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!

Teddy fans from Ft. Worth, Texas invade Nationals Park

Teddy Roosevelt cheering section at Nationals ParkA huge and lively group of Teddy Roosevelt fans from Texas led a cheering Nationals Park crowd of 21,767 on Thursday night as Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals completed their first series sweep of the season.

No matter where you sat in the Park, their cheers were hard to ignore. Even play-by-play man Bob Carpenter took
notice on the MASN broadcast.

The Hillwood Middle school 8th grade class cheers for Teddy Roosevelt at Nationals ParkThe group included 90 students and their chaperones from Hillwood Middle school in Ft. Worth Texas.

Their U.S. History teacher, Brian Ketcham, stumbled across LetTeddyWin.com in 2009, and showed it to the kids as they were planning their 8th-grade trip to Washington.

Let Teddy Win fans from Hillwood Middle School, Ft. Worth, Texas“We let the kids vote on shirts for the trip,” Ketchum said before the game. “I showed them the blog and they thought it was hilarious. So, they voted for the Roosevelt shirt. We want to cheer on Teddy very loudly.”

And loudly they did, as cheers of “Let’s Go Teddy” and Let’s Go Nationals” reverberated from Upper Deck section 232 throughout the
Random Acts of Red - Texas Teddy fans invade Nationals Parkgame’s final 5 innings.

On Thursday, the group visited the White House (where they ran into the POTUS), the National Zoo, the Holocaust Museum, and the National Archives — all before heading to Nationals Park, but group member Blake Emery declared their Nationals Park visit “the greatest night ever” — a sentiment that seemed to be shared by many.

They are chronicling their adventures at coachketchum.com.

Will the Nationals Let Teddy Win on Strasmas Day?

DC sports fans are gearing up for the most hyped debut in Washington sports history, as fans have dubbed Tuesday Strasmas Day in anticipation of the major league debut of pitcher Stephen Strasburg, aka Baseball Jeezus.

With the team expected to choose hitting phenom Bryce Harper today with the #1 pick in baseball’s amateur draft, Nats fans see this week as a symbolic turning point in the short history of the franchise.

The Nationals are surely eager to send the message that a new era has arrived. With a record sellout crowd expected, and every major national media outlet on hand, what better opportunity could the Nats have to let Teddy win? It seems a wise move, both to send a signal to the fans, and to avoid risking a chorus of 41,000 boos during their moment in the spotlight.

Here’s hoping history is made on the warning track as well as the pitcher’s mound.

One character who clearly hopes to prevent it is Abe Lincoln. The all-time presidents race victory leader has set aside his dirty tricks and gone on a tear, earning his 5th consecutive come-from-behind victory Sunday at Nationals Park. Teddy’s eyeglasses fell off his nose, but he gutted it out and finished the race blind. We’re hoping he manages to get them fixed on his off day today. The racing presidents were sporting their traditional period garb for just the second time this season.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Calling for a Teddy victory Friday night

DC-based musician, blogger, and fellow marketing professional Mike Holden writes in his blog Thursday that Stan Kasten and the Nationals should consider restoring a little dignity for the 40,000-or-so fans who snapped up tickets to Friday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds based on reports that pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg would be making his major league debut that night.

“What better way is there to reward those in attendance for this non-Strasburg start,” Holden writes, “than with something that’s just as rare as Pitching Jesus?” A Teddy Roosevelt victory, says Holden, still gives the fans “something that some will proudly say they were there in-person for.”

Our readers have speculated variously that Teddy’s mounting losses will come to an end when the the Nats win the division, or make the playoffs, or win the World Series, or even when Strasburg makes his debut; but I’m in Mike’s camp. Reward the faithful. End the suffering. Give us something special. Let Teddy Win tonight!

Abe Lincoln takes on the “Let Teddy Win” fans

Nationals Park Empty StandsTeddy Roosevelt fans were out in force tonight as WeLoveDC.com sponsored its first “Let Teddy Win” night at Nationals Park, complete with a private ballpark tour, pre-game rally, presidents race trivia contest, food, prizes, and rally for our favorite racing president.

With an otherwise cold, damp night
Let Teddy Win Babyattracting the smallest crowd in Nationals Park history, it felt at times like a private party.

Among the reported 11,191 in attendance were presidents race rooters young and old, and of course Teddy signs everywhere, particularly during the 4th-inning presidents race.

The rain had stopped well before the first pitch, but Teddy Roosevelt took no chances, racing while carrying an umbrella from start to finish.

The umbrella was too small to cover Roosevelt’s giant head, but not too small to slow him down, and Abe Lincoln raced past him to move back into a tie with Tom for the season lead.

