In today’s edition of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” a collegiate summer-league baseball team in Georgia is under fire for its decision to name the team “Macon Bacon.”
The team’s name is a clever play on words and a witty nod to its city of Macon, Georgia. It plays its witticism to the hilt, including a 7-foot-tall slice of bacon – a mascot named Kevin.
Macon Bacon’s website light-heartedly describes how Kevin came to be. The team knew they needed Kevin to be a human-bacon hybrid, but finding a way to bring him to life was a challenge. “Months and months went by figuring out how to make the perfect piece of bacon come to life. They tried everything to make our bacon come to life. Radiation, genetic coding, etc. Nothing seemed to work, and all hope was lost. On the last attempt to bring bacon to life, the radio started playing ‘Footloose’ by Kenny Loggins. The bacon started to wiggle. The louder the music got, the more the bacon started to move. As the music kept playing, the bacon came to life. Alas, Kevin was born.”
Macon Bacon, playing in the Coastal Plain League, was founded in 2017. The team’s name was chosen by fans over other options including Macon Hits, Macon Noise, Macon Soul, and Macon Heat.
While each game brings slices of deep-fried fun to residents of the Georgia town, some people are not entertained by Macon Bacon or the antics of Kevin the dancing bacon.
Enter The Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine. The Georgia-based physician’s group is dedicated to taking all the fun out of baseball and turning every bright sunny day in the ballpark into a dismal, drab, joyless experience…without bacon.
Not satisfied with the idea of having fun, the group posted a billboard on Interstate 16 advising fans to “keep bacon off your plate.”
Not satisfied with raining on the fans’ parade, the group sent a letter to Branon Raphael, president of the team. In the letter, nutrition education program manager Anna Herby, DHSc, RD, CDCES, wrote, “Macon Bacon’s glorification of bacon, a processed meat that raises the risk of colorectal cancer and other diseases, sends the wrong message to fans.”
Herby also had a helpful suggestion. “I urge you to update the team’s name to Macon Facon Bacon and promote plant-based bacon alternatives, such as Facon Bacon or Mushroom Bacon, that will help your fans stay healthy. As for Kevin, Macon Bacon’s mascot, he can reveal that he is actually plant-based bacon.”
Herby’s letter went on to outline statistics about processed meat and an increased risk of colorectal cancer and a few slices of bacon a week. The letter somberly cautions that eating just a few slices of bacon a week increases the chances of colorectal cancer by 18%.
The Physician’s Committee of Responsible Medicine finds the ballpark’s menu options to be a hellish nightmare. But with offerings like Bacon Wrapped Bacon, Bacon Chips, 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, Bacon Cheese Fries, Bacon Chips, Bacon Mac and Cheese, and, of course, Bacon Cheeseburgers, the menu is a love letter to America’s favorite porcine snack.
The physician’s group, however, is having a non-bacon-induced stroke. “To help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease in your community, you should encourage fans to consume delicious, healthful plant-based foods. Set a good example for fans and stop promoting bacon,” demands the letter to Raphael.
A suitably unimpressed Raphael responded, “While we are disappointed in the disapproval of our branding from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Macon Bacon do not view ourselves as a glorification of an unhealthy lifestyle; rather, we pride ourselves on being a fun-natured organization focused on bringing families and communities together of Middle Georgia and beyond.”
Raphael also pointed out that the menu offers several healthy options. “While we certainly offer bacon-based options on our concessions menu, our organization has developed a menu that is full of other dining variations to ensure that our fans have choices as to what they consume while enjoying their time at the ballpark, which includes a plant-based option. That was obviously not mentioned in the group’s complaint.”
Raphael ended his response with a defiant flourish. “With that, the Macon Bacon will be sizzling forever and will not consider a name change. Ever.”
It’s safe to say that The Physician’s Committee of Responsible Medicine wasn’t prepared for this baseball game. Macon Bacon is proof that sometimes, fun can still win.