We busted out of class, had to get away from those fools; We learned more
from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school.
- Bruce Springsteen
I was eating brain-shaped unflavored candy and putting on my Mike Martz costume when Mike Martz phoned suggesting a strategy for Halloween at my house.
"I've been calling around," he said. "You know. People need my advice. I'm smart and I can teach."
"Do you mean preach?" I asked.
"If I had more energy, I would be condescending, you idiot," he said.
"You really are sick, huh? Sorry to hear."
He didn't breath for, like, six minutes. Then he coughed and said, "Chocolate. Kids like the chocolate."
"Mike, who gave you this number?"
"Damn. I thought I was on the "Do Not Call" list ever since that incident with Jerry Glanville and the Florida time-share."
"And videotape them. That way, if they egg your house, you can prosecute."
"It's best to be paranoid."
VIKINGS AT PANTHERS – The Vikings' Halloween party is crashed by people dressed as police officers and lawyers. The Panthers think they can continue to dress as the slimmest of margins. Panthers 23, Vikings 20
PACKERS AT BENGALS – Brett Favre still has his Superman outfit but he feels silly still wearing it – you know, under the circumstances. Meanwhile, Bengals' fans see their own faces in the mirror for the first Halloween in years – what with the bags over their heads and all. Pride is a learned thing. Bengals 34, Packers 22
CARDINALS AT COWBOYS – Bill Parcells, dressed up as the jolly fat version of himself, tells Drew Bledsoe that he is not allowed to be the girl who wraps presents at the local mall. Josh McCown wants to wear a hero costume, but the Dallas defense instead assigns him the outfit of jittery casualty. Cowboys 24, Cardinals 16
BYE AT FALCONS – Michael Vick jealously dresses as Marcus Vick.
BEARS AT LIONS – The Bears get off to a fast start dressed up as the White Sox, but that angers the Cubs' fans who are Bears' fans so then the Bears dress as Cubs … and lose. The Lions dress Joey Harrington up as a guy on the far end of the bench. Lions 20, Bears 10
BROWNS AT TEXANS – Two high school teams dress in NFL uniforms. No, that's not true. The Texans don't really wear NFL uniforms….I love the Cleveland Browns but when Trent Dilfer wears his Super Bowl ring this week it sure looks like part of some costume from long ago. Nevertheless, Braylon Edwards will begin wearing his Hall Of Fame receiver clothes this week. Browns 41, Texans 10
REDSKINS AT GIANTS – Obviously, Wellington Mara decided to go to the game as a ghost. Giants 23, Redskins 21
JAGUARS AT RAMS – Trying to recapture the magic, Jamie Martin dresses as Kurt Warner, while Joe Vitt goes to the game as Dick Vermeil. It doesn't work, not on any level, if you really think about it. Jaguars 22, Rams 15
RAIDERS AT TITANS – Steve McNair dresses as a broken leg while Raiders fans, bored with the evil look, dress like pigtailed schoolgirls in plaid skirts. "It's a new era," proclaims Al Davis, changing out of his sweat suit for the first time in decades. Plus, John Madden says Davis looks cute in pigtails. Titans 7, Raiders 6
DOLPHINS AT SAINTS AT SAN ANTONIO – Jim Haslett dresses like a referee. At the end of the game, a touchdown scored by the Saints is mistakenly put on the scoreboard for the Dolphins and the NFL refuses to admit the scoreboard operator's mistake. Dolphins 21, Saints 20
BYE AT JETS – Jets fans can only hope some USC player dresses up like a Jet next year.
CHIEFS AT CHARGERS – LaDanian Tomlinson is seen putting his costume on in a phone booth. Chargers 30, Chiefs 24
BUCCANEERS AT 49ERS – Jon Gruden dresses like Chucky and everyone tells him he looks nothing like the character. Buccaneers 39, 49ers 19
BYE AT SEAHAWKS – Shaun Alexander dresses like a player that someone, anyone, outside of Seattle cares about.
RAVENS AT STEELERS – Ray Lewis, not playing, dresses as Edgar Allen Poe but then an actual raven flies in from the sky and eats him because Edgar Allen Poe is, well, dead… like the Ravens. Meanwhile, Bill Cowher gets his chin pierced. Steelers 32, Ravens 7
Do you ever just want to take out your eyeballs and juggle them because you can't believe what you just saw?
Watching Eli Manning drive Giants down the field last week was one of those eye-juggling moments for me – when I noticed a star football quarterback wearing a Giants uniform. I hadn't seen that in a while. And that's when I realized, it's not the costume but rather the person wearing it that counts.
And that's why football is just like Halloween.
This column is sponsored by opponents of the NBA dress code.
Brian Tarcy lives in Falmouth, MA. www.briantarcy.com