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SKINS game
Leigh Montville
November 06, 1995
Tattoos, once invisible, have become the sports world's most flaunted form of self-expression
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November 06, 1995

Skins Game

Tattoos, once invisible, have become the sports world's most flaunted form of self-expression

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MIKE PELUSO, LEFT WING, NEW JERSEY DEVILS
"There were a bunch of guys, after we won the Stanley Cup, who said they were going to have the Cup tattooed on their bodies," says Peluso, 29. "Everyone else backed out." For good measure he added the IHL's Turner Cup (right), which he won with the Indianapolis Ice in 1990.

TREY JUNKIN, TIGHT END, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Junkin, 34, got his first tattoo, a yin-yang symbol with two dragons chasing each other, in 1991. He hated it. He found a Vancouver artist called the Dutchman, who cleaned it up and added to it, creating an ornate tiger. Several tattoos later, Junkin had spent "around $2,500" for his artwork. He says he can live with these tattoos for the rest of his life. "It's very high-tech now, with new kinds of ink that don't dissipate like tattoos from the '50s," Junkin says. "Besides, after 10 years in the NFL, I'm not supposed to live much past 51 anyway."

DENNIS SCOTT, FORWARD, ORLANDO MAGIC
"I was never big ore tattoos until my father passed, three years ago in March," Scott, 27, says. "I wanted some way to honor him." A year later, in Maui, ho had a picture of his father, Dennis Sr., and his father's nickname, Feets, tattooed on his arm. "I came home and my mother thought it was beautiful," says Scott. "Then I went out and had a heart and her nickname, Libby, put on my other arm." Scott says the pictures are a source of power. He felt during the playoffs that he was playing with "the strength of three people."

ANDRE RISON, WIDE RECEIVER, CLEVELAND BROWNS
Among the more notable tattoos exhibited by Rison, 28: his nickname, Bad Moon, given to him by ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman; his "family tattoo," which shows blood dripping from a faucet and the saying BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER; and the initials L and A. "The L stands for Lisa. The A stands for Andre," he says. Lisa is his girlfriend, rap singer Lisa Lopes. They are together forever on his left shoulder.

STEVE EVERITT, CENTER, CLEVELAND BROWNS
"We all got tattoos together, the entire offensive line," says Everitt, 25. He was a fine arts major at the University of Michigan. His taste runs toward medieval art, filled with skulls and blood and a sense of foreboding. The tattoo in question is a dagger with a skull, running along his spine. He doesn't hide it from the rest of the world, even as the weather becomes colder. The stares don't bother him. He would have ordered something along the same lines while in college if not for the fearsome on-campus presence of then athletic director Bo Schembechler. "Even now, says Everitt, "I wouldn't want him to see this tattoo."

DENNIS RODMAN, FORWARD, CHICAGO BULLS
"When I started, there was almost no one in the NBA with tattoos," Rodman, 34, says. "People told me, 'You won't be allowed to have a tattoo in the NBA.' Well, how many tattoos are in the NBA now?" For starters, there are 11 on his body alone. Rodman says he might cover one arm completely, or have a tattoo made in each NBA city, or try something new. Something new? "You'll see down the road," he says.

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