Last Sunday, as I was watching NFL football and working on some plans for Halloween activities this year, I began to notice some of the similarities between the game and the holiday.
Football is a game that embraces pain and suffering, which is similar to the spirit of Halloween. Costumes, drinking, and scares (whether it be from a ghost or a last second field goal attempt) all work their way into both categories, as well.
Because I saw some of the similarities, and with it Halloween today, I’ve decided to come with a list of the scariest aspects of the NFL and all things associated with the game, teams and fans.
But I didn’t come up with this list alone.
Since my girlfriend (Kailin Sewell) refuses to watch horror movies and scares relatively easily, I asked her to help me come up with some of the categories and give me some input on who or what frightens her about the game.
Here is what we came up with:
Scariest Team Mascot: Staley Da Bear, Chicago Bears
There aren’t many frightening looking mascots in the NFL (after all, they mostly entertain the kids), but Chicago’s Staley Da Bear appears as if he is ready to rip off someone’s face.
If you’re looking for team spirited, yet terrifying costumes for Halloween, a duplicate of Chicago’s mascot attire is the way to go.
Scariest Fan Base: Raider Nation, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are known to have one of the most loyal fan bases in all of sports, let alone the NFL. The passion and spirit they show for their team isn’t only heard, but seen.
Every Sunday, you can see crazy Raiders fanatics wearing sporting black and silver body paint, Oakland jerseys, shoulder pads, scary masks, helmets, and, of course, the spikes.
It would be more than terrifying to run into members of this football cult on a dark night in Oakland.
Scariest NFL Player: Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
When players on the opposing sideline are afraid of a man, it moves him to the top of the list.
Lewis has been one of the most dominant defensive NFL players for several years. The pure rage and aggression he plays the game with is entertaining to watch but petrifying for offensive players.
His “I don’t give a damn” attitude also adds to his intimidating stature.
(Editor’s note: Also, he might have murdered a guy. So there’s that…)
Scariest Coach: Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
When you see Tom Coughlin, you think of your grandpa. Someone you can tell jokes to, who will teach you to fish and help you get out of trouble. Everything seems all well and good with Coughlin….until the Giants make some sort of critical error.
That’s when the face turns red, the screaming begins, his players slouch in fear and you realize, this isn’t your pleasant grandfather anymore.
The thought of a calm man transforming into a hollering lunatic has always bothered me.
Scariest Commentator: Jon Gruden, ESPN Monday Night Football
Personally, I am a fan of Gruden, despite popular opinion and perception. I find the former NFL coach to be quirky in his remarks and typically makes me laugh.
But let’s be real, the guy looks like the doll “Chucky” from the 1988 film, Child’s Play.
Even though it is one of the worst movies of all time, the doll is still creepy, and Gruden’s appearance his a constant reminder of a possessed toy carrying an axe around a house.
Scariest Official: Ed Hochuli, Strongest Official Ever
There is no way anyone would think this would be awarded to any other official in the NFL. Hochuli is 61-years old and looks like he could bench press a truck.
Even if I was a player, I wouldn’t want to argue with his calls, for fear that he would backhand me so hard I would be sent back to the second grade.
On top of his intimidating figure, Hochuli is also an attorney. There is no scarier combination than a body builder who understands the judicial system.
Scariest Team City – New Orleans, LA
With all of the Voodoo, ghost stories, hauntings and witchcraft that is associated with New Orleans, it’s hard against the home of the Saints being the creepiest destination in the United States.
It isn’t horrifying to visit the place, but the city just has a creepy feeling about it and the city truly embraces its eerie history.
I’m sure there are several other categories that could be played with, but these seemed to be the most popular. If you have any ideas for categories you think we missed, feel free to share them in the comments section.