Here's what you may not know about the recent revelation that Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson not so subtly told franchise quarterback Cam Newton to refrain from getting any tattoos, piercings or distinguishing haircuts:
Richardson doesn't care if Newton gets a tat or two. He cares what Newton has inked on his visible body parts.
I haven't talked to the man, but I'm thinking Richardson wouldn't have a problem if Newton had a Bible verse tattooed on his shoulder or had "CAM" tatted on his biceps. Richardson would have a problem if his new QB got a stack of $100 bills and "Show Cam The $$$" inked on his forearm, or if there was a man strapped into a guillotine under the message "Death Before Dishonor" inked across Newton's entire back. (I actually saw that tattoo on a basketball player once in Houston.)
I'm also guessing that Richardson would be perfectly fine if Newton had a Carolina Panthers logo tattooed anywhere on his body, preferably in public view. After all, that's harmless free advertising for the organization.
But the funny part about NFL team-logo tattoos is that players never get them. In their business, the likelihood of staying attached to one team their whole career is so low that it's not worth the risk.
That's why NFL team tattoos strictly belong to the fans. Players come and go, but fans stick with their teams for life. The only way their tat could become obsolete is if the team changed logos or left town.
But that doesn't mean every fan's NFL team tattoo was a smart choice or a good piece of work.
Here's an example of one ridiculous fan tattoo for each NFL squad.
My best guess is that this guy was doing a bid in prison and started getting a teardrop tat. But once he realized it would be tough to get a job on the outside with that advertisement on his face, he salvaged what he could with a Cardinals logo.
If that was the case, though, keeping the teardrop might have been a better look than the amateur piece of work he's stuck with now.
The idea is cute—the Georgia state abbreviation made by incorporating the Falcons, Braves and UGA Bulldogs.
But this would have gone over better as a drawing or a cell-phone wallpaper, not as a permanent tattoo.
And why can't the Hawks get any love?
You could say this is more of a tattoo for the city of Baltimore than it is for the Ravens, but once you include the birds, it becomes associated with football.
Obviously, this guy loves his city, and I can definitely understand that, but this is over the top.
It's redundant. If you have a tattoo of a football team's logo, you don't have to tell us you're a diehard fan. It's pretty obvious.
That would be like getting a New York steak tattooed on your arm with "I love steak" written above it.
I didn't pick a fan tattoo for the Panthers for two reasons:
1. I couldn't find a truly ridiculous one.
2. My next tat is going to be a panther (not a Carolina Panther), and I don't want to make fun of my own kind.
Just in the space from the back of his head to his shoulder blade, I'm counting three Bears tats, and all three are kind of ridiculous. Put them together and it's a certified oddball.
I'm just hoping the autographs are real Sharpie signatures from a reunion of the '85 Bears or something, and not more tats this guy had done himself.
Plus, I would have loved to see the look on Mike Ditka's face when he was asked to sign the back of somebody's head.
One of the cardinal rules of ink: Never get a temporary popular phrase that could be meaningless down the road. Anything like "2 Legit 2 Quit" or "Rock & Roll All Night" or "I'm 'Bout It" is just asking for a tattoo disaster.
But even worse than this ink of the Bengals' unofficial team slogan is the location. From this photo, I can't tell if it's on the person's hip, their stomach or their butt.
Proof that even a fake rabid dog is hazardous to your well-being.
And what's up with the dog's ears?
They look too much like pigtails, which makes me think this puppy would be cute if she wasn't temporarily enraged.
Ever heard of a Rottweiler?
Is that a vein popping out of the arm of the player holding up the helmet? Way to make it look like your team is full of steroid users.
And if you look at the face mask, that's the kind of helmet that belongs to a quarterback. What QB in this world is swollen up like a bodybuilder?
Was it really necessary to get two tattoos of Mike Shanahan?
This man either lost a bet or is a misunderstood comedic genius.
No problem, though: Whenever the Lions go 16-0, he can get another tat on his other pec to match. Assuming he isn't a very old man by then.
If this is one of those Packers fans who feels betrayed by Brett Favre, at least he has options.
He can squeeze in another "4" in case James Starks becomes a Hall of Famer or an "8" for Sterling Sharpe.
Maybe modify it to say "4 Life" and hope nobody remembers he had a Brett Favre tattoo once upon a time.
And you thought Ghost Rider was too badass to wear a motorcycle helmet.
Safety first, even if you've been cursed by a demon arch-enemy and were forced to watch Nic Cage play you in a movie.
Yeah, that last word is what you think it is.
Of all the NFL quarterbacks to use for this tattoo, why Johnny Unitas?