A huge contingent of Teddy fans met Abe with boos at the finish line, and Abe climbed into the stands to confront them, but was escorted off the field as the crowd chanted “Let Teddy Win.”

It was great to meet and enjoy a game with so many readers. Thanks to Cathy and the crew at WeLoveDC.com for sponsoring a terrific night at the park.

More photos to follow (if you have photos to share, let me know!).

Video courtesy of YouTube member and intrepid presidents race fan lfahome

Teddy fans join WeLoveDC April 21 for a special night at Nationals Park

We Love DC Let Teddy Win night at Nationals ParkBaseball is in the air, and the WeLoveDC blog and the Nationals are kicking off the season by sponsoring a special event for fans of the Nats, the racing presidents, and of course, Teddy Roosevelt.

On Wednesday, April 21, with the Rockies in town for the Nats’ first extended homestand, we’ll be going behind the scenes for a private tour and pre-game rally, plus prizes, sign-making, and an opportunity to go down on the field before the game.

WeLoveDC has packaged all this into a $40 ticket, which also includes entrance to the game, a $10 food voucher, and a seat amid the Teddy Roosevelt cheering section in section 237 by the scoreboard bar.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

5:30 p.m. Tour of the stadium. We’ll go behind the scenes, tour the press box, and four lucky raffle winners will get to go down to field level.

6:00 p.m. Pre-game rally, with sign-making materials, prizes, and Nats trivia.

7:05 p.m. First pitch

Tickets went on sale today at eventbrite and will sell out, so order yours now.

For the Teddy fans in your life

Teddy Roosevelt Gift Items at LetTeddyWin.comOur good friends over at CafePress have introduced some new gift items in recent months and — just in time for Christmas — we finally got around to putting some “Let Teddy Win” designs on them.

The new gift items include a Teddy Roosevelt holiday ornament, the swiss-made, eco-friendly Sigg water bottles in 2 sizes, plus a great-looking nylon Let Teddy Win! gym bag.

For pure fun, the new Let Teddy Win! Flip Mino Camcorder simply can’t be beat. There’s an HD version as well.

Right now you can use coupon code ATTICSINROAD to save $5 when you spend $50 or more. Longtime readers know that these items support the blog and are backed by the great CafePress satisfaction guarantee.

Nationals blogs forced to fill the print gap

With the Washington Nationals preparing for their most highly-anticipated spring training since the team moved to DC, the oft-snakebitten franchise finds itself without a voice at DC’s major newspapers.

The Washington Times today announced restructuring and layoffs that include drastic cut-backs in local news and sports reporting. The staff reductions of over 40% mean the Times is throwing in the towel on local print news to focus on national politics.

The announcement comes after Washington Post Nationals reporter Chico Harlan reported that he is leaving the Nationals beat as soon as the Post can find a replacement.

Of course, anybody paying attention saw it coming. Two seasons ago, when Harlan took over the Nats beat, he made it clear he wouldn’t stay in the job more than a couple of years. As for the Times, even their most tenured sports reporters have been interviewing for jobs this year as they watched readership drop and were continually asked to do more for less.

Nats followers will surely miss Mark Zuckerman and Ben Goessling’s Chatter, and the commentary of Thom Loverro, who last season so eloquently argued that the Nats must Let Teddy Win in order to escape the curse of Teddy Roosevelt.

But I’m going to miss Chico the most. Harlan won me over in his first weeks on the job, but the humor and eloquence with which he chronicled last year’s train wreck of a season merits a plaque in the sportswriter’s hall of fame.

As for the Nats, the sad reality is that come opening day, the Nationals Park press box will be home to just one full-time print journalist who has never covered the team.

Nationals president Stan Kasten has always had a love/hate relationship with bloggers, but his decision last season to embrace the Natosphere is looking mighty prescient. As print coverage continues to wither, a small army of loyal and dedicated Nationals bloggers continues to cover the team’s every move. The team has followed up this off-season with conference calls and invitations to press conferences as the Nats announced their skipper and GM.

The Natosphere is remarkably strong for such a young franchise. For better or worse, it represents the most consistent local coverage of our favorite team. Kudos to the Nats for recognizing the growing role of blogs in local coverage.

Honk if you love Teddy Roosevelt

I hope you enjoyed Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday as much as I did. Unlike last year’s big 150th birthday bash, this year was a little quieter for our favorite #26.

However, the family did give me a surprise birthday present this week in the form of new vanity plates.

So remember if you see me driving around the DC area: Honk if you love Teddy!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,936 other followers

%d bloggers like this: