Here Comes The Bacon…

macon-bacon-400

People that know me, know that I like to read about obscure sports teams, leagues and unique nicknames.  Well, here comes another one.   Yesterday, the city of Macon, Georgia announced the name of their newest baseball team.  Give it up for the Macon Bacon.

Yes, I laughed too and then the reality of how stupid people get with naming these new teams.  They all want a unique name and one that no other team has.  Well, I’m pretty sure there isn’t another team named the “Bacon”.   Of course, Macon will be in the same league with the Savannah Bananas.  Can’t wait to see the headlines of that first game when the Bananas and Bacon meet at home “plate”.

Of course, Macon did bring us the most controversial sports nickname of all time with the “Macon Whoopees”.

The Macon Bacon beat out the names Macon Soul, Macon Hits, Macon Heat and Macon Noise.  I had submitted an entry in the name-the-team contest but it apparently wasn’t weird enough.  I had submitted the name:  Macon Reddings to honor Otis Redding who was a music legend from Macon as well as the name of a bird.  I guess my entry was too tame.

Macon will begin play in the Coastal Plain Baseball League which is a 16-team league in the Southeast.  The league fills its roster with college players.  This will be Macon’s first team since the Macon Pinetoppers played for one season in the Peach State League in 2011.   One of the nation’s oldest baseball stadiums has been dormant since then.

Macon has been home to the Macon Peaches, Macon Redbirds, Macon Pirates and Macon Braves.  The Braves did well but not well enough to keep them in Macon when the city of Rome, Georgia, lured them away with a new stadium.  Macon hasn’t had an affiliated baseball team since the Braves left for Rome.   Independent teams have played in Macon but those leagues never lasted.  The Macon Music played in the South Coast League in 2007 but didn’t return for another season.

I’m wondering if Bacon merchandise will sell like….hot cakes.

macon bacon

Yep, there will be a lot of ways to play on this name.  I can just see some college baseball prospect getting the news he will be playing for the Bacon.   Seriously?

The announcement of the new team name also came with bacon-flavored snacks for people in attendance for unveiling of the logo, uniforms and hats.

Here are the other teams in the Coastal Plain League:

  • Edenton (NC) Steamers
  • Fayetteville (NC) Swampdogs
  • Holly Springs (NC) Salamanders
  • Morehead City (NC) Marlins
  • Peninsula (VA) Pilots
  • Wilmington (NC) Sharks
  • Wilson (NC) Tobs
  • Asheboro (NC) Copperheads
  • Florence (SC) Red Wolves
  • Forest City (NC) Owls
  • Gastonia (NC) Grizzlies
  • High Point-Thomasville (NC) HiToms
  • Lexington County (SC) Blowfish
  • Savannah (GA) Bananas
  • Martinsville (VA) Mustangs

If I could create my own league, I thought of an all-food league which would include existing teams such as the Montgomery (AL) Biscuits, Jacksonville (FL) Jumbo Shrimp, Modesto (CA) Nuts, Portland (OR) Pickles and Savannah (GA) Bananas.

The world of naming sports teams has gone completely crazy.

Now I suddenly have an urge for bacon.

 

 

 

 

Macon Wins Hockey Title

Yeah, that’s a weird headline you won’t see often.  Hockey in Macon, Georgia?  Championship Hockey team?

In their second year of existence, the current Macon hockey team captured the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) championship on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Peoria Rivermen (I guess Peoria is south of something right?).  The Macon Mayhem completed a sweep of the series two games to none.

It is the first championship for a Macon sports team since the Macon Peaches won the South Atlantic League title in 1962.

Nearly 4,000 fans saw the Mayhem get on the scoreboard first with a goal by Dennis Sicard.  Jake Trask scored later then the Mayhem held on as goalie Jordan Ruby stopped Peoria.  Ruby was named the series Most Valuable Player by stopping 64 of 66 shots in the finals.

Macon’s first venture into ice hockey came in 1973 when the Macon Whoopees played in the Southern Hockey League (SHL).  The Whoopees were coached by the late KeKe Mortson.  Unfortunately, the novelty of the game wore off and the Whoopees folded before the end of the season.

I was around when hockey returned to Macon in 1996 as the Macon Whoopee in the Central Hockey League (CHL).  The team moved to the ECHL in 2001 then folded after the season.  The next season the Macon Trax played in the Atlantic Coast Hockey League (ACHL) and lasted three seasons in three separate leagues before they folded.  The Macon Mayhem brought hockey back to the city when the Augusta Riverhawks were forced to relocate when they were unable to replace their ice making system.

