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Inking Man's Game

Under an NHL jersey, a canvas

Posted: Tuesday January 30, 2007 12:22PM; Updated: Tuesday January 30, 2007 12:22PM
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Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt.
Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt.
Lou Capozzola/SI
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By Elizabeth Newman

Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt is used to getting odd looks -- and not only after laying out an opponent. When people see his bare, heavily inked arm draped outside the window of his BMW, he says, "They're like, 'Oh, God! Is he a drug dealer?'" Airport inspections are also common. "I have Arabic writing on my arm and sometimes security guys don't know what to make of it," says Witt, 31, a Saskatchewan native who got the first of his 14 tats at 16. "I usually wear long sleeves when I fly -- it's easier getting through security." Despite the inconvenience, Witt plans to add yet another tattoo soon, saying, "I just have to find the time." And the room.

Inking Man's Game

My first. I got the Tasmanian Devil because it was popular. I was going to get it covered up, but I want to remember my first tattoo and how silly it was.

Inking Man's Game

This is a cover-up. I originally had a Miami Hurricanes mascot, but it was black and white and I didn't care for it.

Inking Man's Game

My third one, a panther. I had it done in Seattle. When I was playing there [three seasons], I got one every year.

Inking Man's Game

I got the yin-yang symbol because I believe the body and soul are intertwined. The band below it I got when I was dating my wife, Salima, in 1996. She had an awesome Indian tribal bracelet. I took a picture of it and got the likeness done.

Inking Man's Game

This dragon is a Japanese symbol for protection. I have always been intrigued with the stories of a lot of the Japanese symbols.

Inking Man's Game

My wife's father is from Morocco, so I got Arabic writing to honor their heritage. It says, "Salima and Aliana Forever" to honor my wife and the older of my two daughters.

Inking Man's Game

The name of my youngest daughter: Safiya. She's four.

Inking Man's Game

My wife Salima and I each have this one. It means to love one another forever.

Photos by Lou Capozzola/SI

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