HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- What started out as an iPhone autocorrect has turned into a rallying cry for the St. Louis Blues.
The St. Louis Cardinals have their "Rally Squirrel"; the Blues have "Roar Bacon."
It all began Wednesday when the Blues were at United Center playing the Chicago Blackhawks. They had rallied from trailing 5-2 in the second period to tie the game 5-5. The Blues' Instagram account wrote, "Well that was something. #OurBlues roar bacon with three second-period goals to tie the game 5-5."
Roar bacon was supposed to say roar back, but as has befallen many with their not-so-smart smart phones at times, autocorrect changed the original message. It's turned into a team phenomenon and become a rallying cry in light of the Blues' comeback 6-5 overtime victory.
The Blues left the message in its original content since fans went viral with it, especially on Twitter. The hashtag #RoarBacon instantly began trending in St. Louis, and fans already have made T-shirts, .GIFs and all sorts of creative things promoting an innocent mistake.
The Blues took it a step further at practice Friday when captain David Backes, with the help from friend Kelly Manno, brought a live pig into the practice facility at the St. Louis Outlet Mall's Ice Zone.
The pig's name is Piggy Smalls, and he came with his own Blues sweater that delivered a message to the coaches.
"He enjoyed his time here; got to poop in the coaches' office," Backes said with a grin. "A few of us on occasion may like that opportunity too.
"I've met Mr. Piggy Smalls before and I figured with 'Roar Bacon,' it was time to bring him out and have a little bit more of a mascot for this phenomenon of autocorrect."
Coach Ken Hitchcock showed his sense of humor when asked what he thought of the pig.
"It did its thing in our office," Hitchcock said. "It was a message from the players, and it was all over but we made players clean it up. So that was a good sign. But it left a great message in all corners of the coaches' office. So that's interesting. I don't know if that's a message from the players or from the pig. It was very clear and had a great aroma. … They sent their message in today."
When Backes brought the pig into the players' area, they immediately took to it. It even startled forward Magnus Paajarvi.
"This team has a lot of pigs running through the locker room, to be honest," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "That was pretty cool, actually. Wouldn't mind bringing him home and having him as a pet.
"Pretty funny how an autocorrect fail could go this far. I think it's funny. It's kind of like the 'Rally Squirrel' and all that with the Cardinals a few years ago. We're trying to embrace the 'Roar Bacon.' … Now we have something to start cheering, I guess, especially at the Scottrade [Center]. But more importantly, the catch-phrase doesn't catch on unless the guys did what they did on Wednesday night. I think that was the best part coming out of it."
Players started catching on when they boarded buses to head home from Chicago, and the meaning slowly started filtering around. Some players weren't aware until they got home, including Backes.
"A couple of my buddies were giving me a hard time and they tried giving me the old, 'Try to work this into an interview here and now,' and all of the sudden he said, 'Roar Bacon,' and I was like, 'How am I going to get that into an interview?' He said, 'Oh you didn't see,' and he sent me the screenshot," Backes said. "All of the sudden I'm seeing it on the news and … my wife [Kelly] and I are just shaking our head at it. But you know what? You've got to go with it; you've got to have fun. This is the time to lighten it up. We've had some dark days here with some injuries, guys out of the lineup. But we'll lighten it up a little bit and hopefully keep collecting two points."
"It's fun. It's a long season; you better laugh once in a while," Hitchcock said. "You better laugh at yourself first and foremost. It's a serious business but it can't be serious all the time. You've got to enjoy your days off and you've got to enjoy your time away from the rink. And then you've got to have a few laughs. It keeps things kind of level."
So from now on, the Blues have their new rallying cry, or as Backes put it, "A rallying squeal."