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

Video: The Post Profiles some seriously insane Nats fan

When The Washington Post asked me to stay mic’d up during yesterday’s game, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Here it is. The Post released the companion video to presidential speechwriter Paul Orzulak’s must-read opinion piece on the Let Teddy Win movement, and well, the video speaks for itself.

I am amazed by how quickly producer Brad Horn pieced this together.

Orzulak calls for Teddy to win on August 18

If presidential speechwriter Paul Orzulak gets his way, Teddy Roosevelt will win the Nationals’ 500th presidents race on August 18.

Washington Nationals' Teddy RooseveltIn an opus for the Washington Post opinion pages entitled “Seriously, Nats: It’s time for Teddy to win,” Orzulak presents the most thorough and cogent case yet for the Washington Nationals to finally let Teddy win.

“In the long history of organized sports, no team or individual at the collegiate or professional level has ever lost 500 times in a row,” Orzulak writes.

But that is, in fact, the fate that awaits Teddy on August 18, rainouts or extra overtime races notwithstanding.

“Teddy winning wouldn’t just make sense for the 2012 Nats — it could even boost the national mood,” Orzulak writes, laying out a meticulous list of president Roosevelt’s qualifications and of the injustices handed his 2012 counterpart.

It’s today’s must read. Video report to follow.

NPR Charts Teddy Roosevelt’s Losses

Over the weekend, I noticed that NPR’s data journalist Matt Stiles had created a data set based on this blog (yes, I find these things). His plans weren’t clear until yesterday, when he published Charting Presidential Mascot Races at The Daily Viz.

Presidents race results chart by Matt Stiles

Let Teddy Win Word TreeStiles says he tries to create a data visualization every day, and the above chart does a nice job of visualizing Abe Lincoln’s slow decline.

Stiles also set up a link where you can create word trees from the blog based on any keyword you choose.

Check it out …if you want to waste your lunch hour.

Teddy Roosevelt costume has race fans seeing double

Teddy Roosevelt costume design - Photo by Wade ChiTeddy Roosevelt costume - Photo by Wade ChiTeddy Roosevelt costume at Nationals Park - Photo by Wade ChiEach October, readers write to ask where they can get a Teddy Roosevelt costume, and I’ve never had a good answer. Finally, Nationals fan Wade Chi took matters into his own hands.

“It took about 8 nights spread across a few weeks,” Chi told me, “[but] this
past halloween, i made a giant racing Teddy head and went around Arlington as Racing Teddy.”

Using “chicken wire, Elmers glue, newspapers, and a bunch of paint,” Chi pulled off what others only dream of.

He wanted to get a photo in his costume with the real racing Teddy Roosevelt, but Chi wasn’t sure he’d be allowed to bring the costume into Nationals Park, and couldn’t get an answer from the Nationals.

Finally, on Sunday, Chi decided to just show up and give it a try.

He was turned away by security at first, but was persistent, and a wise Nationals Park supervisor let him in. A full account can be found on his blog.

Given last weekend’s brutal heat, Chi didn’t keep the costume on for long, but he got what he wanted — a photo with the  Bull Moose himself.

Check out Chi’s full account of the building process from last October, including this time lapse video.

Photos and video: Wade Chi

Guest report from Teddy Roosevelt’s out of town fan club

Today Let Teddy Win brings you a guest post by Brian Ketchum, who recently chaperoned a group of 78 U.S. history students from Hillwood Middle School in Ft. Worth TX to Washington, DC to visit Nationals Park and cheer for Teddy Roosevelt:

As Hillwood Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas got ready for our yearly 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., we asked the kids, what do you want to do when you are in D.C.? One thing that everyone wanted was to see a game at Nationals Park.

The teachers, already well aware, informed the kids of the tradition at the ballpark, the President Race, and LetTeddyWin.com; so when it was time to design t-shirts for the week, the kids overwhelming voted on custom National jerseys with Roosevelt #26 on them.

Hillwood Middle School visits Teddy Roosevelt before Nationals ParkHillwood School Teddy Roosevelt Mustache FansNationals Teddy Roosevelt visits Let Teddy Win fans from Texas at Nationals ParkNationals Park racing president Teddy Roosevelt with fans from Hillwood Middle SchoolNationals Park scoreboard Hillwood SchoolHillwood Middle School Nationals Park extra innings sleep asleepBefore the game began, we made an “executive” decision to make a rare visit to Theodore Roosevelt Island to see Teddy himself, and look for guidance before we went to cheer him on. Some of the kids wondered if having so many fans there would push Teddy to victory. After each member of the group touched him for good luck, we headed to the ballpark.

We loved Nationals Park. It’s immaculately clean, from the concourse, to the seats, to even the bathrooms. The ushers were very nice and helpful for such a large group of Teddy fans. The view of the Capitol dome and Washington Monument from the Right Field Terrace are stunning.

The game was cruising along with pitchers for both teams working fast, and before you knew, the Presidents were off and running. This race was just ridiculous! The kids yelled “LET’S GO TEDDY” over and over, but they moved the finish line to the opposite side and Abe biked instead of running. Needless to say, the Teddy fans felt cheated. This is no way to treat a Bull Moose. We firmly believe that Abe should be tested for PEDs.

After the race, while some of the kids were looking for the eight pound StrasBurger, (they didn’t find it), the game got interesting.  Both managers emptied their bullpens as the game wore on. The crowd shrunk as the game entered extra innings.

We received a surprise visit from Teddy, who came and joined us in section 238. He combed his moustache, cleaned his glasses, and took photos with the group. It was pretty cool to meet the great Hero of San Juan Hill. The kids were excited.

The Teddy fans were exhausted and ready for bed, but they had decided they were staying until the last out. A few of them, (myself included) admitted they were hoping it would go to the 13th for an extra innings President’s race.

The Nationals TV and scoreboard crew must have noticed the loud group from the living Hillwood Middle school because they showed us over and over on the TV broadcast along with nearly every half inning on the HD scoreboard.

The Mets rallied from behind to take leads in the top of the eighth, 10th and 12th innings — only to have the Nationals tie the game in the bottom of the frame each time. The game was finally won on Bryce Harper’s first career walk off. History was witnessed.

Hopefully the first of many.

After years of being the NL East’s doormat, The new Nationals are 1st in War, 1st in Peace, and 1st in the National League East.

Now if only we could bust this trust and give Teddy a shot to bask in the glory. Maybe he’ll win the first playoff game. Maybe that will be this year…

Photos/Brian Ketchum. For more on the Hillwood DC trip visit Coachketcham.com.

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