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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Halloween ideas born of sports' stories

By Sarah Spain

If you can pull off the McKayla Maroney scowl, dressing up as the gymnast is a winner.

It's mid-October and Halloween is fast approaching! If you're anything like me (totes mcgoats obsessed with Halloween, ermahgerd!!) then selecting and crafting the perfect costume is a very important, very time-consuming task. You've gotta be topical, funny and, most important, original.

If you go buy a packaged costume from your local party shop, you'll end up dressed like everyone else. (For the ladies, that's a sexy firefighter, sexy ladybug, sexy pirate, pregnant Snooki, or, of course, Honey Boo Boo. For the guys, Magic Mike, Bane, Botched Fresco Jesus, Clint Eastwood's chair or, of course, Honey Boo Boo.)

Do something different! If you're reading this, you're a sports fan, so why not base your costume on one of the biggest sports stories of the year? Here are a few ideas:

Flying solo

McKayla Maroney: Everyone will be impressed if you dress as the girl with the scowl seen 'round the world. If you've got a gold-medal body, don't be afraid to show it in a sparkly leotard. Been a while since you took a twirl on the bars (or a treadmill)? Maybe stick to some sweatpants and the iconic gray warm-up jacket Maroney wore while making the now-famous "not impressed" face.

Costume keys: Gold medal, silver medal, chalky hands, taped ankles and a perma-scowl (particularly when judging the costumes of others).

Tim Tebow's lack of playing time hasn't cost him any publicity though he's gone from hero to zero in the span of months.

Tim Tebow: Last year's Broncos hero is this year's Jets zero (as in zero touchdowns and zero impact on the outcome of the games). He may not be playing, but as we here at ESPN know all too well, his lack of minutes doesn't make him a non-story, it just builds his legend further.

Costume keys: Jets jersey and pants (remember, no grass stains or signs of wear), Jets helmet, a Bible, an unreasonably large tire and a 2x4 of premium bench wood permanently glued to your keister.

Ryan Lochte: The swimming superstar with abs of steel and his own catchphrase (Jeah!) kept Michael Phelps from stealing all the pool pub in London. Notorious for his mind-numbing interviews and his one-night stands (thanks Mom!), Lochte is the perfect costume for any attention-loving, ab-sportin' broham.

Costume keys: A speedo (sweatpants on top for the shy bros), a six-pack (real or feigned), two gold medals, two silvers and a bronze, brightly colored high-top sneakers and a red, white and blue, diamond-encrusted American flag grill.

Miguel Cabrera: The first Triple Crown winner since 1967 may also be the league MVP and a 2012 World Series winner by year's end, so he's certainly earned his spot on the list. Just be sure to pay attention to the costume keys so you don't just look like a regular, everyday chubby guy headed for the local sports bar.

Costume keys: Full Tigers uniform, baseball bat and three crowns (or, if it's more your speed, three bottles of Crown Royal).

Lolo Jones: The American hurdler (and 30-year-old virgin) may not have medaled in London but she won the publicity contest, earning countless magazine covers and interviews by being uber-active on Twitter and easy on the eyes.

Costume keys: Track singlet and shorts, running shoes, race bib, Oakley sunglasses, a Bible and a fake knife lodged in your shoulder blade after all the backstabbing her teammates did following the Games.

Locked-out NHL player: It's been more than a month since the NHL lockout began and there is no sign of it coming to an end. Have a little fun with a bad situation by dressing as hockey star who got "locked out."

Costume keys: Hockey helmet and stick, a pair of colorful boxer shorts or a small towel and a key chain with no keys on it.

Duos and trios

NFL replacement refs: You probably won't be the only replacement refs dancing at the club (or knocking on doors with your trick-or-treating kids) but this is a simple costume and it's certainly timely.

Costume keys: Referee shirt, black pants, white logo'd NFL hat, a whistle, a yellow penalty flag, sunglasses and a blind cane. Bonus points if one of your friends dresses as a seeing-eye dog and crawls around the party in front of you all night.

Bobby Petrino and his former mistress: The former Arkansas football coach was forced to admit an inappropriate relationship with a former Arkansas volleyball player, now-school employee (who he hired!) after he crashed his motorcycle while she was riding backseat Betty. The costume works especially well for those couples engaged in a May-December romance.

Costume keys: For Petrino: A neck brace, an Arkansas football jacket and a motorcycle helmet in hand. For the mistress: An Arkansas volleyball uniform, an engagement ring (she is reportedly still set to marry her fiancÚ despite the affair) and a motorcycle helmet in hand.

Greenmen (or women): Worried pictures of your Halloween escapades might find their way onto Twitter or Facebook? Or worse, into the hands of your boss? Dress as the world's most annoying sports fans -- the greenmen. With your face and body completely covered, you and your friends will avoid any embarrassing day-after pics or videos.

Costume keys: A bright green, full-body, spandex suit.

P.S. Whatever you do, don't dress as Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky or anyone involved in the Penn State scandal. You may think you're being funny or edgy, but in the end you're still making fun of a horrible crime.