Trietley: Some ideas for sports-themed Halloween costumes

By Greg Trietley

When it comes to Halloween, I’m in it for the candy. I’m not one for costumes and all that… When it comes to Halloween, I’m in it for the candy. I’m not one for costumes and all that — which is a problem, because I need a costume in order to get candy.

Thankfully, sports are, as always, here to help. They’re an untapped source of excellent get-ups. And the best part?

The costumes are simple to put together.

Whether you’ve been invited to a Halloween party at the last minute or are just in it for the Necco Wafers, here are seven instant costumes from the world of sports.

Instant Costume #1: A Moustache

The moustache may be the most versatile costume option. There’s the “Rollie Fingers,” the “George Parros” and the “Michael Phelps Fu Manchu.”

The clear winner for a Pittsburgher, though, is the “Wannstache,” which couples a moustache with over-ear headphones and a polo shirt in order to emulate Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt.

An underrated ’stache option, though, is the “Bill McCreary,” which works well for those who also have a referee shirt in their closet. You can call party fouls all night.

Instant Costume #2: A Beard

A beard is a step up from a moustache, as fake ones are tough to find and only a magical gene allows you to grow a real one. If you can pull it off, though — and if you haven’t shaved in a while, you’re already done — then all of playoff hockey is at your disposal.

Grab a hockey stick and go. You’re Scott Niedermayer, Henrik Zetterberg or Max Talbot. If you don’t have a hockey stick, say you’ve just been eliminated and haven’t had time to shave — or say you’re Giants reliever Brian Wilson, whose pitch-black lumberjackian beard haunts the dreams of small children and Phillies fans alike.

Instant Costume #3: Maria Sharapova

I have to apologize to any woman who read through two costumes worth of “hey, you should grow facial hair.” The beard costume might only work for guys, but anyone can pull off the Sharapova.

This one isn’t about what you wear — although you can don an all-white Wimbledon look — but about your voice. The Telegraph registered a Sharapova tennis shriek at 103.2 decibels. If you can pull off a convincing (loud enough) yelp, your friends will find it hilarious.

Instant Costume #4: Brett Favre

“Trick or treat … or trick … I’ve always had a love of treats … but I need to spend more time tricking … or treat … or trick … or treat … or maybe join the Vikings …”

Instant Costume #5: Troy Polamalu

If I had one word to describe pipe cleaners, it would be “miracle.” If you have enough of them, you can twist them together to imitate Polamalu’s massive mane of hair, and then leap over bushes, sprint across crosswalks and hurdle the odd offensive lineman or two.

Instant Costume #5: A Jersey

This fifth idea is a lazy one. Throw on a jersey — any jersey. No, professional athletes don’t walk around their communities in shirts with their names on the back, but if anyone asks, just calmly state that it’s halftime or that you’re delivering season tickets to lucky fans.

In addition, this option can be tailored to the jersey you own. If you have a Curtis Granderson jersey, pull your socks up to your knees. Quarterback costumes can be improved with one of those laminated playbooks that go on the forearm or a fanny pack filled with heat packs.

Instant Costume #6: Gym Shorts

Like I said, athletes don’t walk around in their jerseys. They do, though, walk around college campuses in gym shorts and athletic gear. Have you ever wondered how many Pitt athletes you walk by every year? I’d venture it’s about the number of times you spot Gary McGhee multiplied by about 500.

Change into gym shorts, a gray T-shirt and sneakers. When someone inevitably asks, say you’re supposed to be a member of the soccer team. If you add that you just finished an intense practice, you don’t even have to shower before you head out.

Instant Costume #7: Obnoxious Fan

Fans are as much a part of the sports world as the athletes are. Again, this one isn’t about what you wear (although body paint seems fitting), but about what clichés you shout.

“Ref does such and such to so and so! Terrible call! Bullpooop! Bullpooop! Where’s the flag? I love our backup quarterback!”

It’s not exactly inventive, and it might irritate a few folks, but hey, it’s good enough to land some candy.