The story of the Redskins’ bobsled costumes

September 18, 2013

The Redskins team party had an “Island” theme this year, and photos quickly surfaced of player dressed in their own interpretations of what “Island” meant. Tom Compton, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan, Adam Gettis and Josh LeRibeus quickly stole the show by dressing up as the Jamaican bobsled team from “Cool Runnings.”

“It was a creation of me and Kirk,” Compton explained to me recently. “We were bouncing ideas off of each other, and I can’t remember how it came about, but I think Kirk said something about ‘Cool Runnings’ and it got us thinking, what if we had the bobsled team? We even thought about getting an actual bobsled, but you can’t get a bobsled on that short notice.”

Compton and Cousins needed to recruit some more characters, so they approached Gettis and Kerrigan to see if they’d be willing to body-suit up.

“I asked Ryan and Adam if they wanted to join, and I told them we’d get LeRibeus as John Candy,” Compton laughed. “They’re like, ‘We’ll do it if Josh is doing it.’ And I told them Josh was doing it, but I hadn’t even asked him yet. So I texted Josh and was like, ‘Josh, I need you. We’re going to do Cool Runnings and I need you to be John Candy, the head coach.’ And no hesitation, he was like, ‘I’ll do it.’ So he jumped on right away.”

They had the cast, now they needed costumes. Compton headed out to find green body suits that would fit the large bodies of he and his teammates. It’s a good thing they stretch, because sizing posed a problem.

“Tom went to Party City and got one 2X, and I guess they didn’t have any more 2X, so I ended up with the 1X and it was a little too snug,” said Gettis, shaking his head. “I guess Tom didn’t want to wear the 1X, but it ended up being alright.”

Compton had his own justification for keeping the larger suit for himself.

“I was the one who had to go get the stuff,” he said. “So I said, if I’m going through the trouble to get their stuff, I’m gonna get the 2X. That was my rationale.”

It’s a valid point.

The group ended up losing the night’s prize to the crew who dressed up as Gilligan’s Island, which got Compton thinking about the ideas that hit the cutting room floor during his and Cousins’s brainstorming session, including wetsuits and surfboards, shark costumes, and one that may have beaten the Gilligan’s Island crew, if they could have made it work.

“We thought about doing a ‘Little Mermaid’ theme, where one of us would be Ariel and the other would be the King,” said Compton. “But that was too short notice. It looked pretty good online though.”

Hey, Halloween is right around the corner.

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Dan Steinberg | September 18, 2013