While many politicians are just gearing up for the fall elections, some Capital Region politicians have been at it since the beginning of summer.
Hardened with the fire of intense competition, honed to a razor sharp edge by experience, the three mayors now graciously offer some tips to other local politicians on how to win...
Be an athlete first
"I always say, be a good athlete first and the politician will come," says Michael Johnson, the body behind "Lou Rosamilia."
And though the mayors agree that some politicians are just born with natural ability, they say you still have to want it more than the rest of the field.
Winning comes with important advantages. The more times a mayor finishes first, the greater his approval rating and the more confidence he has to go into the crowds and take pictures with babies, give everyone a firm handshake, and keep that big head balanced for every photo op.
Be an honest politician
What does that mean for Eric Nieto/Jerry Jennings? "No performance enhancing drugs, not in my house."
But for Johnson, it means keeping his hands clean. "I was bribed by a certain former (actual) mayor to trip another guy during a race," he recalled. But he didn't take the bribe. If he was going to win the race, it would be fair and square.
Chad Herring, the strength and conditioning coach for the ValleyCats, raves about the mayors. "Focus is their main thing. It's all business for them. I'm just hoping one day for my players to be as good as them. If they trained like the mayors do, their home to first base times would be cut in half, easily."
Greg Dietz/Gary McCarthy explains his regimen: "My day starts at 6 am everyday; watching my films of past races, watching YouTube videos for new dance moves, then just training all day until game time."
But Nieto's won't let himself get out-worked by the competition. "I don't even go to bed. I just train all the time."
The first and most important part of any mayor's look is the oversized head. For all politicians, the key is to keep your head on straight -- both for balance, and so they can always keep that smile on.
For the ValleyCats mayors, the smile is permanent, so that part is easy.
The second tip is to always wear the same tie. "So that people will recognize you someday," says Dietz.
You still have to be willing to get dirty, though. Yes, politicians may have to dress in business formal the majority of the time, but you have to pick the shirt, pants, and shoes that will allow you to move. Also: the fabrics have to be able to take a stain or two.
Candidates, ask yourself: "Can I do a cartwheel in this?" If the answer is no, then it's not the right outfit.
Dance it out
Sure, these guys put their whole heart into the race and will do anything for the win. But after that 20-second run from right field to the dugout -- like after any long electoral race -- you just have to dance it out. Literally.
No matter who wins or who loses, "We just leave it all on that field. We just dance it all out and that's when we truly shine," says Nieto.
And that's an important lesson for any politician looking to win a race. It's the sweet moves after the finish line that really count.
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.