Boo! Sports has gotten scary
Cam's sweaters, Michigan State's helmets, A-Rod rumors ... lots of Halloween frights
Brady Quinn was named starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this week.
I'm not sure when Halloween became a massive holiday, one that fills Hallmark with aisles of orange envelopes and requires every other front yard to have a giant inflatable Frankenstein in it.
I don't need any of that, not the decorations, not the commercialism and definitely not a glittery card that says "You go, Ghoulfriend." All I want at the end of October is an insulin-wrecking amount of candy and an endless AMC horror movie marathon, so I can spend my evenings with the handful of dead-eyed maniacs and unhinged freakshows that aren't involved in politics.
A few nights ago, I left my couch long enough to see "Sinister," which had a solid scare-per-minute ratio, although the most terrifying part was when I did the math and realized my teen crush Ethan Hawke is over 40 now. Reality DOES bite. I also spent the next few hours in a horror hangover, which happens every time I watch something unsettling. I imagine monsters crouching in every dark corner and can find something, well, sinister in every situation. Even sports. Especially sports. There are scary things scattered throughout every league, things like ...
- Seeing full-time defensive coordinator, part-time wolfman Rob Ryan of the Dallas Cowboys fill your television screen, mid-snarl. When the camera cuts to his unruly gray hair and Arctic blue eyes, I half-expect the next shot to be of Liam Neeson, taping shards of glass to his fists, muttering "Once more into the fray" to himself.
- When Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert — built like a human ice bucket — did the "Gangnam Style" dance in the end zone on Sunday, a move that was cut-and-pasted into two other games by Jason Pierre-Paul and Stevie Johnson. All "Gangnam"-related stuff has started to make me uncomfortable. At this point, we're beating the dead horse, then picking it up and pretending to ride its lifeless body.
- The massive trench between the Panthers' preseason expectations and their performance. They've gone from being a team who took out a full-page Charlotte Observer ad to promise their fans a Super Bowl to 1-5 basement-dwellers, a fired general manager and a coach who's probably stashing cardboard boxes behind his office door, just in case. And Ryan Kalil, whose signature was at the bottom of that "sterling silver victory" promise is out with a torn ligament in his foot.
Even quarterback Cam Newton (who has started wearing an expression borrowed from a fussy kid staring down a plate of Brussels sprouts) spent Sunday's postgame press conference slinging his teammates under the bus, calling a reporter "sweetheart," and ranting about how he needs a "suggestion box" so he can change the team's "boring" vibe. The first suggestion? Stop throwing terrible passes in the red zone. The next one? Stop wearing sweaters that make you look like a taxidermied yak.
- The wrath and other assorted Deadly Sins that will be brought upon you by Tim Tebow's legal team if you attempt to sell unauthorized Tebowing merch. Tebow has trademarked his namesake postgame (and pre- and during-game) gesture. If he's going to claim ownership of everything he does on the field, he should patent his other signature move: standing on the sideline, looking expectantly at offensive coordinator Tony Sparano and wondering how hard he'd have to Tebow to get a grass stain on his uniform.
- Brady Quinn, Kansas City starting quarterback
- J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans pass swatting, QB devouring defensive end. He currently leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks and I totally believe him when he said that he's eaten burritos bigger than Baltimore's pocket-sized running back Ray Rice. I would've also believed that he'd eaten cars, grain silos and Sasquatch (whose limp pelt Cam Newton would wear as a sweater).
- The ongoing fallout from the Lanceapocalypse, especially the number of times we'll have to hear that "now I have the same number of Tour titles as Lance Armstrong!" joke, which is this year's "I have the same number of Championship rings as LeBron!" which was the new "I have the same number of Super Bowl wins as Dan Marino" which was the new "I have the same number of successful marriages as Jennifer Lopez."
- That since 1990 — the beginning of the Greg LeMond/Miguel Indurain era — we've now only had four Tour winners (those two, plus Cadel Evans and defending champion Bradley Wiggins) whose circulatory systems didn't double as chemistry labs.
- What the Giants did to Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series, a guy whose postseason stat line had been: three starts, three wins, 25 strikeouts and an 0.74 ERA.
- That with Game 6 of the World Series scheduled for Halloween night, there's a real possibility a legit Detroit fan could be mistaken for a guy in a Magnum, P.I. costume.
- That a guy in a Magnum, P.I. costume could be mistaken for a legit Detroit fan.
- That, somewhere in a Tory Burch-strewn sorority house, there is a girl frantically searching Pinterest for "sexy Magnum P.I. costume."
- That former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is still shoving himself in front of a camera, popping up on Tuesday night to blame David Ortiz for Boston's season.
- That we're in for an offseason dominated by rumors and speculation about A-Rod. I like to spend the time between the post-Series locker room celebration and the start of spring training WITHOUT thinking about what he's doing. (Which I assume involves a very specific waxing regimen, aggressive tanning and frantically searching Pinterest for "sexy Magnum P.I. costume.")
- That, after almost a month, the NHL lockout isn't any closer to ending. I'm already so hockey-starved that I watched almost two full minutes of "Tooth Fairy" — yeah, the one starring The Rock — on the Family Channel, just because I needed to see a puck drop. LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO ME, GARY BETTMAN.
- That if it hadn't been for Felix Baumgartner, West Virginia's football team would be the ones making us say "holy s**t, can something really fall that fast?" After losing their last two games by being outscored 104-28 — and out yardage'd 1155 to 651 — those early nonconference wins against Marshall and James Madison seem as worthless as a drunken promise. (AND YES! I'LL TOTALLY HELP YOU MOVE! ALSO LET'S GET MARRIED TOMORROW!)
- The ridiculously awful helmets Michigan State shoved their skulls into last weekend, supershiny green lids that made them look like limited edition cans of Mountain Dew. I'm ready for the whole "new uni every week" trend to stop. Guys, two looks are all you need. You're a college football team, not a Cirque du Soleil touring company.
- Danica Patrick's on-the-track tantrums, most recently wrecking herself after trying to retaliate against Landon Cassill on Sunday. She drives with an uncontrolled rage that you typically only see in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
That this column could come to an abrupt end as I run in terror from what is either a werewolf or Cam Newton's newest sweater.
Jelisa Castrodale has learned a lot about life by making a mess of her own. Read more at jelisacastrodale.com, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/gordonshumway, or contact her at .