Who doesn't love a good holiday-themed gimmick column?
So without the usual hemming and hawing, my quick guide to Premier League Halloween costumes, because, let's be honest tossing on an old jersey and saying you're a "soccer player" is, a little lame. You have to truly embrace it and throw yourself into the role. (And probably what I'll be doing this Halloween, assuming my Dave Hester, "Yuuup" hat doesn't arrive in time.)
Robin van Persie: Arsenal track jacket. Daper Dan hair pomade. Crutches.
Andy Carroll: Don't shave, hair in a ponytail, reek of stale Carlsberg lager. Practice sitting on the bench and staring longingly at your Uruguayan best friend.
Wayne Rooney: Easy, Shrek mask (draw your own hair plugs.) Manchester United kit. Next!
Charlie Adam: "Billy Bob" teeth. Tight shirt. Bad forearm tattoo. Do everything erratically. Hurt anyone dressed up like Gareth Bale.
Luis Suarez: Wear one of those high Dracula-style collars. Vampire teeth. Prepare to roll around on the ground and immediately do something amazing afterward.
Rafael van der Vaart: Don't shave. Wear an expensive man scarf. Essentially you're the walking version of the popular party game: "European or Hipster." Helps if you have a gorgeous girlfriend of wife.
Didier Drogba: Not so much a costume, but if you're at a party, keep elbowing your way past other guests. If anyone calls you out on it, bulge out your eyes, shrug and act incredulous.
Joey Barton: Get a Morrisey style haircut, wear tight jeans and a jacket with epaulets. Be careful with the facial hair or you might get mistaken for Adolf Hitler.
Maroune Feliani: Afro wig. Blue shirt. (Warning, you will draw a red card for this costume, however.)
Andre Villas-Boas: Whatever a Rick Astley costume would look like, maybe a little more chin stubble. Could go either way.
Gareth Bale: Eh, the Welshman doesn't drink, so he probably doesn't attend Halloween parties. Just stay home and watch "iCarly" or something and eat apples the other kids got trick-or-treating.
Carlos Tevez: Freddy Kruger mask + black "hippie" wig. (Note: when friends ask you to go trick-or-treating or out to a party, refuse.)
Nemanja Vidic: Dress up like an ogre. Never smile. Only communicate via grunts.
Fernando Torres: Put a sheet over your head and walk around like a ghost. (Get it, he's been nearly invisible for Chelsea?!? Boom. Roasted.)
Gervinho: Go to a bowling alley, stick your head in the ball shiner machine to make that forehead sparkle. Maybe throw on a wristband.
Ryan Giggs: Just add body hair. Also doubles a a Wolfman costume on the cheap. (Lon Cheney version, natch.)
Luka Modric: "Scream" mask.
Ashley Cole: Wear tight pants. Act like a douche. (Only works if, again, you have a blindingly attractive wife or girlfriend.)
David Silva: Mainline heroin (or meth maybe) for two weeks, tape or glue a soccer ball to your feet.
John Terry: Buy a Flobee or head to SuperCuts. Ask for the worst haircut possible. Racially abuse somebody. Be able to cry on command.
Nani: Jherri Curl your hair. Buy a replica Michael Jackson "Thriller" jacket. Attempt to do backflips.
Mario Balotelli: Go to the most trendy hairstyle place in town. Ask the person who looks like they've been a contestant on a Bravo reality competition to, "Go wild." Oh, you can probably wear whatever you want, assuming it comes from a gallery in Milan or jeans that cost $1,000. Never smile. Fireworks, optional.
Dirk Kuyt: Oh come on, you guys, this is too easy.
* Everton v. Manchester United -- (Live, no idea which channel ESPN Deportes?, 7 a.m.) Never understand the Premier League tinkering with the television times, seemingly at random. Say what you will about the NFL but at least you know this, games on Sunday at 1, 4 and 8:30 and the Monday nighter. Why this game is on so early, on a random channel and what not is frustrating.
Not as frustrating as it has to be for David Moyes, who's Toffees played a 120 Carling Cup match with Chelsea on Wednesday and then have a super quick turnaround to play a wounded, angry Manchester United side, which everyone is poking holes at for allowing 54 shots on goal -- second highest total in the EPL. Everton is also without its newest hero -- Royston Drenthe.
