Video: Fans sacrifice rubber chicken outside Nationals Park in advance of pivotal NLDS playoff game 4

Washington Nationals Jobu Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 1Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 1Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice 3After Monday’s come-from-behind victory by the Chicago Cubs over the Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series playoffs, fans gathered outside Nationals Park in Washington at noon Tuesday to try to do their part to exorcise the team’s playoff demons.

Nationals fan “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman led the ancient kaporos ritual as he has “dozens of times” since the team came to Washington in 2005.

“We’ve been doing this since 2005 when our backs are to the wall,” Kaufman declared to more than a dozen fans and Nationals employees gathered in front of the stadium. saying that the Nats “have always won at least one game after we do a chicken sacrifice.”

Kaufman brought an autographed baseball from the 1924 Washington Senators (the last DC team to have won a World Series), a Jobu doll “to help the bats get rid of their fear and wake up,” and a Tanner Roark bobblehead, as Roark is scheduled to pitch game four.

Kaufman then thanked the crowd. and swung the rubber chicken above his head.  “Take all the bad juju from the Nats,” Kaufman said. “Putting it in the Chicken.”

Kaufman then did the deed, those assembled wished the team good luck, and dispersed for lunch.

After 2-1 playoff loss, fans plan chicken sacrifice Tuesday outside Nationals Park

Nationals Rubber Chicken Man

Washington Nationals fan and “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman

For the first time in more than two years, there will be a chicken sacrifice at Nationals Park.

Longtime readers are familiar with the ritual performed by Hugh Kaufman, aka the Washington Nationals’ “Rubber Chicken Man,” whenever the team has run into a string of bad “juju.”

“There hasn’t been a chicken sacrifice in the two years that Dusty has managed the Nats.” Kaufman said Tuesday after the Chicago Cubs took a come-from-behind playoff victory from the Nationals, “but our backs are to the wall and there has been a tsunami of bad juju raining down on us.”

So Kaufman plans to do the deed at noon outside the Nationals Park centerfield gates, and is inviting fans to join him.

Jobu Vudu Doll

Kaufman brought a Jobu doll and a Gio Gonzalez bobblehead to Saturday’s Game 2 victory.

The last sacrifice came mid-season 2015, after a string of injuries and losses had dropped the Nationals out of first place. The 2016 season was the first the team had gone all year without a chicken sacrifice, and until today, it appeared they might go sacrifice-free two years in a row.

Kaufman, who fans may recognize from his seats right above the Nationals dugout, has conducted sacrifices that preceded winning streaks many times since 2005. His sacrifices were called on by former manager Davey Johnson, and by pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who has been known to wear a “Chicken Mode” t-shirt in honor of Kaufman.

“Jobu might be there also,” Kaufman added, “to help wake up our bats again as he did on Saturday night.”

Fans plan public chicken sacrifice for 5:00pm Tuesday at Nationals Park

Fans showing up to Nationals Park two hours before first pitch Tuesday night will get a little extra for their money.

Washington Nationals Rubber Chicken Man Hugh Kaufman displays his Chicken Mode T-ShirtHugh Kaufman, aka the Nationals’ “Rubber Chicken Man,” will be leading a group of fans through the Kaporos ritual outside the centerfield gate, sacrificing a rubber chicken to “ward off the bad juju” that has fallen on the team as they’ve lost four straight to fall out of first place in the National League East.

Longtime readers are familiar with the ritual, most recently performed at the ball park after the Nationals lost the first two games of the 2014 divisional playoffs. Remarkably, it seems to usually work. The team went on to win game three. Kaufman’s sacrifices have preceded winning streaks almost annually since 2005, and have been called on by previous manager Davey Johnson, and by pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who has been known to wear a “Chicken Mode” t-shirt in honor of Kaufman.

Video: Fans sacrifice rubber chicken, burn sage outside Nationals Park in advance of Game 3

As the Washington Nationals arrive in San Francisco with their backs to the wall in the National League Division Series playoffs, fans back home have taken matters into their own hands.

Nationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeJenn Rubenstein burning sageNationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeNationals Fan Rubber Chicken SacrificeLongtime Nats fan and self-titled “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman led a group of 14 fans in an impromptu gathering outside Nationals Park on Sunday Afternoon, where they performed a ritual sacrifice of a rubber chicken, and burned sage outside the centerfield gate.

Kaufman said the coaching staff was aware of the event and appreciated the fan support. “We’re going to take the bad juju and give it to the chicken,” he said, “so that when the Nats play in San Francisco…they’re going to win.”

