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Memphis Maniax

Maniax Nickname: Just a History Lesson

By MaddMax – Reporter

(23 January 2001) – When the XFL announced that Memphis would be one of their inaugural cities, a name had to be chosen that would fit that community. Some may say that the name “Maniax” was chosen solely for the purpose of portraying the WWF-style of toughness and crazed behavior. Nobody really thought that there may be some truth to both the Maniax logo and the Maniax name.

First a history lesson.

In the 1870’s, a disease carried by mosquitoes had hit Memphis. Yellow fever (or what was called “yellow-jack” at the time) had come to plague the city.

The citizens of Memphis didn’t know what was causing the disease. They tried all kinds of home remedies, including the spreading of lime on the streets throughout the city. Residents were perishing so quickly that bodies were picked up by horse-drawn wagons and led to the nearest Cemetery. The horses had made the trips so many times, they knew the way by heart, and men were no longer needed to guide the wagons.

The death toll rose to the point that Memphis was no longer considered a city. Some tried to flee the city to save their own lives from the disease, and surrounding towns became worried that these people would carry the plague with them. Those fleeing were considered crazed “maniacs” by the outsiders, and were normally shot on site.

Stories were told to children of yellow skinned, glazed eyed, zombie-like and fever crazed Memphians leaving the city. Does this sound familiar to you?

This is where the Memphis Maniax mascot comes into play, with his maniacal look and glazed eyes, he has a place in Memphis history. Perhaps his nickname from this point forward should be “Yellow Jack.”

So the next time you watch a WWF-sponsored event, remember that as the XFL tries to create it own niche in American History, they have also used a bit of history from our past to build their future.

Who ever thought Vince McMahon would give us a history lesson?

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