It's Halloween time. So what is this football team? Trick or treat.
There have been some treats. Missouri State, Texas A&M and Auburn have been treats. Wins. I always wanted a candy bar dropped into my paper sack. Those were wins.
Georgia was a trick. Big lead, then Jerry Franklin's ejection and a defensive meltdown.
Maybe it was like getting a bunch of chocolate bars -- maybe king size Snickers -- only to get home and have them thrown out because it looked like the wrappers had been open. Could be Ex-lax stuck inside the bars, so you can't have them. I had that happen once. It's like scoring 41 (Oh, boy!) but giving up 52.
Florida sure wasn't a treat, probably the biggest trick of the year, a near miss. It was like going to the door and the lady had a whole bag of candy bars. She gave you a Halloween pencil. It didn't rot your teeth, you were told. But a pencil?
Alabama? That was like walking up the sidewalk, ringing the door bell and no one was there. You saw the lights on (but they immediately went out when the doorbell rang) and you could hear a TV, but they weren't going to open the door. Nothing.
That's what Alabama was like. Yes, the Hogs were within 14-7 in the third quarter, but then the lights went out.
Ole Miss might not even fit in any of these categories. It was more of a horror story. It would be like getting lost in the Haunted House. Your mother couldn't find you and you were stuck for three hours. And, there was the grim reaper at the exit, chanting "Houston Nutt."
I figure Eastern Michigan as a nice treat. It's going to be red uniforms, tops and bottoms. There will probably be trick or treaters dressed crazy in the stands. Maybe there will be some Elmos, Little Red Riding Hoods or even some in devilish red costumes. I figure some students will paint their chests all red. Afterall, ESPNU is showing the game. TV cameras make folks act crazy.
It should be a fine time for a Monster Mash. That's what I expect the Hogs to do to EMU's Eagles. It ought to be a good Halloween memory, perhaps even a treat.
It has to be better than the last time they wore all red, the Cotton Bowl debacle with Missouri two years ago. I'll never forget Frank Broyles (they said they wore those ghastly uniforms in tribute to Broyles, it was said) popping onto the front row of the Cotton Bowl press box to peak at the all red Hogs. He threw out a zinger, too.
"What team is that?" Broyles said in a disapproving tone.
No one said a word. Fitting that they return on a Halloween night.
My favorite Halloween memories? Probably more surround taking daughters around the neighborhood than anything I did. I remember the costumes. I do remember finding a plastic pumpkin completely full of treats hidden under Becca's bed weeks after Halloween. She knew her mother, a teacher, usually took leftover candy to school after a few days.
I also remember the time my father, armed with his first reel-to-reel tape recorder back in the 1960s, went zany. Against our pleas, he taped a 90-minute message -- the full length of the tape -- that said, "Let me out of the box!" Then, he sat the tape recorder on the door step at dark, turned it on and put a small box over it.
Most of the kids in our neighborhood couldn't figure it out. They'd walk around it, knock on the door and get their candy. My father delighted in asking them if they'd please let "the wee little man" out of the box. They usually ran away. We begged him never to do it again.
This season still has a chance to be a treat. There are four home games left, all possible wins. South Carolina, Troy and Mississippi State follow Eastern Michigan to Arkansas stadiums.
The good news is that Joe Adams is back to help down the stretch. He's missed the last three games while doctors evaluated his mild stroke. He's cleared to play again.
That's the best treat the Hogs could want on Halloween. He's the best playmaker on this team. And, he's back with fresh legs.
That's like getting all the Snickers emptied into your sack when someone really liked your costume or you were at the end of the night.
Joe has been under that box, perhaps shouting, "Let me out! Let me Out!" I'm glad someone finally did.
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