Justice is not blind as Taft steals blindfold relay race

Blindfold presidents raceThe Nationals’ racing presidents held a blindfold relay race Wednesday night at Nationals Park, with Washington and Jefferson lining up against the unlikely pairing of Lincoln and Roosevelt.

Just before the gun, William Howard Taft entered the field without a blindfold, and the former Chief Justice spun Tom and Teddy around, leading them to collide with their counterparts.

Bill took the tape to notch his ninth win of the season.

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

GIF: Abe Lincoln refuses to pass the baton to George Washington. Literally.

Abe Cheats - refuses to hand the baton to George Washington - hits racing presidentKnown for his dirty tricks, “Honest” Abe Lincoln has established himself as the winningest racing president since the opening of Nationals Park; but this season, George Washington has been the class of the field, holding a comfortable lead in the season standings since April.

Yet George has been unable to put away a resurgent Abe, and entered Thursday night’s contest still needing just one victory to seal the season.

In what began as a traditional relay race, Abe Lincoln was called upon to pass the baton to George Washington for the anchor leg, but the Great Emancipator wasn’t willing to hand the victory to his rival. Instead of passing the baton, Abe reared back and clobbered the founding father, stealing the victory for himself.

Full finish line video below, plus a slo-mo version:

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: Racing presidents recall “The Hangover,” George Washington assaults Taft with a cinnamon shaker

With the Detroit Tigers visiting Nationals Park for the first time Wednesday night, the racing presidents chose to trot out one of the most obscure cultural reference in their seven year history of obscure cultural references.

Nationals Racing President George Washington hits Bill TaftIn the fourth inning, the presidents attempted to throw off the Tigers by running a relay race in which batons were replaced by cinnamon shakers. The cinnamon reference recalled the movie “The Hangover,” when the Zack Galifianakis character Alan Garner declares “Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon.”

Nationals Racing President George Washington hits William Howard TaftSince a fifth racing president was added this year, the relay race concept was unbalanced, with Teddy Roosevelt running on his own against two teams. After Abe handed off to anchor Bill, and Tom handed off to George, Teddy tripped and fell, leaving Taft with only George to beat, but it was Washington who did the beating, taking down Taft with a single swing of the cinnamon shaker.

Inexplicably, the Nationals awarded a victory to the cheating George, but not to his relay partner Thomas Jefferson. As expected to start this homestand, the race resumed its normal direction toward the first base line.



Race video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

Video: HBO’s VEEP Selina Meyer nearly nabs a presidents race victory for Teddy

Selina Meyer Washington Nationals Park Presidents RaceTeddy and Selina Meyer VEEP HBO Nationals Presidents RaceSelina Meyer Washington Nationals Presidents RaceSelina Meyer Washington Nationals Presidents RaceA 10-foot likeness of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus participated in the presidents race Tuesday night at Nationals Park, teaming with Teddy Roosevelt in a relay race that came down to the wire.

Louis-Dreyfus plays United States Vice President Selina Meyer in the HBO comedy series VEEP, and to promote this Sunday’s season premier, the network partnered with the Washington Nationals to have the king-sized Meyer join the racing presidents for an official presidents race relay.

Meyer was teamed with fan favorite Teddy Roosevelt, and fans entering the center field gates were given “Teddy and Selina” rally signs to help cheer the pair to victory during the fourth inning race. Meyer posed for photos with fans before the game.

For the three-team relay, a trash-talking William Howard Taft was teamed with Abraham Lincoln, while founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson formed a second opponent.

In the first leg, Teddy Roosevelt jumped to a big lead, but dropped the baton on the handoff. By the time Selina had picked it up, Washington and Lincoln had taken off on the anchor leg.

In a reversal of roles from previous seasons, George Washington continued to stake his territory as the early leader in the dirty tricks department, pushing Abe onto the warning track in right center field.

With Abe out of the way, George saw nothing but daylight, but Selina put on a burst of speed that brought the Nationals Park crowd to its feet, briefly taking the lead in the home stretch before running out of gas just before the finish line.

The victory put further space between the founding fathers and the remaining racing presidents, who have yet to taste
victory in 2013.