Everton does seem, lately, to play United very tough. Tough enough to nick a point at Goodison Park? Seems like a game the Tofs miss Mikel Arteta in the midfield, because the Jack Rodwells of the world play right into the hands of Sir Alex's mishmash in the center of the field. Think it seems time for Wayne Rooney to burn his old club again. ... Everton 0, Manchester United 2
* Chelsea v. Arsenal -- (Live, ESPN2, 7:45 a.m.) Maybe it's because I've been playing way too much FIFA Ultimate Team, but isn't it a little weird that there aren't a ton of Brazilian players in the Premier League, considering the country's top export seems to be soccer players. Dial up some random, obscure Eastern European club that's in the Europa League and you'll find a handful of Brazilians in the mix. Outside the top five, six clubs it seems the bulk of the EPL clubs are eschewing Brazilian imports for whatever the reason.
Chelsea, and to a lesser extent Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, have bucked that trend. Some of the Blues most important players -- David Luiz, Alex and Ramires -- all hail from the country. Not sure why I found this interesting, but I did.
This game is worthwhile since we'll see if Arsenal's recent form (7-out-8 wins in all competitions) is for real. Can Robin van Persie quick up his torrid form against one of the league's best? Chelsea aren't as defensively stalwart as years past (zero League cleansheets), the Blues -- last year's hiccup at QPR notwithstanding -- seem to be rounding into form where they aren't reliant on one single player for goals. ... Chelsea 2, Arsenal 1
* Swansea City v. Bolton -- Straightforward, but if the Swans want to stick around the Premier League, they need to bank three points in games like this. Wonder if Bolton already bottomed out and is back to midtable-worthy form? ... Swansea 1, Bolton 1
* Wigan v. Fulham -- Nobody is surprised Wigan is flirting with the bottom, right? Six goals scored in nine games will do that to you. Fulham, meanwhile, is just ... eh. Can they get a redo on the start of the season? I'm starting to wonder, if he stays at the club and to help fit its needs, does Clint Dempsey move/evolve into more of a central player in the middle of the field? Throwing it out there. ... Wigan 1, Fulham 1
* Sunderland v. Aston Villa -- (Live, FSC+, 10 a.m.) These have to be the two most frustrated sets of fans in the Premier League. Both teams want to make a move up the table, to push for bigger and better things, yet they both seem stalled in that gray zone, where unfortunately the only excitement comes from flirting with relegation. Sunderland, if it ever finds the right combinations, could be a fairly explosive side. Aston Villa? ... Sunderland 2, Aston Villa 1
* Manchester City v. Wolves -- (Live, FSC, 10 a.m.) The 2010 version of Manchester City might have stumbled here. Until we get evidence otherwise... ... Manchester City 3, Wolves 0
* Norwich City v. Blackburn Rovers -- Even without what you'd consider a marquee striker, Norwich has scored in all but two games -- one at Old Trafford when it could of had three. Norwich might not have the 'wow factor,' but the Canaries seem solid in most areas. Blackburn? Steve Kean's job seems safe for the minute after a Carling Cup win. Still don't see this team every putting together a consistent effort in consecutive weeks or games. ... Norwich City 2, Blackburn 0
* West Bromwich Albion v. Liverpool -- (Live, FSC, 12:30 p.m.) Let's just hope for a Roy Hodgson face rub. He might need one with Shane Long on the sideline after an Alan Hutton tackle last week. ... West Brom 1, Liverpool 2
* Tottenham v. QPR -- (Live, FSC, 11 a.m.) Somehow, with all its defenders getting hurt, Spurs keep on winning. QPR should be riding high after last week vs. Chelsea. Maybe Giovani dos Santos can take heed in Adel Taraabt. If he ever gets away from Harry, maybe he can make something of himself. ... Tottenham 1, QPR 0
* Stoke City v. Newcastle United -- (Live in Jim Rome's basement.) Battle of teams trying to prove they're better than the rest of the pack. Does Newcastle's unbeaten start end at Fortness Britannia? ... Stoke City 1, Newcastle United 1
Last round: 2-8 (first outright clunker, including going dyslexic on my Spurs/Blackburn pick last week.)