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The Real Presidential Race in ’08

18 August 2008 One Comment

As the race for the presidency is heating up between McCain and Obama, another race is running even hotter on the field- The Presidents Race at the new Nationals Park.

This weekend, we took a trip to the nation’s capital to get a look at the new Nationals Park. It’s located south of the Capitol, along the developing Capitol Riverfront with great views of the city from the stadium.

Up-and-coming is the best way to describe the Nationals experience. D.C. is a growing baseball market in a town where everyone is from “somewhere else” and seems to have their loyalties “back home.” If you remember, this is the team “formerly known as the Expos.” They found a home in D.C. in 2005 and played their first three seasons in RFK stadium.

This year is the first season of Nationals baseball in their brand new park. The park itself is touted as one of the “first major stadium in the United States accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Structure.” Of course, we won’t linger on the fact that the stadium is sponsored by Exxon and in true, D.C.-style, there were environmentalist protesting outside of the entrance.

Despite the team being in the city for just a few years, we were surprised to see an enthusiastic fan-base and a large crowd in the stadium. Of course, like any new stadium, National Park is impressive in size and spectacle. It reminded me of AT&T Park in San Francisco or PETCO park in San Diego: lots of ballpark space to walk around, great views of the city, plenty of play-areas and promotions, and enough distractions to make the “baseball” almost fall to the background.

Yet, this park has something more-a Presidents Race. My initial reaction to this race was that it was a copycat gimmick modeled on the well-established sausage race in Milwaukee. But, the Presidents Race was fun enough to push the real presidential bid of 2008 to the background. The Presidents Race (consisting of Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and underdog, Teddy Roosevelt) takes-off in the 4th inning with plot twists and rivalries that put the Sausages to shame.

This one fan has chronicled the the outcome of every Presidents Race and plot twist since the beginning. He is also starting a movement for Teddy to win his first race ever.

In the two games we attended, poor Teddy was disqualified in a speed-walking race where he decided to run (Saturday) and lost to Abe, the “Fastest President on Earth” in a hurdle race commemorating the Olympics (Sunday). After the race on Saturday, I did what any insider would do: I ran to the Kids Zone behind centerfield to get a picture with the Teddy- the unsung hero of Nationals Park.

Thanks to our friend, TJ, who lives in the shadow of the stadium and was nice enough to host us as well as give us the insider experience around D.C.

One Comment »

  • rebelsushi#9 said:

    its kind of like the european subculture race the do sometimes, with the italians versus whomever.

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