Appreciating someone’s sporting talent and supporting their career is admirable. But some sports’ fans take it just a smidge – possibly even a smudge – too far. Names of favourite sports’ teams, symbols or even replications of sporting greats’ faces have all been inked, in varying degrees of sophistication, across avid fanatics’ body parts. Inevitably, some might say, things don’t go quite as planned. Or they do go as planned, but the plan was never any good to start with. Here are some of the best of the worst tattoo tributes to sporting heroes.
1. Mike Tyson’s autograph and face
American heavyweight boxer, Mike Tyson, who himself has a particularly interesting tattoo across his face, has prompted many copycat tattoos as well as ink homages to the boxing legend. One incredibly hairy-backed individual, Andy Booker, opted for an imprint of Tyson’s autograph as well a pretty creepy-looking depiction of Tyson. Overall, not a knockout.
2. Mike Tyson’s face on fist
As mentioned, Tyson is a popular muse for many fans who take to the local tattoo store as a way to celebrate his greatness. One such fan is hip hop star, The Game – who’s got no shortage of ink – and felt it clever to tattoo Tyson’s face onto his right fist. Explaining this decision, The Game wrote on Instagram: “Now when the judge ask me in court if I whooped 40 glock ass I can truthfully say no & blame it on @MikeTyson …. My right hand man lol.” Personally, I’d just like to meet the judge who uses the phrase, ‘whooped 40 glock ass’.
3. Nike advertisement
In an era of product placement and influence marketing, this individual is just giving it away for free. Nike is known to sponsor many sporting greats but what do you do if you’re not a sports’ star but want to roll like one? Get the entire Nike advert tattooed across your back of course. Not settling for an enormous replica of the immediately identifiable Nike tick, this fan felt the need to add the words ‘Just Do It’ as well. He certainly did.
4. Shaq on the forehead
Shaquille ‘Shaq’ O’Neal is one of American basketball’s greatest players and he’s sure to be appreciative of any fan support, although, possibly not in this particular style. Los Angeles DJ David Gonzalez, got inked in 2001 to win finals tickets to watch the Lakers take on the 76ers. Although not the best place for a tatoo, it did get Gonzalez those coveted tickets, recognition from Shaq himself, and a job at an L.A. radio station.
5. Hulk Hogan on the back
The bulging biceps and iconic handlebar moustaches of WWF wrestler, Hulk Hogan, are proudly displayed in colourful ink across one fairly large fan’s entire back. There’s certainly no question as to who this fan idolises but the message would have been just as evident with something, perhaps a little smaller. However, subtlety is an artform in itself.
6. Liverpool Football Club
It’s strange enough getting a tattoo of a sports’ star of a particular football team, but it becomes even weirder still adding in the manager of the time, and a trophy. Knowing the fluid nature of the sport, with players and managers constantly changing teams, it’s a big risk getting such a permanent dedication to one team. But this fan was not deterred. Following the Reds’ win of the illustrious Champions League in 2005, this fan opted for the very poorly inked faces of former Liverpool vice-captain, Jamie Carragher, and former Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez – with names underneath in case you can’t tell – united by the Champions League Trophy.
7. OJ Simpson’s Mugshot
In the early 1990s, it wouldn’t seem too out of place for fans to get an artfully shaded image of American football star, OJ Simpson, tattooed on a body part – although even then the upper thigh seems a bizarre choice. He was one of the best running backs in NFL history, had a Hall of Fame career and had starred in a few Naked Gun movies. But post-1994 and Simpson’s (cough cough) innocent verdict following the trial of the century, getting his mugshot tattooed on your body seems a bit extreme. But, that’s what one ardent Buffalo Bills’ fan did.
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