Macon hockey teams list:

  • 1973-74:  Macon Whoopees (SHL)  22-38-2
  • 1996-97: Macon Whoopee (CHL) 38-24-4 (Lost to Memphis in Quarterfinals)
  • 1997-98: Macon Whoopee (CHL) 38-25-7 (Lost to Columbus in Quarterfinals)
  • 1998-99: Macon Whoopee (CHL) 36-25-9 (Lost to Huntsville in Quarterfinals)
  • 1999-2000: Macon Whoopee (CHL) 34-26-10 (Defeated Fayetteville in Quarterfinals, Lost to Columbus in Semifinals)
  • 2000-01: Macon Whoopee (CHL) 23-36-11
  • 2001-02: Macon Whoopee (ECHL) 29-31-12
  • 2002-03: Macon Trax (ACHL) 31-25-3 (Lost to Orlando in Semifinals)
  • 2003-04: Macon Trax (WHA2) 30-20-3 (Defeated Alabama in Semifinals, Lost to Jacksonville in Final)
  • 2004-05: Macon Trax (SPHL) 33-23 (Defeated Jacksonville in Semifinals, Lost to Columbus in Final)
  • 2015-26: Macon Mayhem (SPHL) 24-27-5 (Lost to Peoria in First Round)
  • 2016-17: Macon Mayhem (SPHL) 37-13-6 (Defeated Columbus in First Round, Defeated Pensacola in Semifinals, Defeated Peoria in Final)

When hockey returned in 1996, the Macon teams that followed were always playing in the shadow of the Columbus Cottonmouths.  They watched the Cottonmouths win three league championships while the Macon teams seemed to barely survive.  This season, Macon finally won the title while Columbus is on thin ice and may fold after 21 years.  The Cottonmouths were always a rivalry and even this season Columbus pushed the Mayhem to three games in the playoffs before being eliminated.

Macon finally get his hockey title.  Somewhere today KeKe Mortson is smiling.

 

 

 

 

Friday Flashback:  Middle Georgia Heat Wave


Heat Wave was a fitting name for a football team in Macon, Georgia which began its first season in 1990.  The Heat Wave was one of 12 franchises in the Minor League Football System (MLFS) in its second season of play and attempting to become a developmental league for the National Football League (NFL).

The league was unique in that they did not pay players but found jobs for them and provided housing for them during the season.  This was also an attempt at helping players that still had college eligibility.

The Heat Wave made news right from the start when they hired quick-tempered Lou Saban as their head coach.  Saban had coached the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.  The team also hired NFL-veteran Julius Adams to be their defense coordinator.  

The opening game roster included WR Scotty Barron (Georgia Tech), QB Tony Constantine (Tennessee Tech), RB Donnie Harrell (Valdosta State) and Fred Davis, Jr. (Tulane).   Constantine was quickly replaced by Shannon Boyd who kept the starting job for the rest of the season.

The Heat Wave played an exhibition game against a touring team of football players from Moscow.  The Heat Wave won the game 28-0 in a game which was called in the fourth quarter due to a severe storm which chased away 2,300 spectators that were in attendance.

Four games into the season, Saban resigned due to irreconcilable differences with team management.  Adams was named the head coach for the remainder of the season. 

Middle Georgia was on their way to the playoffs when the league abruptly made changes to shorten the regular season by two games and postseason plans when two teams folded.  The Heat Wave suddenly found their final regular season game against Bay State needing a win to qualify for the playoffs.

One yard separated the Heat Wave from the playoffs.  They battled back from a 16-0 deficit to cut the lead to 23-17.  On their final possession, they moved the ball to the Bay State 1-yard-line with one minute left in the game but were denied as the Titans held on to escape with the win and the playoff berth.

The Heat Wave finished at 6-4 and enjoyed the third-highest attendance in the league with 3,500 per game.

Middle Georgia had planned to return in 1991 but when three more teams folded at the end of the season, the team found themselves without a stable to league and folded.  The MLFS attempt to become a developmental league for the NFL was denied when the World League of American Football (WLAF) was launched.  

1990 Results:

  • Charlotte 20, Middle Georgia 7 (Exhibition)
  • Middle Georgia 28, Moscow 0 (Exhibition)
  • Bay State 13, Middle Georgia 11
  • Middle Georgia 21, Scranton 7
  • Oklahoma City 25, Middle Georgia 0
  • Middle Georgia 25, Florida 7
  • Middle Georgia 23, Scranton 10
  • Middle Georgia 27, Harrisburg 3
  • Colorado Springs 30, Middle Georgia 9
  • Middle Georgia 16, Florida 12
  • Middle Georgia 27, Harrisburg 14
  • Bay State 23, Middle Georgia 17
  • Charlotte (cancelled)
  • Charlotte (cancelled)