Thanks to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his love of fines, it’s been getting increasingly more difficult for professional football players to express themselves. The days of celebratory dances and post-touchdown gimmicks are over.
And unless you have extremely long hair (which is unfortunately making a comeback) your options of self-expression are pretty limited in the National Football League.
Luckily, though, there is always the art of ink.
Tattoos are everywhere these days. Just take one look around any NFL locker room and you’re bound to see endless images of skin art. Some tattoos are good, some are bad, but, mostly, they are just abundant. Like eating a Pringles chip, you just can’t stop at one.
As evidenced by his shirtless photo in this article, Chris Johnson definitely takes tattooing to a whole ‘notha level. His entire torso is tatted up, and on his left arm is picture of himself. He’s even reported as having his 40-yard dash time during the NFL combine tattooed upon his calf.
Stevie Johnson, on the other hand, seems to be a little less self-boasting. Granted, we’ve never seen him shirtless, which leaves the possibility for a Steve-O type of tattoo open, but we doubt he’d be that dumb. Based on the tats that we can see, it seems as though Stevie is more into showing off his roots than anything else.
So, the question now becomes, who is taking the best artwork onto the field?
As far as visibility goes, it’s pretty much a tie, only with a slight edge to Stevie. If teams played shirts and skins, then maybe CJ would win, but his uniform covers up the majority of his tattoos. The same goes for Stevie Johnson, but with one exception. Stevie’s got a neck tattoo. Sure, his helmet and chin strap make it difficult to see, but he doesn’t wear that stuff on the sidelines. Which means that his neck tattoo is visible for half the game. Or, in the case of the Bills, his tattoo is exposed for ¾ of the game. Therefore, point, Stevie.
Now in terms of overall style and design go, we have to give the edge to Chris Johnson. His fluidity of body art is great. It really is. He’s fairly symmetrical and you can tell that he thought about the location of his tattoos. Conversely, Stevie Johnson’s tattoos don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason to them at all. It looks like he chose his locations simply because they were available. So, for that reason, we have to give a point to Chris.
Okay, now it’s time to look at the final, and most important element: the tattoo selections. Who has the best tattoos?
To start off, let’s look at what they both have in common. Stevie and Chris both have tattoos of stars. Why? Well, because that’s what they are. Chris has already proven that he’s a staple in the league with three Pro Bowl appearances and numerous records, and Stevie practically catapulted himself into the limelight after an incredible season with the Bills last year.
Who has the better star? Well, we’ll leave that up to you.
Both players also have tons of meaningful tattoos that we have no clue about. We weren’t childhood friends with them and we’re not currently in their entourage, so names, dates and sayings mean nothing to us. So, in other words, we can’t judge those tattoos.
Therefore, by process of elimination (and limited body images), the only tattoos we can rate are the ones we can see and the ones that are identifiable.
We’ve already mentioned that CJ has a tattoo of his face on his arm, and his 40 time on his calf, but what we haven’t talked about it his CJ2K tattoos. On his right shoulder are the letters “CJ” with wings above it, and on his left shoulder is “2K”, also with wings. The tattoo symbolizes his self-appointed nickname “CJ2K”, which represents his milestone of rushing for over 2,000 yards in a season. Although that is quite an achievement, we have to admit that he’s a little too into himself for our liking. And, honestly, wings are overrated and way overdone.
So, due to his lack of “I’m Awesome” tattoos, Stevie Johnson wins this debate. Now if only we could get him to remove that Golden State Warriors tattoo…
Used with permission of the author.
Los Angeles Based Logan Rhoades is the Associate Editor of the website JocksBehindBars.com. With an extensive knowledge of ESPN topics and celebrity gossip, he is known for mixing sports and pop culture. Check out his “Skip to My Logan” blog and Follow him on Twitter @loganrhoades.
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