Photos video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.

Video: Shark attacks Teddy, secret service no help as presidents race Olympic tributes continue

Presidents Race Olympics Relay Terrance ScottPresidents Race Olympics Relay Race BatonsPresidents Race Olympics Relay Teddy LostNationals Racing Presidents Olympic Swimming 400 individual medleyNationals Racing Presidents Olympic Swimming 400 IMNationals Racing Presidents Olympic Swimming 400 IMPresidents Race Olympics Swimming Shark Attacks TeddyNationals Presidents Race Shark Attacks TeddyThe Nationals racing presidents continued their week of Olympic tributes with Friday’s doubleheader at Nationals Park, mixing the predictable with the absurd, and extending Teddy Roosevelt’s winless streak to 496 races.

The newly dismantled Miami Marlins arrived in town early for an afternoon makeup game, and the lightly-attended affair included a presidents race first: members of the Nat Pack and the “Secret Service” who escort the presidents around the ball park participated in an Olympic presidents race 4-man relay.

Secret Service member Scott took the first leg vs. Nat Packer Terrance before handing things off to Abe Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, respectively. Lincoln extended the lead, and by the time Nat Packer Jason got the baton to George Washington for the anchor leg, he was way behind, but Teddy’s baton transition was weak and he faded in the home stretch, handing George the win.

By the time game 2 began, 32,334 fans had arrived, and the day of presidents race firsts continued as the evening crowd was treated to a 4th-inning spectacle that was worthy of a Fellini movie.

In the first-ever presidents race swim meet, the giant-headed Rushmores entered the stadium wearing goggles and swim caps, and advanced around the warning track making swimming motions with their arms in the styles of the 400 Meter Individual Medley– first the butterfly, then the backstroke, the breast stroke, and freestyle.

Teddy, of course, tried to “swim” while carrying an inner tube.

As if the surreal image of Thomas Jefferson leading the pack of “swimmers” down the first base line wasn’t enough for the Nationals Park crowd, a person in a shark costume then appeared out of the Nationals’ bullpen.

With the shark chasing the field, what happened next was inevitable, and Teddy’s humiliation was complete.

“And that is the most mutant looking shark I’ve ever seen in my life,” said color commentator F.P. Santangelo on the MASN broadcast. “That is an outfield shark, folks.”

Video below:

Nats roll out the red, and Teddy falls on wet, cold opening day

It’s fair to say that the 39,055 Nationals faithful who packed the home park for opening day are accustomed to end-of-game suffering. Unfortunately, a near-freezing drizzle forced them to suffer non-stop from Thursday afternoon’s opening pitch.

The home team sported a new look for 2011, with six new position players, an improved defense, new home uniforms, and a variety of other changes to the stadium experience; yet these improvements were little consolation for failing to score against the Atlanta Braves pitching staff.

While the team’s refreshingly solid defensive performance may portend good times ahead, there were no such signals from Teddy Roosevelt.

The 2011 presidents race season kicked off with an unusual relay race in which Abe Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson jumped over hurdles in the outfield before attempting to push Teddy and George, respectively, to the finish line aboard rolling carts.

As Tom pushed George over the finish line, Teddy failed to gain his balance and fell off the cart onto the warning track.

The shared victory knocked winless fan-favorite Teddy into 3rd place in the presidents race standings after just one race. It could be a long season ahead.

The Nationals promised changes to the in-stadium experience for 2011. Unfortunately, letting Teddy win does not appear to be one of them.

This fan captured his own video from the upper deck. It’s notable not for the camera work, but for the drunken despair expressed over Teddy’s fate.

When the team introduced its new uniforms back in November, they also promised a renewed marketing focus for the Nationals around the color red and the Curly W logo.

Today, further progress was revealed in the form of new uniforms for the Nat Pack, new Curly W signage around the parking garages, Curly W backgrounds on all of the featured HD scoreboard videos, and revised scoreboard graphics featuring bright whites and reds to match the uniforms.

To this observer, these changes are well done and help to solidify the Nats’ marketing identity.

