Tomorrow is All Hallows' Eve and you may be tempted to put on a sport-themed costume in an effort to win candy and prizes. You should seriously rethink that strategy. Sorry, but there can only be one Baby Mangino.
There are two keys to any great Halloween costume—originality and recognition factor. It's a very delicate and tricky balance, especially when it comes to something large swaths of the population don't give a crap about, like famous athletes. So consider your potential audience. You could go with something that everyone will get—like say, Brett Favre—but risk being the 16th person to show up at the party wearing a No. 4 jersey. Real clever. Or you could go obscure—like say, Howie Schwab—and risk having people think you're a confused Hartford Whalers fan who just wandered into the wrong bar. Even Howie himself would be stumped by that costume.
So how do you find the perfect outfit that will blow everyone way simply because no one else ever thought they could pull it off? Don't ask me. For the 29th year in a row, I will be going as Tweety-Bird. It won me the $3 first-prize at the Fire Department Cake Walk/Children's Halloween Parade in 1980 and I will continue to dance with the one the brung me. However, I would like to offer a couple suggestions.
For the ladies:
Bad Costume Idea: "Naked Erin Andrews." Seriously, New York Post. That's just ... wow.
Better Costume Idea: Lingerie Football Player. No one will get what you're actually going for, but it won't matter because "Hey, it's a girl in lingerie." You and every other sexy witch/maid/cop/cheerleader/nurse/insect/etc.....
Best Costume Idea: Zola Budd. Get a South African running singlet, a bad 80's wig and then walk around tripping people all night. Just try to avoid any parties with guests under 30 years old.
For the mens:
(Slightly) Better Costume Idea: "Kenny Powers." When done right (as it is here) it could be effective, but KMF'nP is a little played out. Try something more obscure like "Roy Hobbs" or "Arli$$." (Everyone loves Robert Wuhl!) [Photo by Kevin R.]
(Much) Better Costume Idea: "Adrian Peterson, In Nike Battle Armor." Degree of difficulty extremely high, but if you can simulate the hexagonal scaly skin thing—without devolving into an offensive blackface minstrel show—you will not only creep everyone out, you will have your finger on the pulse of American advertising. Excellent product placement opportunities.
Best Costume Idea: "Alex Rodriguez's Mirror." Invite ladies to stare longingly at your purple lips and bulging pectorals. Little do they know, your costume is actually a secret kissing booth.
Whatever you choose, send us the pics of yourself, your friends, or anyone you run into who goes above and beyond this weekend and we'll run a big gallery on Monday. Please keep the submissions to sports-related costumes. I don't want to spend my entire morning deleting 500 Zombie Balloon Boy emails next week. (Seriously, if you're going as him or any dead celebrity from 2009 then you have zero imagination. Just stay home and read the encyclopedia or something.)