Maybe it's the irony in the fact that Johnny U was supposed to be one of the most straight-laced guys in the league, or maybe the tattoo artist just couldn't draw a good picture of Todd Marinovich.
I know it's not what this guy was going for, but basically he has a tattoo of a drowning cat.
Not to mention the jaguar looks a little too snub-nosed here compared to the real Jacksonville logo, like he got kicked in the face by the Indianapolis Colt.
My issue here isn't with the tattoo itself—which actually looks a lot better than most KC Chiefs tats you'll find—but the placement.
Unless you're an offensive lineman or an MMA fighter, who really sees your forearms in that position that often?
For the majority of this tattoo's life, people will see it turned on its side.
No matter how hard you try, you're not going to make a dolphin look tough.
I watch a lot of nature/wildlife shows, and I know that dolphins can be more grimy than they get credit for, but they are still always going to look cute.
You can't make Snowflake from Ace Ventura come across like a killer, even if he really is one.
I also like how the helmet has a chinstrap. Where exactly is that going to go?
I actually read the story of the guy who had this tattoo done, and he's a huge Vikings fan (obviously) who was born in 1969. That's where the number comes from.
But he should know how many jokes and snickers come at the mere mention of the number 69, plus it's turned on the side, and the tattoo is just too busy. But that's me.
The choice came down to this tattoo of the old Patriots logo and another tattoo of the new Pats logo that was on the side of a guy's head.
Under any other circumstance, the head/face tattoo always wins in a battle of ridiculousness, but the tat you see pictured is just so badly drawn that it pulled the upset and took the crown.
Many tattoos are conceived during a drunken gambling moment, but usually the drunk people aren't the ones drawing the tattoo.
The Saints might be the best example in pro sports of a logo that is nearly impossible to screw up in tattoo form.
I couldn't find a really ridiculous version, and even ones that could have been, the owner can just explain it away as a unique version of a fleur-de-lis that has nothing to do with football.
This is exactly what your parents warned you about: Get a tattoo now, and when you're old it will look kind of silly. Or in this case, very silly.
Again, how many times will people actually get to read this tattoo the way it was meant to be read?
I'm a fan of old-style lettering, but this is so fancy that at a quick glance some people wouldn't be able to tell you it says "N.Y. Jets."
It should come as no surprise that Raiders fans are the undisputed champions of all things ridiculous, from tattoos and game-day gear to general irrationality and taking themselves too seriously.
At first I was going to go the obvious route and peg this guy as the king of the asylum, but I'm kind of scared to call him ridiculous.
So I'll go with the Al Davis tat.
Maybe the "99" is for the late Jerome Brown, because otherwise it looks like this guy is commemorating the 1999 Eagles—a team that went 5-11 with Donovan McNabb as a rookie backup. And then you get the kicker tatted on yourself?
It's a collage of some good pieces of art—just a weird choice of tattoo.
Seeing fans like this reminds me that as angry as my fellow Seahawks fans were following our referee-tainted Super Bowl loss to Pittsburgh, had the tables been turned, Steelers fans would have burned down their city and required a National Guard call-in.
I hope the Steelers never leave Pittsburgh; otherwise this guy might lie down in front of a bus.
There's a difference between color that pops and color that looks like it was applied with a crayon.
Bible verse tattoos are like gospel songs on Showtime at the Apollo.
There's an unspoken rule that you can't criticize them.
Still, when you slap a football logo on top of a Bible verse, what are you trying to say about the relationship between the two?
It's nothing to worry about right now when the team is rolling out Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, but what happens to this tattoo if the 49ers win another Super Bowl or two?
There isn't much room left for a smooth modification.
Because I'm from Seattle, this makes more sense to me than it might to anybody outside the city.
The owner of the tattoo is Big Lo, the official/unofficial biggest fan of all Seattle sports teams. The guy gets front-row seats to everything and is a local celebrity.
Go to any Seahawks game and you'll see Big Lo holding up his "Sea-fence" signs (not sure why he switched from "D-fence"), but I can't recall what the bar code is about.
Just when I was thinking to myself, "I bet nobody had a Bucs tattoo before they changed their logo," I found this tattoo of the old-school orange sherbet pirate.
When it comes to tattoos, size does matter.
Even though I'd never get a team-logo tat, I'm not 100 percent against them.
But there should be a modest maximum size. This is an example of going too big.
If you can't read the fine print, that is a list of every Washington Redskin to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But similar the guy who had the years his team won the Super Bowl tattooed in a confined space, here's my question: What happens when the 'Skins get a few more guys into the Hall and this guy's back runs out of room?
Please tell me Brian Orakpo's name isn't going near his crack.