College sports are always a great time to dress up, whether you are a fan who loves face paint or simply a student with a favorite team t-shirt. But the whole stand and cheer routine becomes a totally different ballgame around Halloween, when Halloween costumes become both things to wear to parties and ways to show team spirit.
Over the years, students have worn some amazing Halloween costumes. In this post, we’re going to discuss the great Halloween college sports costumes that could make this Halloween awesome.
Halloween College Sports
Are there traditional Halloween games?
While college basketball is a spring sport, football is in full swing during the Halloween season. There have been some memorable on the field and off the field moments in college football history. As for on the field moments, nothing tops Billy Cannon’s Halloween run, a punt return that is now synonymous with the holiday. On Halloween night in 1959, eventual Heisman winner Billy Cannon sat back deep in his own territory. The Tigers were down 3-0 to their bitter rivals the Ole Miss Rebels, and they needed some magic. It was late in the fourth quarter. If something was going to happen, it would need to happen soon.
As the ball soared through the air and Billy fielded at his own 11-yard line, picking the ball up on a bounce. The return setup didn’t look promising. No gaping holes lay in the special teams. Billy took off, and was hit almost immediately—but didn’t go down. Billy broke one tackle, then another, and another. By the time the dust settled, Billy broke 7 tackles in the first 30 yards before going on a 60-yard sprint down the sideline. LSU would win the game 7-3.
Halloween occurs every year on October 31st, which means that it cycles through days of the week. Other holidays, like Thanksgiving, always occur on the same day of the week which means that the calendar date fluctuates. Because Halloween cycles, some years there are sports games on Halloween and other years there are not. But in 2020, Halloween occurs on a Saturday, meaning that there will be a full slate of games!
There are no traditional Halloween games, but many college students choose to dress in costume on the game nearest Halloween, depending on when it falls.
Taylor’s Silent Nights
There are some odd traditions in the world of college sports. Taylor University has one of the oddest. One year, the student president wore his pajamas to a basketball game after being up late studying. Over the next few years, students started wearing pajamas and costumes to a Friday night home game before final exams. It isn’t Halloween, but it sure looks like Halloween in the stadium, The tradition is known as “Silent Night.” Students pack the stands in their costumes and are completely silent until Taylor university scores its 10th point—at which point the school erupts.
The psychology seems to be pretty effective, because Taylor is 22-1 all-time in silent night games, which are now officially a part of school culture.
If you’re throwing a Halloween tailgate, you’ll want to combine all the normal tailgating considerations, and then tack the Halloween vibes on top. Usually, a selection of simple party decorations will do, but you can also invest in some stuff to decorate your vehicles.
Costumes for Halloween Sports Games
Team Hats and Normal Costumes
Of course, any Halloween costume can be easily turned into a really cool team costume by putting a hat on it. Want to be a spooky ghost? Or want to be a tasteful pirate? Just throw on a team hat and now your ghost or pirate is a huge college sports fan. It’s a method that is so simple, it works.
If you need something a little more intense than a hat, look for a college team t-shirt to bring together a totally different outfit. Now, your ghost or pirate is an even bigger fan of the university.
Costumes for Tailgating
Best advice here: read the vibes and know yourself. If everyone else is showing up to the Halloween spectacular in jeans and a t-shirt, you have to be pretty bold to show up in a Halloween costume the week before Halloween. But if you have to go for a crazy Halloween costume, then check out our ideas for the funniest college tailgate costumes.
When you’re building your , make sure to dress for the weather. Consider the number of layers that you’d normally wear as your base, and then substitute different pieces of costume for those layers. Additionally, remember that unlike the average Halloween party, you aren’t going to be wandering around, standing and talking with a drink in your hand. You’ll be sitting down and standing up, packed into a football stadium. Minimal will be better here.
The Mascot, But Different
Most colleges have a fairly interesting team mascot. While just grabbing a giant tree costume or a banana slug costume might not be the funniest Halloween costume you can think of--making a slight alteration to the costumes might be perfect. You could be a giant tree facing climate change, a banana slug with a cowboy hat, or something else. Any sort of ironic take on your team mascot can be a really funny Halloween costume.
Whether you have one of the best or worst mascots of all time, a unique or ironic take on the mascot can be perfect for a Halloween costume. If you like someone else’s mascot, why not use that for inspiration too? Check out our list to get started.
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Guide to College Halloween Costumes
College Halloween Group Costumes
Most college football fans who show up to a game in a Halloween costume go in a group. It’s easy to be confident in your wacky costume when you’ve got friends who are doing it too. Here are some ideas to spark your next awesome student college Halloween group costume:
- Something “through the years.” We’ve seen awesome renditions of Britney Spears or Taylor Swift through different stages of their career--but why not go for something more ambitious? You could do Rachel from every season of friends, or Michael Jordan in different stages of his career.
- Dress like your friends. If you’ve got friends who have iconic pieces of clothing that everyone knows, or a distinct style, it can be funny to take on the challenge of dressing like your friend.
- A collection of items. Have someone be a soccer player, someone be a ball, and someone be the ref.
- Combine costume ideas. The great one here is “French Kiss,” where you dress as the band Kiss but also like mimes. Combining phrases into a pun can be really great.
- Something iconic from your college. Dress as your college president or a favorite professor.
Halloween Birthday Party Decorations
When decorating for a Halloween birthday party, it’s best to get a little bit tacky with it. You’ll have to decide if you want the party to be just a generic Halloween theme where everyone can wear whatever costume they want, or a particular theme that you want people to follow. It’s best to let the birthday guest decide because some people will like it either way!