He lost again.
For those who bought into the hype that Teddy might finally score a victory in the third to last home game of the regular season at Nats Park, you’ve been duped again.
That hype machine was turning in overdrive Monday before the Nationals opened their three-game set against divisional foe Philadelphia.
Teddy has never officially won a Presidents Race – the race that takes place between caricatures of ex-presidents in the middle of the 4th inning of every home game in D.C. – in fact, he’s been made the laughing stock of his three regular opponents.
It’s not unusual for the HD scoreboard in right field to display a video of Teddy getting lost on the way to the ballpark, arriving only in time to watch his counterparts – Abe, George and TJ – crossing the finish line.
Through over 500 home games since the Expos moved to Washington in 2005, Teddy remains winless.
Jayson Werth displayed his frustration for Teddy’s loser prowess in 2011, twice attempting to foil victory for the other three presidents to give Teddy his first checkered flag. Werth took one of those attempts to a different level, employing the Nats bullpen staff to assist him in holding down the three usual suspects to the winner’s circle. Teddy still fell flat-faced onto the turf for the loss.
Although some thought it was all a joke, the $126-million-man exploded in front of reporters after a Nats loss, decrying Teddy’s ritualistic daily embarrassment, drawing a comparison to the outlook of the Nationals franchise around the league.
“Teddy’s gonna have to win a race. It just goes along with the whole expectancy of losing that was here when I got here. ‘The Nationals lost again?’ OK. ‘Teddy lost again?’ No big deal. It’s a parallel. People can laugh and say I’m out of my mind or whatever. Maybe I am. Who knows? To me, the Presidents Race and Teddy Roosevelt are very symbolic of where this organization goes. It needs to be addressed. It needs to be answered.”
Another year has gone by … still no victory for Teddy. And yet he’s ever-vigilant; still speaks softly but carries a big stick, and he’s training harder than ever.
Alas, his formal military training still wasn’t enough be enough to get it done Monday, and neither was an in-game pep-talk from U.S. Senator John McCain.
The question is, if there is some sort of grand conspiracy enjoying the spoils of victory (Teddy has lost 523 consecutive races before Monday, according to popular blog Let Teddy Win!), when does that first celebratory performance come? The last game of the season? The first home playoff game? Only if the Nationals win the World Series??
Only time will tell, but one thing is certain. A smile will remain on his face through it all, and whether in victory or defeat, he can take solace in some words of his own:
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … who, at the best, knows … the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt