BT's 31 Scariest Sports Things and Thoughts for Halloween

xx yySenior Writer IOctober 31, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 29: The New Jersey Devils fans celebrate Halloween early during the Devils game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 29, 2008 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

For every holiday, people develop their own traditions.

Granted, Halloween isn’t exactly a holiday, but it’s a day to relax and get re-acquainted with friends—whether you’re dressed up like Barack Obama or not.

So, as we do every Halloween, it’s time for BT’s list of 31 Terrifying Sports Trends and Ideas .

1.White Guy Moments: It seems that with every new batch of athletes there comes a group that gives us brand new “white guy” moments.

From watching Mark Sanchez try and pump up the crowd against Buffalo a few weeks ago when no one was looking at him and he just seemed to be awkwardly flailing, to Eli Manning berating Ahmad Bradshaw while he’s got his arm around him, white athletes have the most confusing mannerisms.

You’d think that with all of that coordination and athletic that they’d be better dancers too. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong


2. Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings: We all knew that the Minnesota Vikings needed a quarterback, and we all knew that Brett Favre wasn’t going to realistically retire (The line is at -3.5 that he becomes the first quarterback to rush for positive yardage in a walker), but I don’t think anyone expected what’s happened.

Alright. That's wrong. We all expected him to go to Minnesota, he just needed a stop over in New York and a shoulder injury first.

The fact is, all Favre keeps doing is giving hope for other old guys. I mean, is a Guy Lafleur comeback that unrealistic thanks to all of this? Maybe Gordie Howe still wants to play hockey.

The Steelers/Vikings game was nice because we got a full dosage of Brett Favre’s “Where are my keys” face. And no, I’m not stealing from Bill Simmons—it’s simply the best way I can describe that face.

On the bright side, we at least know when Ricky Williams and Shaq are going to retire.


3. Joe Thornton + 100 assists: The only players in NHL history with 100 assist seasons are Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Leamieux—which is pretty standard company in a club like that.

As it stands, Thornton has had 96 and 92 assist seasons in his career in San Jose (and a bit in Boston), and seems to have the most realistic shot at breaking in to triple digits.

Toss along Dany Heately and all of the sudden you may have a formula for big-time assist totals.


4. The Grand Slam of Golf: This is the PGA’s great idea to expand the schedule? Throw in a four-player tournament that only gets play in the last five minutes of the first half-hour of Sportscentre? Sure, that’ll work.

And what happens if Tiger Woods (because let’s face it, in the next 50 years NO ONE ELSE will have a chance at it) decides to go and win a Grand Slam. Does he just golf against himself four times a day for two days?

Actually...people would probably watch that. Throw in celebrity caddies while Tiger does his “me against me” bit and then they may have something.


5. Jim Zorn still has a job: Look, I’m not ripping him for being a bad coach. Fact is he’s doing a better job than I could ever do. Besides, the Washington Redskins have all but said it for me.

But to take away his play-calling abilities and just make him a muppet that walks up and down the sidelines? That’s kind of insulting isn’t it? Is there even any reason for him to hold a playcard anymore like he did on the Monday-Nighter?

It’s not like this is a secret either…EVERYONE knows.

Then again, they lost to Detroit. Maybe Kermit the Frog could do a better job.


6. Jim Zorn Part B: Apparently you don’t want to steal Jim Zorn’s job because then he says things like “I don’t want to say that he did a bad job because then it seems like sour grapes” or whatever it was he said.

The fact is, in saying that you just proved to us all that you’re unhappy Zorn. So what? No one expects you to be happy with what happened. But don’t try and shroud it behind some “good guy mantra.” Go insane. Go Denny Green, Herm Edwards, or Mike Ditka.

Then you get your own Coors Light commercial . See? Immortality.


7. Brad Lidge: I won’t lie. I don’t get Brad Lidge. I’m not even sure Brad Lidge’s mom/parent/guardian/other (circle the above) understands Brad Lidge.

The guy has about as many faces as Joan Rivers. One year he’s a lock-it-down closer that teams struggle to get runners on against, let alone runs. The next season he goes from perfection to…um…not. He blows 11 saves and his ERA jumps from 1.95 to 7.21.

Now? He’s allowed one hit and walked three over four innings in the playoffs, has three saves to his credit, and his opponents batting average is .083 (pre-World Series numbers).

