A player's ego and attitude, among other things, contribute to these judgments.
Here are five guys we would prefer not to see in next year's edition of the Body Issue.
If you have a nickname like "Lights Out" and you bare it all for ESPN's Body Issue, you'd better look like one tough dude.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman earned his nickname for the monster hits he doles out—specifically, he knocked out four opponents during his high school years.
But Merriman's tattoo bears a striking resemblance to the horror that was the "Tebow Time" tattoo, both in toughness and in tact.
Worse, that tattoo was the result of a Tebow non-believer losing a bet to his sadistically creative buddy rather than a conscientious choice.
Maybe Merriman could land a naked centerfold in an EPA brochure, but I'll pass on seeing this tacky "lights out" tattoo make ESPN's cut.
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Michael Jasper played offense and defense in college, and boy could he block.
At Bethel University, Jasper effectively looked like a held-back 18-year-old who was somehow eligible to play for his elementary school football team.
Even in the NFL, Jasper is larger than life.
Maybe we'd actually like to see No. 69 in a centerfold, but could he even fit in one?
Perhaps it was his fine David Hasselhoff impersonation.
Or maybe his cutesy splish-splash moment.
Or was it this one that speaks for itself?
If it was "none of the above" then you'll agree that more centerfolds of the New York Jets quarterback would simply be eye-roll worthy. Aaron Rodgers agrees at least.
Jets honorable mention: Antonio Cromartie (since it seems like every time his clothes come off, someone new has a bun in the oven).
Do you ever wonder what this legendary football coach hides beneath that gray cloak of genius?
Neither do I.
While Bill Belichick is an NFL star of sorts, I'd prefer that his deepest secrets remain close to the vest.
Belichick baring it all in the Body Issue would be equivalent to accidentally walking in on your parents changing and needing years of therapy to recover.
Thanks but no thanks, Bill.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Vince Young must have had a hunch that, despite the hype of his NFL potential, he would be playing a lot of backyard shirtless football in his day.
This look is a bit too egomaniacal for my tastes.
If his back is like a jersey, then I'm not sure what number he's claiming to be. No. God?
I can only hope that Young's back art is the result of an unfortunate accident—or else I hope that he never appears in the Body Issue.