GEICO has sponsored the Washington Nationals presidents race for over five years, and in that time, the sponsor’s ubiquitous Gecko has made his appearances, but remained a neutral party in the race.
On Monday night at Nationals Park, the GEICO Gecko broke ranks, accompanying a still-winless Teddy Roosevelt against the other presidents. What remains unclear is whether he was trying to help Teddy, or slow him down.
When the presidents appeared from the centerfield gate, George, Abe and Tom were on foot as usual, but Roosevelt was peddling a large tricycle. The tricycle might have given Teddy an advantage on any other night, but with the Gecko riding on board, it only slowed the Bull Moose down.
With Teddy struggling to keep up, Washington and Jefferson raced ahead neck-and-neck towards the finish line, pushing and shoving each other along the way.
George reached out and pulled Tom’s uniform, Tom responded with a stiff-arm and tripped, but not before falling across the finish line, right in front of race judge Screech.
Screech wasted no time declaring George the winner, but the photographs show that it was Thomas Jefferson who broke the tape. Screech clearly got it wrong, but presidents race rules do not have a provision for instant replay.
Video courtesy of YouTube member lfahome.