I don’t condone excessive uses of Dr. Phil (something about that moustache scares me) but seriously—Lidge needs to find this version of himself and keep it. Forever.

Or just for the playoffs. Whatever works for him.


8. The Sports Broadcaster’s Dictionary: I get that not everything always comes out perfection. In fact I’ve stumbled so many times on air I look like Monet on single-malt scotch. But can we please stop with the made-up (or at least made-up sounding) words?

I know that every so often I’ll make one up in an article and then reference it like this: (See? We’re making up words again.), but saying these things on-air and then trying to pass them off as real words? No. Unacceptable.

Trickeration is not a word. At least not on, and thanks to years of T.V. exposure I’m too lazy to reach over six inches and grab my dictionary.

Is the English language, the single most complicated language on the face of the Earth, so dull that you’re now reserved to making up words just to have the average public groan it off and sit through another sixty WildCat plays while you make up words out of wonderment?

I vote no.


9. And Another Thing: Just because someone pronounces a name a certain way, does that necessarily make him right? Bill Simmons went on about how, a few weeks ago on the Monday Nighter (fine…nighter is made up….but we’re not changing No. 7 unless I come up with something better), they were pronouncing it Mark San-CHEZ.

The week after? People are still saying Mark San-CHEZ.

To be honest, I may hate him as a Pats fan, but I miss Mark Sanchez. Life was simpler and much less annoying.

Just for that, it’s now Ovech-KIN Take that society.


10. Tim McCarverisms: Alright. We’ve hit a gold mine now with this broadcasting thing so we’re going to keep going.

Tim McCarver has so many sayings, that you might say he’s got a lot of sayings. But why just limit them to baseball?

I say we employ McCarver as a life commentator! You pay him (or an impersonator…or one of those random boards online that you click a button and it says things) to follow you around and comment on your life.

Tim McCarver on Football: “By moving the football down the field, they are getting closer to the Endzone. WHICH MEANS they’re getting closer to scoring.”

Tim McCarver on Marriage: “The difference between getting married and not getting married, is the engagement. If you’re engaged, then it’s more than likely you’re going to get married.”

Tim McCarver on Hamburgers: “You can’t undercook the meat. I repeat: CANNOT undercook the meat. If you do, it’s simply not cooked enough.”


11. Jeff Fisher: I feel bad for Jeff Fisher. I really do.

After all, he told everyone that simply, he wanted to be a winner.

Then he put on an Indianapolis Colts jersey. That’s a step in the right direction right? I mean…put on a Lions’ jersey—they’ve got a win on the season!

But it’s unfortunate that, in a time where coaches are pressured for wins and continually threatened with their jobs, that a man can’t show that he’s not feeling the heat.

This job leads to more than it’s share of divorces because of the time constraints, so shouldn’t a coach be commended for having a little fun?

Herm Edwards would’ve throttled at least one reporter by now. Dennis Green would be wearing a Romeo Crennel mask and hoping that “He’s not who we thought he was”.

Jeff Fisher? He’s just being Jeff Fisher. Good for him.


12. The Terrible Towel: And speaking of these Titans, they were the latest victims of the terrible towel.

Remember? The Towel that Steelers’ fans wave around? And then LenDale White stomped on it?

Now look at him: White doesn’t drink tequila anymore, has lost about 30 pounds, and his team lost 59-0. I mean, the towel is more effective than A/A.

Seriously though, can we trick other people into disrespecting the towel and watching them crumble? The Denver Broncos maybe? Sean Avery? What about every afternoon talk show host not named Rachel Ray (or Dr. Oz)?

Dear Society: Please consider this.


13. Brad Childress’ Facial Hair: So a moustache was the wrong call. Now the guy grows a full beard and the “creepy old man” jokes are in full force throughout the sports world.

Granted if you hear him talk and then take in the beard, it is kind of funny.

It’s not that it looks bad…it’s just that it’s ripe for joke-picking.

So why not go a step further? Why not consider other whacky facial hair trends that Childress might get into? I mean why doesn’t he just let it grow for a little bit and see where it takes him? He could do all sorts of things with it .

And if he’s ever at a loss for ideas, he could just ask Drew Gooden .


14. How many games can the Toronto Maple Leafs win this year: So this article is getting written at a time when the Leafs are 0-7-1. In other words: Without a win.

So my question is: How many games will this team win?