After the chicken was beheaded, Kaufman carried the decapitated rubber toy around the centerfield gate as fellow fan Jenn Rubenstein burned sage in an act known as smudging, which is reputed to bless a house and dispel it of negative energy and influences.

Longtime readers know that when the Nationals had their backs to the wall in the 2012 playoffs, Kaufman and Rubenstein performed the ritual before Jayson Werth’s historic walk-off home run in Game 4 of that year’s NLDS.

Kaufman has conducted many sacrifices since 2005, but the only other sacrifice this season came after a Memorial Day loss that dropped the team’s record below .500. After that, the Nationals got hot, finishing the season 71-40.


Nats fans plan rubber chicken sacrifice for 5pm Sunday outside Nationals Park

Rubber Chicken Man Hugh Kaufman and Let Teddy Win Sacrifice a chicken at Nationals ParkWashington Nationals Rubber Chicken Sacrifice Burn SageNationals rubber chicken man sacrifice breaks bad luckFollowing Saturday’s epic 18-inning game 2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, a chicken will be sacrificed at 5pm today in front of the Nationals Park Center Field Gate.

Longtime readers know that since 2005, Nationals fan “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman has sacrificed rubber chickens to “get rid of the bad juju” whenever the team has run into a bit of trouble.

Kaufman is encouraging fans to come “honor our pitchers and help wake up our bats,” and promises to bring a number of baseball voodoo items to help ensure success.

When the Nationals had their backs to the wall in the 2012 playoffs, Kaufman performed a similar ritual, sacrificing a chicken before Jayson Werth’s historic walk-off home run carried the team to a Game 4 victory in that year’s NLDS.

Kaufman says has has “sacrificed dozens” over the years. In fact, he says 2014 is the only year in which he performed the ritual only once.

This season’s only sacrifice came after a Memorial Day loss that dropped the team’s record below .500 after 51 games. After that, the Nationals went on a tear for the rest of the season, winning 71 games vs. just 40 losses.

As it is Sunday and there is no game today, plenty of free parking should be available. Kaufman is encouraging fans to wear their Chicken Mode t-shirts.

After Memorial Day loss, fans plan chicken sacrifice Tuesday at Nationals Park

Led by self-styled “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman, Nationals fans will sacrifice a rubber chicken at noon Tuesday outside the Nationals Park centerfield gate.

Nationals rubber chicken man sacrifice breaks bad luckNationals Racing Presidents photo finish - George Washington edges Teddy RooseveltDespite outscoring opponents over the last eight games, the Nationals have won only two of those contests, and find themselves with a losing record after Monday’s 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.

As we’ve reported previously, Kaufman has performed the ritual “dozens of times” in the team’s ten year history. The act, which is designed to “remove bad juju” from the ball park, has become less frequent as the team has done well in recent years, but pitcher Gio Gonzalez has adopted the cause, having participated in the most recent sacrifice himself last August. Some fans have begun sporting Chicken Mode t-shirts when Gonzalez pitches.

“Our injury plagued squad has fallen below .500,” said Kaufman. “They need the extra Chicken Mode juju to help heal them, and energize our sedated bats.”

In unrelated news, George Washington edged Teddy Roosevelt wearing military fatigues for the Memorial Day presidents race win.

Kaufman encourages fans to attend on Tuesday. “Although it’s a work day,” he said, “I hope all Nats fans who can make it to this short ritual at lunch time, will come to help add good juju to our team.”

Race video below:

Video for LetTeddyWin.com by YouTube member lfahome

Chicken sacrifice planned for noon Thursday at Nationals Park

In response to Davey Johnson, Rubber Chicken Man Hugh Kaufman Sacrifices a chicken at Washington Nationals ParkChicken Sacrifice at Nationals Park dugout - Chicken ModeIn an effort to break the team’s losing streak, Washington Nationals “Rubber Chicken Man” Hugh Kaufman will perform a ritual sacrifice of a rubber chicken in front of the Nationals Park center field gate at noon on Thursday.

Kaufman has performed the ritual many times since 2005, whenever he determines that the Nationals have hit a streak of particularly bad luck. Last season, chickens were sacrificed after a string of injuries to the team’s catchers, and again after the Nationals lost Game 3 of their playoff series vs. the Cardinals. Just ten weeks ago, Kaufman was called into service by a Washington Capitals fan to help end their own losing streak.

Kaufman, who inspired Chicken Mode t-shirts, also plans to burn sage on Thursday, to honor a postgame request by outfielder Jayson Werth. “Somebody was talking about Phil Jackson the other day,” Werth said after Wednesday’s loss. “We need to call him up, have him come in and burn some sage or something. We’re not very feng shui.”

No word on whether Jackson will make an appearance, but the ritual will be open to the public.

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