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.

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.

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.

The Orioles’ Adam Jones weighs in on Teddy and the racing presidents

Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones is a Washington Nationals Presidents Race Teddy Roosevelt fanBaltimore Orioles star center fielder was warming up before Saturday’s game at Nationals Park, waiting for the Nationals to finish batting practice, and chatting with teammates about the Nationals’ racing presidents.

“Teddy never wins,” Jones asked. “Why doesn’t Teddy ever win?”

Jones, as it turns out, is a Teddy Roosevelt fan. He doesn’t miss the presidents race when the Orioles play the Nationals, knows about Jayson Werth’s attempts to help Teddy Roosevelt last season, and has a problem with the injustice served out nightly to the great president and war hero.

“They need to let him win,” Jones told me.

For Jones, the presidents race is a realization of a childhood misunderstanding.

“When I was like 5 years old, I thought they really held a race to determine who was going to be president,” he said. “I thought ‘that’s crazy,’ but I actually thought that’s how we picked the president.”

Jones’ memory triggered a novel suggestion. “I’d like to see them get some real presidents out there,” he said. “Have George W. race Obama. Who do you think would win that race?”

Jones sported a Let Teddy Win button until it was time to take the field, leading MLB.com to suggest that Jones’ homer Saturday was just following Teddy’s motto: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Orioles Adam Jones takes BP with presidents race Let Teddy winBaltimore Orioles Adam Jones Let Teddy Win

Orioles Adam Jones supports Teddy Roosevelt in the Washington Nationals Presidents Race by wearing a Let Teddy Win button

Photo/MLB.com

Video evidence that Jayson Werth acted alone

Jayson Werth interferes with the presidents race - Washington NationalsSources tell us that Jayson Werth’s ambush of Saturday’s presidents race was not scripted by the Nationals, and caught the team’s in-game entertainment and mascot team by surprise.

If there were any doubts, look no further than the new and unedited video below by our regular YouTube contributor lfahome, who caught the chaos from the finish line in all its glory.

From the way Werth and Rick Ankiel casually sauntered onto the field of play, to the way Werth had to chase Jefferson into the middle of the outfield, to the way he shoved TJ back to the ground when he tried to get up, to Werth’s despondent reaction when Teddy fell and stopped running, to P.A. announcer Jerome Hruska nearly cracking up while calling the race, to the moment Werth realized George Washington was still on his feet and attempted to trip him, to the panic by TJ’s “secret service agent,” who realized they’d gone over the MLB-allotted time, to the shock on Nat Pack member Katie’s face when Werth decided to take the tape himself, does anything about this look like the Nationals’ normally well-scripted routine?:

Check out that Nat Pack reaction one more time:

Finally, there’s Werth’s own non-comment when asked about it in the post-game press conference. “I can’t really comment,” Werth said. “When you stage a coup, it’s better to keep it quiet.”

Of course, Werth didn’t act completely alone. After failing in his first sabotage attempt Friday night, he recruited outfielder Rick Ankiel to join four bullpen pitchers and try to clear the path for Teddy.

In the face of those numbers, you have to give credit to the Nats. They are so committed to keeping the curse alive that they ad-libbed quite well, with Teddy taking a tumble in the outfield and Screech ultimately awarding the win to Werth (noted now in our standings).

But Werth appears undaunted. “If Teddy can’t win,” he said Saturday, “then no one wins in my vote.”

For a team that’s long been eliminated from playoff contention, this certainly adds intrigue to Sunday’s final home game at Nationals Park. Will Werth recruit more players to literally carry Teddy across the finish line? It doesn’t seem like the Nats have a say, and for that, Jayson Werth is officially the new hero of the Let Teddy Win movement.

Jayson Werth shows disgust as Nats fail to let Teddy win

Nationals Presidents Race 5/28/2011Jayson Werth disgusted that Teddy never wins the Presidents Race

Abe Cheats

On Friday night, a Nat Pack member helps Abe cheat. Teddy has been disqualified for similar antics, but Abe gets a pass every time.

Abe Cheats Button from LetTeddyWin.comA day after revealing his displeasure that Teddy never wins, Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth clearly held hope that the Nationals had listened.

As George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy began the presidents race Saturday afternoon, the Nationals’ 126 million dollar man moved to the top of the dugout steps in anticipation. Werth watched the race until it became clear that Teddy had no chance, then turned back to the dugout and waved in disgust.

The open disdain demonstrated by Werth was noted immediately by Nats followers across Twitter, and by the MASN broadcast team, who replayed the brush off in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Overnight, Werth has brought a spotlight onto the nearly five-year shut down of Teddy by Nationals officials who persist in denying any conspiracy.

What pushed Werth to suddenly “come out” Friday night in favor of letting Teddy Win? Perhaps it was that night’s race, which may have been the most blatant example ever that the Nats will help Abe cheat at the expense of Teddy Roosevelt.

Lincoln was dressed as pro wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage, and halfway through the race, his hat fell down over his face, blinding the 16th president.

No sooner had the hat slipped than a member of the Nationals mascot team raced onto the field and helped push Abe to the finish line. Race judge Screech turned the other cheek and failed to disqualify “Honest” Abe, who was awarded the victory.

Screech has disqualified Teddy for a myriad of reasons, including unnecessary roughness, cutting the corner, and even running when he should be walking. Lincoln, who has a track record of pushing and shoving his way to victory, has never been disqualified.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Vote for the Let Teddy Win pumpkin!

The Washington Nationals have announced the finalists for their annual pumpkin carving contest, and the final selections include a very familiar face.

The Let Teddy Win pumpkin is a finalist in the Nationals pumpkin carving contestLoyal blog reader Larry LaHaie’s “Let Teddy Win” pumpkins were selected by the panel of judges, and voting has been opened up to the fans at nationals.com.

Your vote could help win Larry a game-worn Adam Dunn jersey — a well-deserved reward for the ten hours he says he spent carving his personal Mount Rushmore into the face of a large autumn squash.

The Lansing, MI software engineer’s effort is all the more impressive given that he doesn’t even live in the DC area; but, he says, “I’ve just kind of fallen in love with the fans, the team (okay, not Elijah Dukes), the area, and the idea of baseball making such a triumphant return to D.C.”

“The contest is judged partially on Nationals’ spirit,” said LaHaie, “and I feel like rooting for Teddy is a great representation of that. If you root for the Nationals, how can you not root for Teddy? And vice-versa? Teddy’s going to prevail one of these days, and so are the Nationals.”

It’s hard not to cast your vote for that kind of spirit. Voting is open now through Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. ET, and fans are allowed up to ten votes per day.

Let’s make it a blowout victory for Teddy!

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