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October 29, 2010

The lighter side: UW football and Halloween

MADISON - Peter Konz didn't have to think too long when asked the inevitable question.

"Best costume ever?," Konz replied. "I really did like a werewolf costume I had. I don't know where my mom got fake fur, but we glued little patches of this fur looking stuff to my hands. I had fangs and we went to a zoo in Green Bay and they had a hayride.

"That was fun."

Konz, who now stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 315 pounds, has always been a Halloween guy. Because for him, like it is for everybody else, Halloween is a time to step out of the daily routine and play a role that isn't typically seen.

In addition to his werewolf get-up, Konz seemed especially fond of another character he once dressed as.

"I was Babe Ruth once," Konz relayed. "The Great Bambino. I was a chubby kid so it worked well. My mom actually got somebody to sew a pinstripe suit and I had stirrups and long black socks. I had a wooden bat, a Louisville Slugger. I had hot dogs and a Big League Chew in.

"I had some great Big League Chew."

Konz isn't the only person that's pumped for a weekend off in Madison, especially one that coincides with one of the stapled traditions of the city.

Jay Valai, Blake Sorensen and David Gilreath also plan to get in the action and it's certain they won't be alone.

"We haven't really talked much about it," junior defensive end J.J. Watt said. "I'm sure there are plenty of ideas floating around. There aren't too many good ones yet, but I'm excited to see it on Saturday."

Oh contraire.

"I've heard Marty McFly," Konz said. "I've heard Hooter's Girl. That's one of those that you hear from across the locker and you've just got to laugh. I've heard about a sheep. I think it goes with something…maybe a wolf or something."

Blake Sorensen added to the list.

"I've heard a lot of stuff," he said. "Valai is talking about being a WWF guy. I know he's asking coach Ben Herbert for some chains. I don't know where you're going to go with that. I've heard a lot of stuff.

"Guys have been talking about pretty much everything you can imagine."

Lance Kendricks has a pretty good plan.

"My sophomore year I was LeBron James and I think I'm going to do it again this year," he said. "I actually ordered a Miami Heat jersey, so I'm going to go with that one. I'm sure it will be more funny than anything.

"I remember I saw before the Ohio State game some guy was walking around with a sign that said, 'We don't like LeBron either."

Scott Tolzien, who was very proud of his three-Halloween streak of going as a cheesehead as a youth, said he needs to pick up his game as a collegiate.

"I've really just been scrapping things together the past few years," Tolzien said. "Nothing really exciting, so I've got to do a better job with that.

"I'm looking to maybe get home on Friday, but I haven't made any plans yet. So we'll see how it goes."

Valai, who is torn between dressing up as Quinton "Rampage" Jackson or one-half of the WWE's Dudley Boys, says John Clay has a good idea in place too, but wouldn't go as far as telling what the idea is.

"He has a pretty good one going right now," Valai said. "He's got a few of his guys doing something."

David Gilreath, who isn't a big costume guy, dressed up for the first time ever last Halloween when he went as Indiana Jones.

"I had everything," Gilreath said. "I had a shirt that was kind of like a V-neck so my chest was hanging out. I had the whip and everything. It was a belt, but it was brown.

"It was good enough."

It's still kind of hard to believe that was his first time dressing up, though.

"Man, from Minnesota it's cold out there during Halloween," Gilreath said. "I had a vampire mask that I wore every year for like six or seven years. Every year I'd go out there, try to get my candy and go.

"It was too cold."

According to Valai, Gilreath has a plan in place for this weekend.

"He's talking about being 'Vampire in Brooklyn,' like Eddie Murphy," Valai said.

Sorensen, who said his Nacho Libre costume was a hit in the past, is planning on going as Santa Claus before he utilizes a sweet set of lederhosen the next night.

Though he has long hair right now, and the potential to grow a pretty ridiculous mustache, Sorensen strayed from building his costume around that.

"I thought about it," Sorensen said. "I know A.J. Fenton is already taking Jesus from me. So I couldn't take that one. There's a few other things, but the hair isn't going to be utilized. We've got some time left, though, I've got a couple days to think."

J.J. Watt, who plans on heading home for some relaxation with his family, opened his Twitter account to costume suggestions.

"People gave me a lot of ideas," Watt said. "I really, really like the TV timeout official. That's a great one. You get the red hat and red shirt. That's probably the best one I've heard."

As college kids, it's obvious trick-or-treating is a thing of the past. So while most of the players on the team plan on dressing up this weekend, you won't see many of them knocking on doors asking for candy.

"I went every year," Sorensen said. "Until I was too old to go. That was a sad time."

Konz, like Sorensen, retired from the likes of the trick-or-treaters years ago.

"I trick or treated until I got too fat and tired," Konz said. "I remember one Halloween when I was just tired of walking. I was just like, 'I don't like candy enough to do this.' I was probably in fourth or fifth grade. I thought I'd just get my brother's candy when he got home. I'd pick out the Almond Joys.

"I don't know, I kind of just stopped after that."




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