In any sport, there's a fair share of good and bad tattoos, but NFL players in particular are sporting some serious ink underneath their jerseys. Some of them keep adding to an extensive collection, while others seem to experience some tattoo regret when their ink is no longer relevant. For example, Kenyon Martin's etching of his girlfriend's lips was not the best choice considering they eventually split.
Most recently, Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns took a risk with an attention-grabbing tatt that has been getting some serious buzz since he posted a photo of it on Instagram. The wide receiver definitely moved into the spotlight in 2013, and his eye-catching body art may be the perfect way to commemorate his breakout season.
A work in progress
This isn't Gordon's first time under the needle, but his newest design is a whole new level of ink. The tattoo, which stretches across his entire back and shoulder area, features his last name, the No. 12, and an image of a koi fish. The koi fish is not an uncommon choice – in fact, many people opt for similar cultural symbols that are meaningful to them. It's clear that though the name and number outline are already finished, they haven't been completely filled in yet. Additionally, other details on the right side of the design are clearly not done.
The Plain Dealer estimated that at this stage, the piece took at least six hours for D the Artist, who is based near Miami, to do. One of the most notable aspects of the tatt is that it utilizes multiple colored inks, especially blue and red, which was definitely a risk on Gordon's part. It can be challenging to make these pigments appear ultra vibrant and resistant to fading, and additionally, it can be more difficult to remove these stubborn inks without a state-of-the-art laser.
Taking a chance
There's just one problem with Gordon's elaborate tatt: It's a commitment. What if he leaves the Browns? Waiting For Next Year pointed out that while Gordon was No. 12 when he was playing with the Baylor Bears, he wasn't able to get the number back until just this past season. Additionally, No. 12 has been retired in a multitude of teams, including Miami with Bob Griese, San Francisco with John Brodie, New York with Joe Namath and Buffalo with Jim Kelly. Not only that, but New England will put the number to rest when quarterback Tom Brady eventually retires. That means that if Gordon is signed to any of those teams, the No. 12 on his back won't exactly make sense anymore.
Gordon isn't the only athlete who recently got a bold celebratory tatt, either. Johnny Gomes won his first World Series title with the Boston Red Sox last year, and he decided to memorialize this achievement in ink. His design, which is located on his side, features a bearded Red Sox player on a duck boat with the World Series trophy, as well as an American flag and "B Strong'' inscription in the background. It's an interesting piece of body art – the only issue is the possibility of Gomes playing for another team down the road.
It's become relatively common for people to consider tattoo removal methods when they want to eliminate unwanted ink. While Gordon's enormous design would require some major work to get rid of, it's worth noting that the removal process can be used to merely alter an inking that isn't desirable or meaningful anymore. So if the star player switched numbers, he could always opt to make changes to that aspect of the tatt as opposed to overhauling the entire design.
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* Source: Harris Interactive, 2013