The Washington Post

Taft’s wife beats him over the head after he falls face-first into a cake during Nats’ Presidents Race

Something weird happened during the Presidents’ Race on Tuesday night, but I’m still not sure exactly what. It involved Taft’s wife. Who is a lot smaller than him. Her head is, anyhow.

Honestly, you can probably guess what happened about as well as I if you watch this video. The Nats were off Monday. That was Helen’s 153rd birthday. If she were alive. Anyhow, I didn’t know that the Racing Presidents were supposed to honor the birthdays of their dead wives, but this year Taft evidently did not. So he came out with a cake on Tuesday, presumably to make amends? Then somehow he wound up on the ground with his head in the cake and his wife pounding on him. I mean, just whaling away.

On-site reports were mixed. One person thought she beat him over the head with a spatula.

Someone else posted a picture claiming that Taft fell into a pie. Pies aren’t rectangular, though, I don’t think.

Someone else blamed Taft for forgetting the FLOTUS’s birthday.

And someone else posted a photo of an angry Helen Taft appearing to lead William away after the incident, without even noting what was going on. How do you go to a baseball game and not provide accurate play-by-play of an angry encounter between a dead human first lady and her equally dead oversize presidential husband?

Anyhow, this whole experience led the Phillies radio crew to spend an entire half-inning talking about the Presidents Race. Literally. And then I transcribed it. No, I have no idea way. I believe the voices were Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen. That’s what I’m going with, anyhow. And they, too, seemed to miss the fact that Helen Taft had shown up.

Franzke: They just had the Presidents Race, and I’ve got to say Larry, it’s just not the same with this Taft character in there.

Andersen: No. Well, I think it’s fixed anyway.

Franzke: Well clearly it’s fixed. This is show business, Larry. I don’t even know what happened during the race. Abe got off to a huge lead and then just stopped near the finish line, and then Taft came running in with a pie. He pied himself.

Andersen: Did you ever do that?

Franzke: Do what?

Andersen: Pie yourself

Franzke: Not that I can recall.

Andersen: No. Nor have I.

Franzke: And you’ve had a long and eventful life. Here’s the deal: I‘m fine with the fact that they let Teddy win finally. I actually thought it was kind of neat, they let Teddy win the one time, and they should have just gone back to the old bag of tricks at that point. You know, Teddy goes back to being the guy that loses every single race.

Andersen: Those were the days.

Franzke: You know, but it’s a four-man show. They didn’t need to add Taft, I don’t think. That’s just me.

Andersen: Four big heads out there is enough.

Franzke: I still remember, we had our chance to don the presidents mascot heads at the old RFK. They just were sitting in the tunnel underneath the stadium as we walked in.

Andersen: We should have gotten pictures

Franzke: It was sort of an anything-goes deal back at the old RFK, but now this is a big-league production and there’s lights and music and video to go along with it.

Andersen: That was a bit of a rat trap.

Franzke: They used to let different people race in those costumes. I remember the Philly writers raced at one point.

Andersen: So you don’t think that they let anybody run in those now?

Franzke: I don’t think so. I have they have professional mascot racer head carrier people.

Andersen:What makes you think that?

Franzke: They’re just that good. You can see the quality, the effort that they put into their race.

Andersen: It’s a production.

Franzke: I mean, if they didn’t have professionals doing it — we come here nine times a year, we see nine president races — we would see way more faceplants if these were amateurs.

Andersen: Yeah. True. They’d be losing their head on a regular basis.

Franzke: You know, now all the falls appear to be well timed and coordinated. It would be chaos if they were just amateurs.

I don’t know. I don’t know about anything. It’s almost the weekend, though.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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