Monday, October 1, 2012
Race for a Cure
The Washington Nationals feature a celebrity roast, of sorts, in the middle of the 4th inning at every home stand. "The Racing Presidents," as they're known - George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt - dash from the far reaches of the right field fence to a locale in front of the home team's dugout.
The Nats have another tradition, too. Teddy, in real life probably our most adventurous and physically fit Prez ever - always loses. He has lost more than 500 times since Nationals Park opened in 2008.
I'm guessing that Teddy always chokes because the irony of the Rough Rider coming in last could not possibly be lost on a rabid fan base that hasn't seen the playoffs since 1933.
Until now, that is. The Nats are going to post-season play this season, proving that hope springs eternal, even for a city - and different incarnations of a team - that has been the laughing stock of the nation for more than seven decades.
The hottest debate in DC, of late, has focused not on the presidential contest, nor the budget deficit, but on whether the Nats should finally let Teddy win. I'm sure I'm not the first to recognize that this focus - as silly topics often do - has a way of uniting us in the lighthearted camaraderie of the moment.
Whether Teddy wins or loses is probably not important. But the fact that we're all having an agreeable conversation, for once, is. Go, Nats!