Separated by only 98 miles along US 80 are two cities. Columbus and Macon have something in common. They both sit along a river (Columbus along the Chattahoochee, Macon along the Ocmulgee).
When the 2015-16 SPHL gets underway, the two will be rivals. Dodgers vs. Giants. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Redskins vs. Cowboys. Need we say any more?
In the event you've been living in a cave with no cable, this week Macon became a member of the Southeastern Professoinal Hockey League with the monkier Mayhem. Granted, Macon's franchise will not be up and running when the 2014-15 season gets underway but that will give the newest member of the league a chance to see how other teams do things, get advertising and staff and work with sponsors. There are some fans that are wondering why the Mayhem is taking so long to get things going but haste does make waste.
The last hockey played in Macon was in the 2004-05 season when the Trax lost to their rival Columbus in the SPHL Championships. Since the Trax went belly-up like a somewhat over-fed goldfish, the ice surface at the Coliseum has been silent, with the execption of public ice skating sessions and Disney ice shows, has been silent. The Mayhem management wants to make sure their ducks are in a row when the puck does drop and given what August had been going through, they want to make sure that things are done right.
The Mayhem needs to start work on getting their name out as soon as possible and not just by word of mouth. Macon has been known as a "word of mouth" town and the message tends to lose its luster. When the Mayhem staff does start their advertising, they need to let hockey fans in the Mid-state know that they're out and about and ready to go.
2015's a long way away. Mid-state hockey fans are chomping at the bit for a team to return to the Coliseum. "Patience, grasshopper." When that faceoff takes place in more than a year, it will be like Christmas but only better.
Columbus and Macon. 98 miles apart from each other. Their fans will come to Macon and there's a pretty good chance that Mayhem fans will make their way west along US 80. They'll both have to wait awhile for things to take shape.
But when they do take shape, it could get interesting and somewhat fun.