Random News: Tricks, Treats and Travesties

Random News: Tricks, Treats and Travesties

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
10:57 AM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Do you remember when Halloween was just about...candy? Some of my favorite childhood memories centered around Halloween. It was candy capitalism at its finest. If Halloween fell during a weekday, the fun would start around noon. The elementary school I went to would always have this campy costume parade followed by a potluck banquet of cupcakes, brownies and other assortments of refined sugars. It was like the pregame ceremony for what would transpire in the neighborhoods at night. And if Halloween fell on a weekend? Hoo boy...take cover. We would start ransacking the neighborhood at 9am, looking for Twix bars, Butterfingers or whatever else we could get our hands on. The best part of it all: it didn't even matter what costume you were wearing. I mean, name another day on the calendar when you can put on a flannel shirt, call yourself a "bum" and start ringing doorbells for candy (another fringe benefit of growing up in the NirvanaSoundgardenPearl Jam "grunge" era). But the best part of all: besides the parents telling us what time to be home, the day was relatively adult free.

Unfortunately, times have changed.

Halloween is rocketing towards New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day in the race for the "Most Annoying Day on the Calendar" award. Adults have wrestled the holiday away from kids and have made it their own. It's a joke. 20 and 30-somethings have turned Halloween into a celebration of ironic humor and debauchery. In today's "grown-up" Halloween world, guys usually gravitate towards celebrating a character from their youth. For instance, if they can muster up a cheap black suit, a fedora hat, a pair of sunglasses and a buddy with the same getup....POOF, you have the Blues Brothers. As for the girls, all they have to do is find an occupation and put the word "sexy" in front of it. Instant costume. Mix all the ingredients at a bar and serve while hot.

But I do realize that this newfangled holiday won't be going anywhere in the near future. It's only going to gain steam until bouncers start fleecing 50 out of people for cover charges to enter costume parties (see: Eve, New Year's). There will be a backlash...but not for a while. So, with that said, I'm going to be a willing participant. Im contributing with a list-- the 10 best sports figures and the costumes they could be wearing on Halloween. A lot of people dress up as their favorite sports figure on Halloween, right? But what do the sports figures themselves go as? I have a few hunches...
Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis: Rodney Dangerfield

Cubs Manager Mike Quade: Fire Marshall Bill

Former MLBer John Kruk: Chewbaca

Olympian Shaun White: The Wendys Girl

Brett Favre: Hans Moleman from "The Simpsons"

(and for those of you who didn't get that reference, click here)
Troy Polamalu: anybody from Twisted Sister

Joakim Noah: Troy Polamalu
Giants Pitcher Brian Wilson: James Brolin from The Amityville Horror
Former Washington Wizard Oleksiy Pecherov: Stewie from The Family Guy

Former Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster: Schleprock

With apologies to the Golden Gopher faithful, I couldnt think of a better cartoon character to represent the current state of the Minnesota football program: Bad Luck Schleprock from the Pebbles and Bamm Bamm show.

And with apologies to every adult who aspires to dress like The Situation from Jersey Shore on Halloween, its time to bag the costumes and turn the holiday back over to the kids. Let them have their holiday.

And go back to planning your New Years Eve party.

Or something like that.

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks win in Minnesota

Fast Break Morning Update: Blackhawks win in Minnesota

Here are some of Tuesday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Wednesday on CSN: Illinois State and Loyola host in Valley doubleheader

Jonathan Toews has five-point night, including a hat trick, in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Report: Bears seeking trade partners for Jay Cutler

Bulls Talk Podcast: What is the Bulls' approach at the trade deadline?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field

White Sox Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with executive vice president Ken Williams

Northwestern's offense nowhere to be found as Illini complete sweep of season series

Quick Hits: Blackhawks respond the right way in win over Wild

Under-the-radar Reynaldo Lopez impressing White Sox: 'He's got some stuff'

Why Sammy Sosa compared himself to Jesus Christ in candid interview

Why Joe Maddon won’t tone down the stunts at Cubs camp

Why Joe Maddon won’t tone down the stunts at Cubs camp

MESA, Ariz. – Joe Maddon teased reporters when pitchers and catchers reported to Arizona one week ago, promising the Cubs wouldn't tone down the gimmicks now that they're World Series champions: "We already have something planned for the first day that you might not want to miss."

