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halloween in the nfl


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allen park, mich. -- detroit lions quarterback jon kitna and his wife dressed up as a naked man and a fast-food drive-through attendant at a teammate's halloween party, depicting an embarrassing moment for one of the team's assistant coaches.

now kitna is getting some flak on local tv and in a newspaper column. kitna said he was just trying to have fun, but regrets the scrutiny the costumes created.

"if i would've known this, i wouldn't have done it because i didn't want to try to bring attention to it," kitna said wednesday while surrounded by reporters and television cameras.

defensive line coach joe cullen pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct and guilty to impaired driving after he was arrested twice last year, once in august 2006 after police said he was driving nude through a wendy's drive-through lane, and a week later when they said he was driving under the influence of alcohol.

cullen later was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to attend alcoholics anonymous meetings twice a week.

"he's done everything they've asked of him," lions coach rod marinelli said before this season started. "and, there's a lot more that he's had to do."

marinelli said kitna's costume was a non-issue with the team.

"it's halloween," marinelli said. "i'll leave it at that."

cullen said "no comment" as he walked off the practice field wednesday, but the team said it asked him if the costume bothered him.

"no, not at all," cullen said in a statement released by the team. "it's in the past.

kitna and his wife wore the costumes to a teammate's charity party monday in suburban detroit, where the prize for the best outfit was a car.

"all i was trying to do was wear a costume that people would have fun with," kitna said. "i wasn't trying to demean joe. if he hadn't come so far, i would not ever have done it. he's very confident of who he is and is very peaceful about what's happened in the past.

"when we talked yesterday, the first question out of his mouth was, 'did you win?' he seemed to not have a problem with it."

defensive tackle cory redding backed that notion.

"he was still red this morning because kitna didn't win," redding said. "it was all fun and games."

kitna, a born-again christian who invites teammates to his house to explore their faith, also laughed at the costumes that poked fun at him and his wife.

"somebody dressed up as me and my wife and came in bible-thumping," kitna said with a grin.

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