Video: Fans sacrifice rubber chicken, burn sage outside Nationals Park in advance of Game 3

As the Washington Nationals arrive in San Francisco with their backs to the wall in the National League Division Series playoffs, fans back home have taken matters into their own hands.

Nationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeJenn Rubenstein burning sageNationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeNationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeLongtime Nats fan and self-titled “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman led a group of 14 fans in an impromptu gathering outside Nationals Park on Sunday Afternoon, where they performed a ritual sacrifice of a rubber chicken, and burned sage outside the centerfield gate.

Kaufman said the coaching staff was aware of the event and appreciated the fan support. “We’re going to take the bad juju and give it to the chicken,” he said, “so that when the Nats play in San Francisco…they’re going to win.”

After the chicken was beheaded, Kaufman carried the decapitated rubber toy around the centerfield gate as fellow fan Jenn Rubenstein burned sage in an act known as smudging, which is reputed to bless a house and dispel it of negative energy and influences.

Longtime readers know that when the Nationals had their backs to the wall in the 2012 playoffs, Kaufman and Rubenstein performed the ritual before Jayson Werth’s historic walk-off home run in Game 4 of that year’s NLDS.

Kaufman has conducted many sacrifices since 2005, but the only other sacrifice this season came after a Memorial Day loss that dropped the team’s record below .500. After that, the Nationals got hot, finishing the season 71-40.


Videos: Teddy shows nunchuck skills, wins two presidents races during epic 18-inning playoff game

Among the many firsts in a night of firsts Saturday at Nationals Park, The Nats racing presidents held their first-ever postseason presidents race doubleheader, running a second race as NLDS Game 2 dragged into the night.

Crab Nachos Libre Beef Nachos LibreTeddy Roosevelt NunchucksNLDS Game 1 Crab Nachos LibreIn the fourth inning, Teddy entered the race late, coming out of the bullpen to trail the pack as they approached the home stretch.

But the presidents all stopped short, because waiting at the finish line was one of the team’s oddest “guest” characters of the season, Crab Nachos Libre.

Making his third appearance of the season, Crab Nachos Libre was joined by a new character, “Beef Nachos Libre,” and together they posed, broke blocks of wood over a pair of folding chairs, and generally blocked the finish line.

That’s when Teddy Roosevelt pulled out a pair of nunchucks. With the Nationals Park crowd chanting his name, the Rough Rider dazzled his nemeses with a display of nunchuck skills, then George Washington and Abe Lincoln launched over the chairs to take down the dos hermanos. Teddy raced ahead for the victory.

Here’s the team’s official video as called in the stadium by Nats Park PA announcer Jerome Hruska:

And here’s our finish line video, in which a fan can be heard repeatedly saying “Oh my god. That should be illegal!”

Teddy Roosevelt extra innings 13th presidents race
With the score tied 1-1 in the 13th inning, the presidents appeared again to run their first ever extra-innings postseason race. Teddy used the extra TV time to stop the proceedings again, this time grabbing a “Let’s Go Nats!” sign and leading the crowd in cheers. Teddy took the victory, marking the third time this season that Teddy has won in extra innings.

The team sported an 18-6 regular season record during Teddy’s other victories this season, but when Teddy wins in extra innings, the Nats have been a disappointing 0-3.

Official race video: Washington Nationals
Finish line videos: lfahome

Video: Nats racing presidents dance to “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake during race

The National League Division Series began Friday at Nationals Park, and the Nats’ racing presidents used the unusually long commercial break during the fourth inning to add a few dance moves to the regularly-scheduled presidents race.

Rock Your Body presidents race Washington NationalsRock Your Body presidents race Washington NationalsTeddy Roosevelt emerged from the bullpen to stop his fellow presidents, put down a boom box, and lead a dance routine to Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body.”

When the music stopped, Teddy raced ahead for the victory.

UPDATE: Since the dance routine was in the outfield, the Nationals’ in-stadium video had the best views, but due to music rights issues, they could not publish it with the original song.

So sue me, but here below is a mashup version created for LetTeddyWin.com, overlaying sound from our finish line video with the video as seen on the scoreboard. Enjoy:

Original finish line video by YouTube member lfahome

Video: On historic day at Nationals Park, Teddy wins his first presidents race championship (and some other stuff)

With playoff home field advantage wrapped up by the home town Nats, the only thing undecided going into Sunday’s regular season finale was question of who would win the 2014 presidents race championship.

Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt with Madagascar PenguinsTeddy Roosevelt beast William Howard TaftTeddy Roosevelt Wins presidents raceTeddy Roosevelt Presidents Race Champion BeltSo while fans at Nationals Park expected little on-field drama, anticipation was high about the final tie-breaking dogfight between four-time champion Abraham Lincoln and perennial loser Teddy Roosevelt.