A weekend of rain in Mesa postposed the first full-scale full-squad workout until Monday, and the wet grass meant the big reveal had to wait until Tuesday morning, when gonzo strength and conditioning coordinator Tim Buss drove a white Ferrari onto the field for the team's stretching session.

The bearded man they call "Bussy" rocked sunglasses, a gold chain around his neck, brown dress shoes and the same navy blue windowpane suit he wore to the White House. The overarching message as Buss blew kisses and Cypress Hill's "(Rock) Superstar" and Jay Z's "Big Pimpin'" blasted from the sound system: Humility.

"I hope everyone gets the sarcasm involved," Maddon said.

So, uh, no, the Cubs aren't going to dial it back or turn the zoo animals away or worry about the target they proudly wore on their chest last year.

"I don't know if the mime's coming back or not," Maddon said during the welcome-to-camp press conference. "Could you do a mime two years in a row? I don't know if that's permissible under MLB rules somewhere. I don't think you can bring a mime back two years in a row.

"Magicians are OK. You can anticipate a lot of the same, absolutely."

Before rolling your eyes at a star manager who loves the spotlight, it's important to note that the stunts are largely Buss productions.

"A lot of times, I'm not even aware," Maddon said. "He just knows he's got my blessings. He knows he does not have to clear it with me, unless it's absolutely insane. It works pretty well this way."

While every Maddon dress-up theme trip doesn't get universal love in the clubhouse, Buss has a unique way of getting millionaires to pay attention, almost tricking them into doing work.

"He's got several well-endowed players on the team that support his histrionics," Maddon said.

[MORE CUBS: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred open to idea of Cubs hosting All-Star Game at renovated Wrigley Field]

Since taking over this job in 2001, Buss has survived multiple ownership structures (Tribune Co., Sam Zell, Ricketts family) and the Andy MacPhail/Jim Hendry/Theo Epstein transitions in the front office, working for managers Don Baylor, Rene Lachemann (interim), Bruce Kimm (interim), Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella, Mike Quade, Dale Sveum and Rick Renteria.

"He must have some good photographs, right?" Maddon said. "He's a different cat. He's a weapon."

Buss can clearly get along with almost any kind of personality. But it took Maddon – and the explosion of social media – to give him this kind of platform.

"No, nothing's changed, man," Maddon said. "It's all the same in regards to 'the same,' meaning the methods, the process. I just got aired out by one of our geek guys for not using the word ‘process.’ It’s true. Last year, I used the word ‘process’ often. I’m going to continue to use it a lot again this year.

"Why were we able to withstand the word 'pressure' and 'expectations' as well as we did last year? Because we weren't outcome-oriented. We were more oriented towards the process. Anybody in your job and your business – if you want to be outcome-oriented – you're going to find yourself in a lot of trouble just focusing on that word.

"It's all about the process. Our process shall remain the same, absolutely it shall. Hopefully, we're going to add or augment it in some ways that can be even more interesting and entertaining."

The irony is that the Cubs have repeatedly used outcome-based thinking in defending Maddon's decisions during the World Series. But the manager obviously deserves so much credit for creating an environment where this team could play loose and relaxed and not collapse under the weight of franchise history.

"Our guys are pretty much in charge of the whole thing," Maddon said. "I love the empowerment of the players. I love that they feel the freedom to be themselves. If they didn't, maybe Jason (Heyward) would not have gotten the guys together in a weight room in Cleveland after a bad moment.

"All those things matter. And you can't understand exactly which is more important than the other. So you just continue to attempt to do a lot of the same things. Process is important, man, and we're going to continue along that path."