October is one of the most important months of the NHL season. An obvious statement, what with the regular season kicking off and the weather creeping towards cold mornings and nights that smell of chill and turning leaves. But something else occurs in October: Halloween. A holiday that means little to some and should mean a little less to some others. Halloween offers the opportunity for costumes, all sorts of costumes. Similar to how much candy I’m going to eat during the post-Halloween sales, significant room exists for costumes choices, and someone, somewhere will make a bad choice.
Speaking of bad decisions, why are professional hockey players allowed to make decisions? I wouldn’t claim to believe that all players’ choices are bad. Often players make fantastic choices to raise money for charity and support their communities, but Halloween offers an avenue for these guys to make some really, really poor decisions.
For the 2016 Halloween season, many of the younger Nashville Predators players and their partners made some really great Halloween costume decisions. We’re going to take a look at some of the real hits and some of the bad misses.
Ryan Johansen and Madison Bell went with something that just screams Ryan Johansen and presumably an equally odd Madison Bell. Nothing says hip like a 1994 film reference. Way to be Ryan and Madison, don’t let anyone tell you how to be cool. Madison may technically be wearing a Left Shark costume, which initially lead me to think that Ryan was dressed in the world’s worst Katy Perry costume.
Ellie Ottaway was kind enough to be the frumpy lion to Roman Josi’s sexy Dorothy. I do wish Josi had gone in on some more challenging shoes. Roman, we’ve all seen your skating ability, maybe give some heels a shot. They’d complete the costume, and I think you could pull them off.
Viktor Arvidsson and his girlfriend took a very Swedish approach to Halloween and dressed up in a parody of Finnish netminder Juuse Saros. Viktor, just as there are two U’s in Juuse, you and your girl are in our hearts with these costumes.
And with that we come to Colin Wilson and Shawna Watterson
Oh boy. There is a lot going on here.
Halloween 2016 was going to see a lot of Donald Trump Halloween costumes. I knew that. You knew that. What we couldn’t have foreseen was American(-ish) Colin Wilson and his partner dressing up as what has been recognized as one of the darkest moments of the current US political cycle. To be clear, I don’t know if this is a straight joke, cutting satire, or bad taste, but let’s break the whole thing down.
Off the top, Shawna has to dress up as Trump or this entire set-up gets dark, fast. That being said, she is substantially better dressed than her costume inspiration simply by wearing pants and a jacket that fit. The shirt fit looks a bit off but that might be due to the odd pose. I don’t know why she doesn’t go for the iconic red hat, but I wouldn’t let that distract from the best part of her costume; the overly long red tie is a subtle element, but is a really thoughtful detail. The orange make-up, with the peachy rings around the eyes lacks subtlety but does fine to tie the costume together.
Oh god, Colin. Having met Colin and Shawna in a dark bar, I’m going to assume Shawna did the cat make-up. It’s light, fresh, and there are some nice details. The rest of Colin’s costume is basically what he would wear to go for a jog on a brisk morning. I’m not especially enthused because the cat paw gloves will inevitably spend the vast majority of the evening on a party table and they are a significant portion of his costume. The last thing that I want to call out is that...
GUYS, COLIN WILSON AND HIS GIRLFRIEND ARE DRESSED UP FOR HALLOWEEN AS THE MOMENT A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BRAGGED ABOUT SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WOMEN.
At best one might call this couple’s costume satire. They’ve taken a dark, topical moment and turned it on it’s head. At worst the costumes are a throwaway joke casting a shadow over important topics. Even beyond the problems of sexual assault and domestic violence in athletics, I get the sense that at no point did anyone think “hmmm… my teammate settled a sexual assault case just last year. Maybe a great costume is one that parodies implied sexual assault. This is fine!”
1 in 1000 people are sexually assaulted. A sexual assault occurs every 109 seconds. 18% of American women have experienced a rape. Some of these assaults were performed by powerful public figures. Sexual assault both in and out of athletics is a serious problem. We face a culture that enables the abuse of women, and we brush off cries for change as outrage and make jokes about triggering and safe spaces. Maybe this wasn’t the moment for a joke.
Finally, I want to take a moment to point you to SBNation’s It’s On Us campaign to combat sexual assault in sports, athletics, and beyond.
All statistics from RAINN.org unless otherwise noted.