nats are saying Thursday’s surprise change in direction of the opening day presidents race was not designed to avoid foul play by the likes of Jayson Werth, according to a report this morning by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.

The source said that the team plans to alternate which side of the field the presidents run on, a strategy that’s equally likely to confound any sabotage plans, and anybody else who wants to (ahem) cheer and/or photograph the finish line.

Steinberg is a close follower of the Let Teddy Win movement, and thank goodness, because the Post gets messages returned a lot faster than the rest of us. LTW’s inquiries about future plans for the race were not answered.

UPDATE: Soon after this posted, I heard back from a Nats spokesperson who wanted to point out that Thursday was not the first time that the Presidents have run that path. “We like to keep fans on their toes and mix the race up from game to game, depending on what works best,” she said. When had they run that path before? On the final race of the 2011 season.

Photo by Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page

Racing presidents at the White House Easter Egg Roll

Washington Nationals racing presidents at the White House Easter Egg roll with Al Roker

Al Roker on this morning's Today Show with Teddy and the racing presidents (among others)

One reason the role of Nationals racing president is so highly coveted is the opportunities it presents to appear around Washington, particularly in an election year such as this.

This morning, the presidents made their annual appearance at the White House Easter Egg Roll, and joined Al Roker on The Today Show with an assortment of costumed characters also in attendance.

One drawback of being 10 feet tall: They always make you stand in the back row for photos.

PhotoThe Today Show

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,935 other followers

%d bloggers like this: