February 12, 2009
If you're a baseball fan, you're well aware of the famous Sausage Race that takes place during Milwaukee Brewer home games and the dangers that might ensue if Randall Simon is around. In 2006, the Washington Nationals incorporated a "live" version of an in-game video race featuring former United States presidents George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln (happy birthday, sir, and please stay away from the theater).
On Tuesday, the Washington Post's Tarik El-Bashir noticed the oversized Washington and Roosevelt on the ice at the Washington Capitals training complex. Unfortunately, El-Bashir wasn't as curious as his colleague Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog who got the low-down on why these former presidents took off their baseball cleats and traded them in for their best pair of CCM's:
So, what's the deal? Believe it or not, the Giant Skating Presidents will be featured during the second intermission of Monday's President's Day Islanders home game.
The Kids Day Too event will feature mascots from around the NHL--including Blades the Bruin, Stinger the hornet and Tommy Hawk, plus the Islanders' own Sparky the Dragon. The Islanders' game-day crew had thought about bringing in the Skating Presidents for the first Kids Day event this fall, but the President's Day tie-in was too perfect.
"It's President's Day and they're the presidents; we think they'll be pretty entertaining for our fans," Michael Sciortino, the team's game operations manager, told me. "If there was Sausage Day, maybe we'd fly in the Brewers guys."
Good thing the Devils won't be in the building on Sausage Day, otherwise someone would have to keep an eye out for Martin Brodeur. (/Avery'd!)
Since we're on the topic of racing presidents and giant sausage, is there a tradition like this that can be started in the NHL? Some teams have fans or workers race against the team mascot during intermissions, but can we get an oversized Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash somehow involved in Nashville? Or maybe three large cheese steaks in Philadelphia? Surely we can put the infamous Ottawa Senator back to work up in Canada's capital, right?
Let's hear your ideas in the comments.