If you haven't heard by now, Jon Kitna showed up at a benefit for the Mike Furrey Foundation dressed in a costume that was supposed to be Lions defensive line coach Joe Cullen. The costume was a Lions visor, a wig, a shirt, and shorts. The shirt resembled a naked body and the shorts resembled a thong. What does that have to do with Joe Cullen? Well, last year before the season started, Cullen was arrested for driving through a Wendy's drive-thru naked. That was the start of more troubles as he was arrested a week later for drunk driving.
After the arrests became public knowledge right before the 2006 season started, Cullen was suspended for the season opener by the Lions and then later was suspended for another game by the NFL. On top of that, Cullen became part of jokes across the country as people found him going through a drive-thru naked to be hilarious. In reality, it wasn't a laughing matter as Cullen had issues to work out to try to get his life back in order. So far so good I'd say as he still has a job with the Lions.
Now that you know the back story to this, let's go back to Kitna's costume. The costume itself was meant to be a joke about the whole situation as Kitna himself said that it was far enough removed to laugh about it now. I don't now if I agree with that completely, but I'll get to my opinion on this matter in a second. First, though, there was another part to Kitna's costume: his wife. Jennifer, Jon's wife, came dressed as an employee for Wendy's that would work the drive-thru, adding to the overall costume to make it even more of a joke.
Personally, I think that this was a bit much. Joe Cullen had issues to work on, and to bring the story back into the public eye is wrong. Cullen has just tried to move past the two embarrassing arrests to get on with his coaching career in Detroit, but will now have to be reminded of the incident.
One thing I will say is that none of us know the specifics of the Lions locker room. That is what makes this situation so complex. For all we know, Cullen could be way past the incident and may even laugh about it himself. I really doubt that is the case, but we just don't know. I guess with that being said, I can't completely throw Kitna under the bus for wearing the costume he did, but I still don't think it was in good taste. Was it funny? To an extent, yes. But it still doesn't change the fact that Cullen had serious problems when the incident occurred.
The last time a Lions quarterback dressed up as a coach was 10 years ago when Scott Mitchell came to a team party dressed as head coach Wayne Fontes. That was really funny since it was just all in good fun. Like I said, though, the Kitna costume could be too, but we just don't know right now. I guess I should reserve my judgment until something that sheds light on that comes out.
For a video of the costume that Kitna wore along with the costumes of a few other Lions players, click here.