What unfolded defied every fan’s expectations.

The final presidents race of the season wasn’t a dogfight at all, but rather a staged relay race featuring the racing presidents and the characters from the upcoming Dreamworks motion picture Penguins of Madagascar.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, and William Howard Taft lined up in tandem with penguins Private (pushed on a cart by George), Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski. Roosevelt did not participate.

Then, halfway through the race, the hero of San Juan Hill emerged from center field and darted past the relayers, passing Taft in the home stretch and running away uncontested with the presidents race title.

(Nats fans know that what the presidents race championship lacked in drama, Jordan Zimmerman provided as he tossed the first no hitter in team history. Congratulations to JZimm, and to September call-up Steven Souza, who sealed the no-no with a spectacular 9th inning catch.)

After over 600 losses, Teddy Roosevelt is now presidents race champion for the first time. The Nationals sport a record of 18-8 when Teddy wins this season (18-6 when Teddy wins in the fourth inning), a record which suggests that a few more Teddy victories in the playoffs would not be a bad idea.

Here’s your finish line video:

As always throughout the season, finish line video for LetTeddyWin.com is by the intrepid lfahome of the Gnome Garden.
Photos/Washington Nationals, lfahome

Video: In a first, Nationals presidents race goes to replay review, Lincoln robs Teddy of title

The Nationals racing presidents entered the penultimate regular season race of 2014 on Saturday with four-time champion Abraham Lincoln on a tear.

Presidents race photo finish Teddy GeorgeThis Play Under Review - Replay BaseballReplay official Abraham Lincoln - Washington Nationals Racing PresidentsLincoln, the all-time winningest racing president, had been dominated most of the season by Teddy Roosevelt, the perennial loser who came into the season with an all-time regular season record of 12-595 (yes, that’s twelve wins against nearly 600 losses).

But after clawing and cheating his way to victory in eight of eleven races in September, the Great Emancipator entered Saturday having tied the Rough Rider atop the presidents race standings.

So it was a surprise to most in the stands when “Honest” Abe failed to show up for Saturday’s race.

When the tightly-fought contest ended in a photo finish between Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington, race judge Screech the Eagle called for a replay review.

That’s when Lincoln appeared from the sidelines wearing a headset, having been appointed replay official by Screech.

After a delay in which the replay was shown on the Nationals Park scoreboard, Lincoln called the race for Washington, setting up a final showdown with Teddy in Sunday’s season finale.

Here’s the race as called in the stadium by PA Announcer Jerome Hruska, followed by our finish line video:


Videos: Washington Nationals and YouTube member lfahome

Videos: Abe Lincoln enlists Secret Service to cheat his way into a tie with Teddy Roosevelt

Abe Lincoln Cheats - Washington Nationals Racing PresidentsAbe Lincoln Cheats - Washington Nationals Racing PresidentsWith a win Friday afternoon at Nationals Park, the Nats clinched home field advantage through the playoffs, but Teddy Roosevelt’s magic number stayed stuck at one, as “Honest” Abe Lincoln cheated his way to two victories in the day-night doubleheader, pulling into a tie with Teddy Roosevelt atop the presidents race standings.

The afternoon game featured $1 ice cream cones, so it was no surprise when “Nice Cream Cone” made a return appearance to Nationals Park during the presidents race. The giant dessert first went after Lincoln, but then took down all of his opponents, leaving a clear path for the Great Emancipator to take the opener.

In the nightcap, Lincoln enlisted the Secret Service to clear a path to the finish line, first clotheslining Teddy Roosevelt in the outfield, then tackling Washington, Jefferson, and Taft while Lincoln preened for the fans.

Abe’s antics ensure that the 2014 presidents race title will come down to the final game of the season.

Photo:@NatsBigChief27
Videos:YouTube member lfahome

Video: Teddy wins for the first time in a month, looks to clinch first title this weekend

Abe Lincoln wins game 1 presidents raceTeddy Roosevelt Wins - October“Honest” Abraham Lincoln has been on a tear in September, pushing and shoving his way to victory after victory in the presidents race. After winning his fifth in a row during the first race of Thursday’s day-night doubleheader, the Great Emancipator pulled within one win of Teddy Roosevelt in the presidents race standings with 5 home games left in the season.

Perhaps it was the dominant pitching performance of Gio Gonzalez, or maybe it was the cool October-like weather, but something woke up the Bull Moose. In Thursday’s nightcap, Teddy, who hadn’t won in more than a month, jumped out in front and led wire to wire.

After crossing the finish line and pushing his season lead back up to two games over Lincoln, Roosevelt pulled open his jersey to reveal a “Nothing but October” t-shirt.

With one more win, Roosevelt will guarantee at least a share of his first presidents race championship.

Race photos/@Teddy26Nats
Video by YouTube member lfahome

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