Halloween is upon us. The unfettered debauchery of sugar, masks, sugar, booze, and more sugar rears its undead head yet again, and just in time for the annual knife-fight between Florida and Georgia. That the Cocktail Party falls on All Hallows' Eve this season is fitting: the Gators seem to have pulled 2012's costume out from under the bed, and Georgia is stumbling aimlessly around a self-dug, shallow grave.
The conference spookiness doesn't end there. Is Will Muschamp a zombie? Is Butch Jones a werewolf? Is Bret Bielema a walrus? Why does Dan Mullen hate children? The people demand answers and, further, the people need to know what every SEC football program is wearing for Halloween this year, because having three people show up for the party in tiger costumes is frankly ridiculous, Les.
So, based on a loosely scientific-arithmetic survey of each squad's 2015 performance thus far -- a "personality test," if you will -- let's pick out the most fitting Halloween get-up for all 14 SEC teams.
Alabama: A bedsheet ghost
Simple. Functional. Straightforward. Always around, mid-twentieth-century mainstay. Not gonna win any flashy style points, but gets the job done. Appears in every party picture but no one really remembers you being there. Just stand slightly off to the side, and after this shindig thins out, all those leftover Milk-Duds are coming home with you.
Arkansas: That pig from The Jungle
From Upton Sinclair's wonderfully uplifting look at Chicago's Packingtown:
"They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his feet and borne aloft ... one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long line of hogs, with squeals and lifeblood ebbing away together; until at last each started again, and vanished with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water."
There is no getting out alive, Arky. You've been tricked, tied, skinned, and flayed. Your hooves and hair and teeth are fertilizer. You are but one of a million pigs the assembly-line butcher has seen and will see. We eat your hocks everyday for breakfast and demand more tomorrow. Abandon all hope, ye who SOOIE here.
Auburn: Literally a paper tiger
But this is the most meticulously planned and painted paper tiger costume on the Plains. This paper tiger costume dawned on you back in spring practice. This'll be great, come October, ran the thinking, and just think how ahead of the curve we'll be. So you bought the posterboard, three shades of orange and one of white paint, and you went to work. You toiled all summer, even when your friends went to the pool or road bikes into the lake. You set up a countdown Facebook page for October 31. As August approached, however, and turned into September, you started to lose interest. You gazed at the mask's snarling, toothy mouth and thought, maybe this isn't such a great costume after all. And now that Halloween has arrived, you don't even have a back-up plan. Have fun out there, kiddo.
Florida: Freddy Krueger
You've been burned bad, Florida. You're angry and violent. You stay up at night ruminating on the pain and suffering of the past four years. You haunt other, more well-adjusted people's dreams and laugh while doing so. Is this real life? Are we dreaming? No. Don't you dare sleep on Maniacal McElwain. Ole Jimmy'll rip yer eyeballs out.
Georgia: Neo from The Matrix Reloaded
[GEORGIA CORNERS YOU AT THE OFFICE HALLOWEEN PARTY]: "Man, 2003 was awesome, wasn't it? And check out these digs. Got this jacket-robe thing from the local thrift; it smells kinda weird and it's a bit small, but I look amazing, dude. Oh, these glasses? No big deal, gas station, five dollars. What do you mean, who am I supposed to be? Remember The Matrix? No, not that one, the second one, man. It was, like, a totally badass flick, like, 12 years ago -- hey where are you going?"
Kentucky: Hand-me-down astronaut
Big brother wore this thing for a different party last March. Something about a Big Dance with some other folks from Wisconsin and the night turned kinda ugly late. Sweet costume though, guy.
LSU: Guy in a hoodie with some dubious stitches on the side of his face
Is that seriously his costume? I mean, it works, I guess, but is that on purpose? It's terrifying either way. What? No, you ask him where that gash came from.
Mississippi State: Frozen's Elsa
Sure, you wore this get-up last Halloween, and sure, it was tendentiously relevant even then. But you bought it, and hell, you've still got it lying around, so why not. And anyway, compared with last year, you, like Elsa, find yourself trapped in paralytic ice.
Missouri: Ghostface mask from Scream
This damn mask is unwearable for longer than 10 minutes at a time. It's stuffy in there and the funk is awful. Still, though, pull this one out of the closet for this year's "ironic" costume. The ghostface costume has been around for years, Scream is still an excellent horror film, and hey whatever happened to Matt Lillard? An added perk of the ghostface mask is that it still scares the ever-living bejeezus out of youngsters and those smaller than you, provided you catch them on their way home from Tuscaloosa.
Ole Miss: Buzz Lightyear
Shiny, new, and good looking? You bet. Buzz is confident from the get-go and impresses everyone early on. Buzz stands ready to supplant your previously favorite toy, doesn't he? Buzz doesn't make friends easily, though, and with all these blinking lights and spring-loaded wings, Buzz could malfunction at any minute. About those wings, Buzz: they sure seem like they're taking you places, but what happens when you really try to fly? To infinity ...
South Carolina: The Headless Horseman
For when you don't want to draw too much attention to your head, since there ain't one to look at. You're holding your head in your hands, Cocky, but we have no idea how you drove over here.
Tennessee: Portly man in a jock-strap
Oh boy. Who invited this guy? He's the only one who thinks he looks good, right? Or I guess that's "part of the gag" or whatever, but seriously you're creeping everyone out and if you keep galavanting around like that we're gonna have to call the police.
Texas A&M: WW2 Italian army officer
Say, Aggies, what's up with this military pastiche you live-action role play every week? I mean, don't get me wrong, the cut of that coat is incredible, and the shoes -- what are thooooooose? Oh, they're Armani. Of course they are. Second question for you, though, before you have another cigarette: when things get heavy -- like, really heavy into fighting season -- where exactly do you disappear off to?
I'm Vandy the sailor man
I'm Vandy the sailor man
I won't see the finish
E. coli in the spinach
Hemorrhaging points from my can
Happy Halloween, folks.