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Theodore Roosevelt "rydes" on - for now

By Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 19, 2011; 4:22 PM

Seems Teddy Roosevelt had no sense of cool.

Before becoming the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt led the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, dubbed the "Rough Riders." The District high school bearing Roosevelt's name took that on as a nickname for its athletic teams.

When the school ordered new basketball uniforms prior to this season, Athletic Director Daryl Tilghman was surprised to see "Ryders" across the front of the jerseys. Tilghman called the vendor to complain - "We're a school, not a rec [league]," he wrote in a text message to a reporter - and was told "Ryders" was the "cool" way to spell it. (Ruff Ryders is a music label that rose to fame in the early 2000's with a roster that included the rappers DMX and Eve.)

Several Post readers emailed asking about the spelling when they saw a photo accompanying a story about the school's 20th-ranked boys' basketball team's victory Tuesday over Coolidge.

Unamused, Tilghman said he wanted the right name on the jerseys but was told he had to return the misspelled ones. Just one small problem: it's the middle of basketball season.

So for now, ryde on.

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