Lauren Bacon has something of a history with Redskins-themed Halloween costumes, from the age-appropriate cheerleader get-up she wore as a kid to the more literal Redskinette outfit she wore as an adult.
This fall, though, she realized that Robert Griffin III-themed costumes would be a region-wide Halloween phenomenon. So rather than simply throw on a jersey or even a helmet and shoulder pads, she decided to get creative.
Bacon ordered a tight-fitting gold bodysuit. With help from her mom, she added hand-sewn highlights, like a left-arm sleeve, a No. 10 cape, and an “RGIII” Redskins-themed belt. She tacked on striped burgundy-and-gold socks (with “HTTR” capes), and eye black, and sneakers, and “RG3Woman” was born.
Thus costumed, the 26-year old lifelong Redskins fan from Arlington went on a Halloween bar crawl in D.C. More than once, she was told hers was the best costume of the night.
“I figured there’d be a lot of little kids dressing up as RGIII, but I figured I’d do a creative spin on it,” Bacon told me this week. “You can’t really go wrong with Griffin in the D.C. area.”
Oddly, Bacon hadn’t known about RGIII’s self-professed fascination with superheroes when she came up with her costume idea. The rookie’s Redskins Park locker is filled with comic book figurines; “You want to feel like you’re super out there,” Griffin told USA Today recently. “I don’t picture myself as a normal person when I play football. I like to think I can do things that normal people can’t.”
So when you combine that happy coincidence with the positive response she received, Bacon decided “RG3Woman” should out-live Halloween. Which is why she wore her costume to the Eagles game last month. Again there were random fans offering compliments; again there were strangers asking for photographs.
One such photo, with the somewhat similarly attired fan known as SuperSkin, was posted on Twitter. From there, it was picked up by the Redskins blog Hogs Haven, eventually landing on my blog. One of Bacon’s co-workers sent that link to their entire work team.
From there, it quickly became clear that the costume would make it past November, too. So Bacon started an “RG3Woman” Twitter account. She appeared on multiple Internet radio shows, co-hosting one show with Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg. Friends she hadn’t seen in years saw her photo on Facebook and began calling her RG3Woman . She made plans to attend the remaining home games – against the Ravens and the Cowboys – even though the costume doesn’t stand up to cold weather very well.
Why do all this? Since Bacon attended her first game – during FedEx Field’s inaugural season – the Redskins have been a mostly flavorless, mostly losing franchise. And it’s been hard for Bacon to identify any players who could hold up against her childhood favorite, Darrell Green.
“RGIII kind of reminds me of him, in a sense,” she said. “His positive attitude, his commitment to the team and the D.C. area, his outlook on the NFL and football, that it’s not a right, it’s a privilege. He just has an effect on everyone around him. It’s been a long time coming since we had a leader like that on our team, someone that inspired people to try harder, to want to be better.”
That, you could say, is RG3Woman’s manifesto. And does she, like RGIII, feel something special when she slips on her costume?
“At this point, I kind of do,” she said with a laugh. “Now that people actually recognize it, it does kind of feel like an alter ego.”