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.

A Washington Post “Closer Inspection” of the Nats’ presidents race

If you thought you knew all there was to know about the Nats’ racing presidents, Kris Coronado at the Washington Post Magazine this week features a “Closer Inspection” of our Rushmore favorites.

The interview with Nationals Entertainment Coordinator Tom Davis reveals even a few details we didn’t have on our presidents race facts page. For example, did you know that Teddy’s #26 jersey is made from the same Majestic Performance Apparel COOL BASE polyester wicking fabric that the players wear?

A worthy read for any presidents race fan. Thanks to both Kris and Tom for the nod to LetTeddyWin.com.

Nats hold presidents race tryouts in the snow

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsThe Washington Nationals celebrated Presidents Day weekend by holding their annual racing president auditions Saturday at Nationals Park.

The team drew a record number of applicants from the DC area, and invited a select group to the ball park to run the bases and show off their entertainment skills.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsThe recent record snowfall provided a hitch for this year’s applicants, as they were asked to run the full length of the presidents race in snow that reached 2 feet deep at the finish line. The conditions posed problems for more than a few racers who needed help up after falling in the snow.

Washington Nationals Presidents Race AuditionsFor the fourth consecutive year, Teddy Roosevelt was absent from the auditions. Applicants donned the 12-foot costumes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln, as they ran an indoor 40-yard dash, competed against each other on the snow-covered presidents race course, demonstrated their dancing and celebrating skills, and faced individual interviews with the entertainment staff.

We enjoyed meeting so many of the applicants as part of our first-ever video interviews (one of whom details his experience on his personal blog.

Update: Contestant Gwen Purdom details her experience in Washingtonian Magazine.

Audition photos by Ethan Ableman

Your chance to sing the National Anthem at Nationals Park

The Washington Nationals have announced that they will be hosting open auditions this Saturday, March 7 for those who wish to sing the National Anthem this season at Nationals Park.

Angela Calo sings the National Anthem at Nationals ParkThe first 100 performers to register through e-mail at anthem@nationals.com will have the opportunity to show the powers that be that they have the pipes to perform during a Washington Nationals home game this season. All applicants will be asked to perform the anthem behind home plate facing the seating bowl as they would during the season.

Applicants are asked to include the following in their e-mail:
– Performance Resume (If applicable)
– Headshot (or recent picture)
– Voice (and Instrument type, if applicable)

On Saturday, registration will begin at noon and end promptly at 12:30pm, at the Centerfield gates. Parking will be available in Lot C, located on the corner of First and N Streets, SE. Only the person auditioning will be allowed to enter the ballpark, except for contestants under the age of 18 who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Renditions must be kept under 90 seconds.

If you can’t make it Saturday, you can still send an application via email along with a tape, but Nationals Entertainment Director Tom Davis reports that the team receives thousands of requests, so showing up Saturday may be your best bet to stand out.

My vote, however, goes to these kids!:

Presidents Race on ice tomorrow following Presidents Day weekend auditions

A record number of contestants showed up at Nationals Park today for what has quickly become an annual Presidents Day weekend ritual in Washington, DC — the Washington Nationals presidents race auditions.

Seventy finalists — 20 more than the previous year — were invited to compete for the approximately 20 open spots on the Nationals’ mascot team.

As was the case at last year’s auditions, Teddy Roosevelt failed to make an appearance (he is “in training” for the upcoming season, says Nationals Entertainment Coordinator Tom Davis), so the finalists took turns racing and performing as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. As always, SBF at the Nats320 Blog has a fantastic recap of the days activities, along with more photos. There was a nice video story over at WLJA News, and the following from WTOP News and The Washington Times, respectively:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8kRyzTTG-4]

Lost in the excitement over today’s auditions has been the news that tomorrow, Presidents Day, will mark the first-ever Nationals presidents race on ice. Members of the Nat Pack are heading to Long Island, New York for a running of the presidents race on skates between periods of tomorrow’s hockey game between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m counting on Teddy to show up for that spectacle, but hope he doesn’t injure himself before we even get to spring training!

Photo courtesy of Nats320

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