I mean, saying when or if they’ll actually win is out of taste: The schedule is 82-games long. Even last year’s Detroit Lions couldn’t mess it up that long.

Then again, at least the Lions had a draft pick to look forward to.

So, in an effort to disenchant a division rival from a high-end draft pick, how many games do the Leafs win this year? Six? Twelve? Enough to avoid a lottery pick but not enough to pick outside of the top ten?

Yeah…probably the last one. Merry Christmas Peter Chiarelli.

Update: 1-7-3!! Feel that magic!!


15. Anze Kopitar: Simply put, it’s about time someone not named Ovechkin, Crosby, or Malkin was tearing up the NHL.

At one point earlier this week, Kopitar not only led the league in total points, but he also led in goals, and was three assists behind for the league lead.

Everyone had always talked about “when the Kings would get there” but it seems like they finally have—so long as Kopitar keeps up this pace (or…you know, a simple 100-point pace instead of the 140-point pace is good enough…I guess).

And (approaching sports cliché) this guy is ONLY 22. (Voice rising in typical sportscaster fashion) Just HOW CRAZY is that? This guy is only 22 and IS DISPLAYING ALL OF THE TOOLS HE NEEDS TO BE A GO-TO GUY! WOW.

Actually, I may be more excited about the fact that he’s from Yugoslavia. YUGOSLAVIA!!

Hockey around the world…proof that the NHL doesn’t need the Olympics…wait a second. Don't tell that to Gary Bettman.


16. Chan Ho Park’s Beard: If you’ve been watching the playoffs, you’ve seen it . It’s far more magical than Brad Childress’ beard, and this actually marks the first time that the Halloween article has seen TWO beards.

Is it enough to make a guy like Mike Commodore jealous? Probably not. However, if he keeps going he could one day trim it into this .


17. Charles Barkley: Seriously? It’s the first day of the NBA regular season, you’re on TV as an analyst, and you start off by wearing white running shoes that aren’t tied up and verbally abusing your co-workers?

Classy. Oh so classy. Ron Burgundy is unbelievably afraid right now I’m sure.

All this does is re-affirm the faith in people that you don’t have to necessarily be professional to be on TV—you just have to be a professional athlete.

I’m looking forward to the day that he wears flip-flops on set. If it’s already happened, I’m youtubing it. If it hasn’t, call Vegas—we’re gambling on this (oops...too soon?).


18. The Changing of One’s Last Name: Look, me and Chad Ochocinco are in a good place right now: He just won me a game of Madden in overtime on an 80-yard bomb, so he’s got free range from me to do anything weird for the next three weeks and I won’t criticize. Just laugh.

But in a revelation that’s probably struck a lot more people than me (although I'm probably the last to consider this), the name “Ochocinco” does far more than insinuate that Chad just has a strange obsession with the Spanish and their numbers.

It affects everyone’s future.

According to Wikipedia, Ocho-Johnson has four children (I don’t know him personally, so I can’t ask if this is true), one of which is named Chad Johnson II. Did his kids have to change their last names? Is Chad Johnson II still Chad Johnson II or did he become Chad Johnson I. Or did he become OchoCinco II? Or OchoSeis?

Is it possible for him to meet and marry a Spanish lady (or someone as crazy as him) named OchoCuatro? Would this immediately push them to the top of the “Strange Marriage’s that Work Beacause They’re Funny” list? 

Or maybe he'll just be left unprotected in the expansion draft for when the NFL moves to Mexico, because that makes more sense than going to London.


19. Hairstyles in the NBA: From big fuzzy beards, to Superman logos etched in the side of players’ heads, to whatever it is that Ron Artest does with his hair on a weekly basis, basketball players have some of the strangest hairstyles.

I suppose it makes sense: They’re the only North-American pro sport that doesn’t have to wear head protection, so they feel the need to expand upon the typical forms of expression (ie. Tattoos) and use their hare.

I want to see Kenny Mayne with the "Mayne Street" logo buzzed into the side of his head now.


20. The Blake Griffin Drinking Game: For all I know this idea has already been stolen, but damn it Jerry—we’re using it anyways!

When the Clippers opened their season on Tuesday, the cameras couldn’t get enough of Blake Griffin—and understandably so. He’s going to be the savior of the franchise and put them back on the map.

But in typical Clipper fashion, he dislocated his kneecap before the season even started. Eerie.