Now if only we could get Teddy’s Barbeque back…

Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome

“That Cat” adds to a night of Nationals Park oddities

On a night that featured both a triple play and an inside-the-park home run, oddities seemed to be the order of the day on Wednesday as the Nats returned to Nationals Park to kick off a homestand vs. the New York Mets.

That Cat tackles Abe Lincoln, photo by Tom BridgeOff the field, TV chef and cookbook author Paula Deen offered to cook Nationals mascot Screech before throwing out the first pitch, and the racing presidents ran a rare relay race; but fans of the presidents know that when it’s time to kick things up a notch in the oddities department, nothing tops an appearance by “That Cat”.

The man-sized panther, who last appeared during an exhibition game in April, showed up to once again disrupt the presidents’ rhythm, this time as Abe Lincoln & Teddy Roosevelt formed a relay team vs. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

In the 4th-inning race, Teddy started out strong and handed the lead to Lincoln, running anchor. Abe looked like a sure winner, but he was ambushed by That Cat, who lept from the stands along the first base line to make a flying tackle.

George, running anchor for Tom, high-stepped to an easy victory.

Photos by flickr member tbridge.

Teddy Roosevelt leveled by racing pierogie at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park

The Nationals’ racing presidents and the racing pierogies of Pittsburgh have a 2-year tradition of traveling to each others’ ball parks when the teams play each other; but after May’s debacle in which the racing pierogies tricked the presidents and won a race at Nationals Park, fans were left wondering whether the embarrassed presidents would make an appearance for this weekend’s Nationals/Pirates series at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.
Pittsburgh's racing pierogie Potato Pete levels Washington Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt
On Friday night, the question was answered when the presidents appeared for a 4-team mascot relay race. Abe Lincoln was paired with Teddy Roosevelt and George Washington was paired with Thomas Jefferson, with Teddy and Tom poised to run anchor.

Abe Lincoln finished the opening leg in last place, but on the anchor leg, Teddy put on a burst of speed. That’s when pierogie Potato Pete, who had not been participating in the race, ran onto the field and straight into Teddy, leveling him to the ground. Here’s the race as it was called in the park:

The take-down was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter, where SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt called it “the greatest highlight I’ve ever seen”:

Pittsburgh’s Pierogies run relays vs. Nationals Presidents

The pierogies from Pittsburgh's great pierogie race take on the Washington Nationals racing presidents at Nationals ParkThe Pittsburgh Pirates racing pierogies continued their 4-game visit to Nationals Park with a set of relay races against the Washington Nationals racing presidents. Last night’s game featured a traditional baton relay, with Tom and George pacing the field over sets of hurdles placed along the warning track.

Tonight, the teams were switched, as each racing president was paired with one of the Pittsburgh pierogies in a comical and painfully slow 3-legged race. Teddy and Sauerkraut Saul pulled into the lead before tripping and falling along the first base line. Pittsburgh favorite JalapeƱo Hannah was tied to Abe Lincoln and positioned to take the lead when Teddy and Saul collapsed.

Photo courtesy of flickr member afagen
Videos courtesy of Mike Hill and YouTube member lfahome

Racing Presidents Run Hurdles to Honor Olympics

Teddy Roosevelt hurdles in Sunday's Olympic-inspired Washington Nationals Presidents RaceIn their last home game to be played during these 2008 Olympics, the Washington Nationals pulled out all the stops to stage an Olympics-inspired presidents race during the fourth inning Sunday at Nationals Park.

If Saturday night’s race-walk didn’t impress you, then the sight of our favorite 10-foot tall racing presidents jumping over hurdles certainly had to. That’s right — hurdles.

In a scene reminiscent of a previous Olympiad, Abe Lincoln, who has whipped the competition this season, emerged during the race introductions wearing Michael Johnson-inspired gold running shoes. Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln each ran the anchor leg of a hurdle relay which was confined to the outfield. Abe beat Teddy to the finish, and was declared the winner along with teammate George Washington. This is the first time a joint victory has been awarded in presidents race history.

I hope at least one of you readers captured this memorable spectacle on video.

Photo courtesy of flickr member Liliang

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