Meet Scott Ableman.
A long time Nats fan and NoVa resident, Scott Ableman started the now internationally famous Let Teddy Win blog in 2007. With Teddy’s historic first win at the Oct. 3 presidents race, FamousDC was curious about what we can expect from the great fan site in the future and was lucky enough to catch up with Ableman for a few minutes.
1. Where were you and what was your reaction to Teddy’s first win?
When Teddy Roosevelt delivered his historic win, I was right there at the finish line, where I can usually be found leading a whole section of fans who love to cheer on Teddy Roosevelt.
You’d think I would have been prepared for the event, but Teddy’s fans have been fooled so many times by the Nationals, I really wasn’t sure he was going to win until the last few minutes. When I saw how many reporters and photographers the team had invited to cover the race, I knew they were finally about to make it happen.
My initial reaction was elation, but when Ryan Zimmerman immediately followed with a home run to tie the game, I knew for sure that the curse had been lifted.
2. What has been the most surprising thing about running the blog?
In 2007, the Nationals weren’t winning on the field, and I thought the management team at the time frankly wasn’t doing a good job of marketing the stadium experience; so one of my motivations in starting the blog was to try to generate a little attention for this team I loved.
What was most surprising and gratifying from the very start was how quickly the community embraced it. I can’t be at every game, but you wouldn’t know it from visiting LetTeddyWin.com, because from day one, fans started sending me messages, tweets, photos and videos daily to help keep it up-to-date. I could never have envisioned how comprehensive the blog has become, or how much it’s been embraced.
Decades ago, I could be found at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on most summer weekends. The Cubs weren’t always great, but the fan experience always delivered, buoyed in part by the fun, crazy characters that were reliable mainstays in the bleachers. You could say I thought the Nats could use some of that character. I just didn’t realize I would become one of the characters.
3. Now that Teddy has won, where do you see the blog going? Do you have any plans to change it?
A lot of people have asked me that, but rest assured I have no intention of changing the name or stopping the blog.
After 525 losses, the Let Teddy Win movement has achieved its primary goal, but with all the press this year including endorsements from John McCain and Barack Obama, the website is getting more traffic than ever. If people want to keep reading about the presidents race and the fan experience at Nationals Park, then I think I have no choice but to keep on writing. Besides, we don’t yet know what new antics the Nats have up their sleeves. How else will fans get to relive the race they saw the night before?
Long-time readers know that I’ve never taken money for advertising. I support the blog purely by offering t-shirts and other Teddy Roosevelt paraphernalia. Interestingly enough, Let Teddy Win t-shirts have never been more popular. I’m not sure I would have predicted that.
4. If you had to add one more president to the race, who would it be? Why?
Rumors have been flying that the Nationals plan to retire Teddy Roosevelt and introduce another president. Personally, I’d rather they not mess with a good thing. People love the four Rushmore presidents – Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. It was inspired from the start. Why tamper with greatness?
I may have to poll my readers on this, but I say if they’re going to introduce somebody new, make it Warren G. Harding. Nobody would mind if they let him lose every race.
5. Aside from the Nats, what is your favorite thing about the district?
I love raising kids here. The entire metro area has so much to offer, and so much of it is cheap or free! Nationals Park is one of the best entertainment values you’ll find, and I’m a big supporter of the local theater community. It drives me crazy when I meet people who never cross a bridge or venture downtown.