Stay Classy, San Diego: Padres Launch ‘Anchorman’ Races

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy
Joe Scarnici / Getty images

A lot of sports teams will do a funny or comical “race” during its games, usually with some sort of regional tie-in. The Milwaukee Brewers have sausage races, in which costumed sausages race one another, while the Washington Nationals run president races.

The San Diego Padres, perhaps naturally, have launched an Anchorman race. The race, which is based on the San Diego-set 2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, features giant, costumed likenesses of the four main characters in that movie: Ron Burgundy (played by Will Ferrell), Brian Fontana (Paul Rudd), Brick Tambland (Steve Carell). and Champ Kind (David Koechner.)

In the first race, held at Petco Park Friday, Ron Burgundy was the winner.

Per CBS Sports, the races will not be held at every Padres home game, but will take place primarily on weekends and during “special games.”

The original Anchorman, which was released in July of 2004, quickly became a cult hit, leading to a sequel in 2013, as well as numerous public appearances and viral videos with Ferrell in costume as Ron Burgundy. The film, set in 1970s San Diego, featured a quartet of obnoxious local news anchors who adjust, poorly, to the addition of a female anchor (Christina Applegate.) The film features all sorts of references to the city of San Diego, including multiple catchphrases, although with exception of some exterior shots, it was mostly filmed in the Los Angeles area.

Ferrell caused some controversy in 2017, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, when he said in an interview that the original plan was to set the film in Philadelphia. The film’s director and co-writer, Adam McKay, is a Philadelphia native. Ferrell also told podcast host Bill Simmons, possibly jokingly, that the original plan involved news anchors from around the country crash-landing in the mountains and fighting orangutans with Chinese throwing stars.

McKay, who co-wrote Anchorman with Ferrell, received three Oscar nominations (for Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay) for 2018’s Vice, and he won an Oscar for writing the screenplay for 2015’s The Big Short.

The Padres, who have a new look this season thanks to the signing of free agent third baseman Manny Machado, started the season with a 2-1 record, which puts them in a three-way tie for first place in the NL West.

Several Chicago Cubs players actually wore Anchorman outfits on the team plane while flying out to the West Coast to play the Padres in 2017, the Union-Tribune said.