So instead of being down in the dumps Clips fans, why not get some fun out of it with the Blake Griffin drinking game?!

Every time the rookie gets shown on the sidelines, forced to enjoy the game, take a shot. Every time the game reaches a state of utter meltdown or boredom, forcing the announcers to talk about Blake and “if Blake were here”…take a shot. Every time you wonder “Wow…could the Clippers have eliminated that 99-92 deficit on opening night to make the Lakers sweat it out if they had Blake Griffin?” you take a shot.

If you ever see Griffin jump up and down on the sidelines out of excitement after a play and you’re a Clippers fan…pray he doesn’t tear his ACL and dislocate his shoulder on the fall to the floor.


21. Derek Jeter: Like the other baseball portions, this is being written before the World Series starts, but consider these stats:

158 games, .349 batting average, 24 homers, 102 RBI, 19 stolen bases

132 games, .308 batting average, 20 homers, 54 RBI, 16 stolen bases

The line above is Jeter’s best statistical season in 1999. Below that is his career playoff numbers. Factor in that the most you can play in the postseason is 19 games (five-game LDS, seven game CS and WS) in one year and the ridiculous weather conditions, and you’ve got one hell of a performer.


22. Gilbert Arenas when healthy: ‘Nuff said.


23. Craig Anderson and Ryan Miller: While Ryan Miller’s early success is astounding, it’s not entirely unexpected—he has been one of the better goalies in the NHL over the past few years, it's just that no one knows it.

Anderson meanwhile, has given the Colorado Avalanche everything they’ve paid for and way more. He’s tied for first in shutouts, he’s first in wins, and second in goals-against average and save percentage.

He’s also making $1.5 million while Vesa Toskala makes $4 million while injured, J.S. Giguere gets $6 mil to be a backup, and Kari Lehtonen gets $3 mil to copy Vesa Toskala (or is Toskala copying him?).


24. Mountain Dew or Mountain Don’t? If you frequent the sports section on Yahoo!, then you would’ve seen that Caron Butler of the Washington Wizards had an addiction .

To Mountain Dew.

So what exactly does this mean for sports? Do we have to start testing for Mountain Dew now, not based on the fact that it’s a performance enhancer, but because Butler lost 11 pounds giving it up?

Or what if it IS a performance enhancer? How do we know? If Butler averages 6ppg this year do we have our answer? I mean, we’re paying people for the most useless studies in the world…I’m sure someone, somewhere can put aside some money to study this.


25. Larry Johnson on Twitter: So apparently there’s no one that can hide from Johnson—no matter who you are, you may very well feel Johnson’s vengeful tweets.

I mean, he ripped his coach in a three-part tweet! THREE PARTS!!

He then continued to lobby for his own father to take the reigns in Kansas City. Then again, I doubt even his dad could fix that offensive line.


26. Brett Favre Returns to Lambeau: The world implodes. Again. Like it did after the first time these two teams played.

Just remind Brett that if he tries to do the fireman’s carry on Green Bay receiver, it’s a penalty now.


27. Al Davis: Is it really Halloween if we don’t mention the crypt keeper?

No. I didn’t think so.


28. Speaking of Al Davis ...he’s now gone so insane that he’s signing pigeons to play on the kickoff squad. What’s even scarier is that the pigeon was actually positioning himself correctly on the kickoff .

However, what happens if Davis goes even crazier, and starts signing animals like Bears to play defense? And I mean a Cheetah has to have better hands than the Raiders’ receiving core now does right?


29. Marian Gaborik is finally healthy: It’s amazing to see what Gaborik can do when he’s healthy. Currently one of the NHL’s leading scorers, he could dominate this year.

Well…I almost spoke too soon.


30. The Yankees can’t have playoff beards: This is outrageous.

First, Johnny Damon’s Jesus-esque looks were exchanged (along with his soul) for a boatload of money. Now? I’ve just come to the realization that playoff beards are a non-factor in New York?

Why? Because apparently the Steinbrenner’s are after the “clean-shaven, upstanding citizens look.”

The beards are an institution. They’re fun to see and they’re a staple in modern sports.

Just one of the reasons why I’m cheering for the Phillies.


31. Rookie Hazing: It’s Halloween. We may as well finishing with something disturbing that features costumes too .

Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Bryan, you can do so through his profile , or email him at You can also check out his work on —The Face of the Game. Be sure to check his previous work in his archives .


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