Saturday, February 13, 2010
2010 Presidents Race Auditions
“He’s in for a rude awakening," immediately stated Tom Davis, Entertainment Coordinator of Our Washington Nationals. The African Queen was questioning a candidate's sole reason for wanting to become a Racing President--to get into Major League Baseball Games for free.
Mr. Davis didn't like hearing that comment. "Let me tell you, this is not Season Tickets 101--alright. You work. You work here, this is not a spectator sport from our side of the game. For others, obviously the game is the reason why the fans come to Nationals Park. But on our side, we are here to work and always have a good time doing it. But we are not here to just watch the game.”
The Racing Presidents exist to perform at Nationals Park, entertain fans and be goodwill ambassadors throughout The Nation's Capital and Major League Baseball as well. No one can deny their continuing popularity since their birth slightly less than four years ago. That's why nearly 50 folks showed up at South Capitol Street this Saturday, with snow still on the ground--to suit up and try to become a Racing President for the upcoming 2010 Season for Our Washington Nationals. The third consecutive year tryouts were held on, fittingly, Presidents Day Weekend.
“I just moved here from Boston," said Brian. "The Presidents Race is really popular in New England too. Every baseball fan talks about them. What better way to introduce myself to a new city than by becoming a racing president? I like kookie stuff anyway. It fits me. It fits where I am right now in my life. Why not?
Why not, indeed?
Those invited today--including 14 veterans--were whittled down from the approximately 250 who filled out questionnaires inquiring why they wanted to become Racing Presidents in the first place. And as most found out during the slippery and wet auditions--the paperwork was the easy part. Not only did every contestant have to race a 40-yard dash inside the lower level access tunnel under the Scoreboard Walk, but they also had to show their best dance moves, take a one-on-one interview with entertainment staff and most importantly--try to run in Full Presidents' Regalia--from centerfield fence to the first base line--just like during the usual 4th inning race of every Nationals' Baseball Game.
The big difference this time--everyone had to run in the snow. No paths were cleared for the auditions. Difficulty which did not deter Tom Davis from holding the tryouts this wintry weekend.
Tom Davis: “This should be a great time in the snow. Tell me how bad you want it!! And today, is a great day to do that. It’s going to be great video, very entertaining. We want to see big movements, this setting can enhance that. The Presidents’ heads are big. So you not only have to be able to run this part, but you also have to be able to make the presidents your character. They have to come alive.”
Alive they were, when many hopefuls went down in the snow, unable to complete the entire outside portion of the race. Yet, Tom Davis believes the snow assisted him today in making the final decisions about who might be hired to become Racing Presidents in 2010.
“Charisma goes hand and hand with The Racing Presidents. You need to be able to show what you are made of and have a good time doing it. It's not a certain number of people I am looking for today, it’s more finding the right people. It takes a lot of commitment and it’s important for me to find the right people who can work hard and still have fun with it--no matter the working conditions."
Of course, Our Lovable Loser--Teddy--took this audition day off. What a surprise? Huh? Even Washington's Entertainment Coordinator doesn't know if Teddy has it in him for 2010: “I’ve been waiting for Teddy To Win for four years now. Maybe this is the year, I don’t know. The nice thing is, Teddy’s taking a break today. He gone to work out. He’s taking things a little more seriously. Of course, I say that every year and each year he disappoints me. So I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.”
But what we do know Will Happen is that Mr. Davis fully expects to finalize his Presidents Race Competitors for 2010 by the conclusion of this Presidents Day Weekend Holiday. And those winners chosen from today's auditions will have every chance over the next 82 Home Games Of Our Washington Nationals 2010 Schedule to find a way to--Let Teddy Win!!
Yes, "Let Teddy Win!!"--that chant heard since the earliest days of The Presidents Race at RFK Stadium--from those many baseball faithful that made up Old Section 320. The Old Ballyard On East Capitol Street--where The Presidents Race first came to life.
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