Following The Tattoo Trail... (Soon To Be Trial)

  • Thank you, @jaybate-1.0 , for asking:

    “One question: how did he afford all of those tats?”

    That is a damn good question.

    Here is a read on the pricing of tattoos…

    How much should I charge for a tattoo design?

    Most tattoo artists work for a per-hour fee of between $50-$200. As you can imagine, the multi-designed tattoo body can be very costly to accomplish the effect. A “well-tatted” upper body can easily range from $5,000 - $10,000.

    Where does the money come from? How do these athletes, that have never had a job and earned money, get the money to purchase these tattoos?

    There must be a barter system in place. I’m sure there must be cases where the tattoo artist “trades out” work for the notoriety of having semi-famous athletes wearing their ink. And there are other examples of possible bartering (read the OSU link below).

    There has to be more to this story. It must be a situation that is “too big to fail.” I bet most of the athletes with these tattoos have received an illegal benefit (according to NCAA rules) by accepting tattoo work for “free” or at a heavily discounted rate (interpreted as a benefit).

    Here is a situation where one of the best college football teams in America had to give up a year of bowl play (and other penalties) for breaking NCAA rules (which included tattoo benefits) - Ohio State gets one-year bowl ban


  • @drgnslayr Interesting question and something I have been curious about for many years. Tattoos are expensive when purchased from a tattoo parlor. That is a fact. My assumption has always been that the KU players and players across the country who have tons of ink “got a guy” who is sort of an under ground tattoo artist. I have zero evidence to back up this hypothesizes but I think it seems logical.

    The KU guy that comes to mind the most when I think of tattoos is B Mac. We were all very sad to see him leave after 1 year on the floor (and another on the bench) but we all felt ok knowing that he was leaving for the NBA due to a dire family situation. All the while B Mac was one of the most inked players in recent KU memory. How did he afford these? Honestly it is none of my business and I am not passing judgment. I am legitimately curious of how the tattoos ended up on his body if he did not have any money to pay for them.

  • @joeloveshawks

    I think this is one more story… one more area proving how arcane and outdated the NCAA eligibility policies are. How can any school be punished for players receiving tattoo benefits? How can the NCAA pick out one school without literally corralling all 300+ schools because every single school must have players who have received this benefit.

    When enforcement really isn’t about enforcement, but “making an example out of a few” is the enforcement strategy… the system is broken.

    Bias and favoritism by the NCAA? How can they not show a bias?

  • @drgnslayr

    The image of the extensively tattooed Nuggets player raises a fascinating issue about the phenomenon of tattoos; that the tattoos may not necessarily be related to a player’s racial culture, or to a proclivity to wear war paint to compete, so to speak, so much as indicating allegiance to some kind of deep organization that players choose to belong to in order to achieve more certain access and protection, regardless of color.

    His ethnicity stands out, because there are at most a small minority of NBA and D1 players that are Caucasian American at this time.

    Given that tattoos are so frequently observed on African American players, it has predisposed some to see tattoos as indicative of an African American cultural predisposition, or idiosyncrasy.

    And yet gangs, and more honorable organizations, of all races and ethnicities have to my limited knowledge evidenced the wearing of colors and symbols exclusionary in their meanings.

    Basketball teams of universities wear their own colors, have their own unique logos, and so on.

    Social fraternities on a campus are rigorously exclusionary and some times the exclusionary criterion includes race and ethnicity and at other times not. They all have their colors and symbols.

    Public service and economic organizations ranging from Shriners and Masons, to Rotary and Sertoma, and so on, have their colors and symbols.

    The various military organizations are big on colors and symbols.

    Religious groups are huge on colors and symbols.

    So, of course, are the political parties.

    And when we look at prisons, we find inmates wearing lots of ink, as basketball players now do, so that we can be confident that we can infer that different races engage in wearing tattoos. African American inmates and Caucasian American inmates both wear ink. The question is: what gang are they with? Or is it just a rebellious expression of independence?

    Among prison inmates, one reputedly wears ink of differing styles to indicate association with a differing prison gang culture that provides support and security during time served. And reputedly many of these memberships on the inside carry over into membership in the gang organization on the outside.

    African American inmates reputedly tend to belong to one gang.

    Caucasian American inmates tend to belong to others.

    It is not clear to me whether some gangs are racially mixed, but they might be, if group strategy dictated such.

    Certainly not all gang cultures hinge on racial homogeneity.

    Mafias are reputedly largely Irish, Jewish, Russian, or Italian, respectively in reputed membership.

    But large drug and/or arms trafficking organizations reputedly may be quite eclectic in their racial and ethnic compositions.

    And certainly gangs that start out narrowly based on race, or ethnicity, for membership can evolve into organizations with more diversity.

    Homogeneity versus heterogeneity over the longer term most often hinges on what is most strategically beneficial to the group and individuals involved.

    A question arises about this Nugget player. Is he a loner, an outlier, or is wearing ink to be part of an organization that ensures his access and security, while playing basketball for a career?

    Might it be the same organization that so many African American basketball players sporting tattoos perhaps belong to?

    Or is there no organization?

    Why might basketball players, starting in high school, or before, then during college and the pros, need security provided them by a deep organization in basketball? Would they?

    Is there anything going on in college basketball that players need protection from, or need to be recruited for after they leave the game?

    Are players that do not join such a deep organization at risk for not joining?

    We know there are secret organizations that are NOT conspiracies at all, just exclusionary and employ secrecy to achieve exclusivity.

    We know there are other secret organizations, that may, or may not be conspiratorial, but that are, in any case, up to no good.

    If you google basketball players with tattoos, you will find an impressive array of players wearing ink.

    The question remains: for whom and for what reason are reputedly poor players wearing these expensive forms of expression? How are they affording them? Is is just a fad of self expression that became a normalized into a convention, as we are encouraged to assume? Or is their an organization in the background that requires members to get them?

    Fascinating situation either way.

  • @drgnslayr

    While I like your choice of the outlandishness of the Nugget’s player’s tattoos for demonstrative purposes, I think these other photos perhaps capture the phenomena’s central tendency a bit more.

    See Paul Pierce. paulpierce.jpg

    See Terrence Williams. terrencewilliams4.jpg

    See Matt Barnes. mattbarnes2.jpg

    See Carmelo Anthony. carmelo3.jpg

    (Note: these pics are attributed to I have no knowledge of who took them.)

    Its all very interesting.

    And such a remarkably long lived phenomenon.

    It has gone on long beyond the fad stage back when Michael Jordan got his ink.

    And I’m not mentioning AI, because, well, because AI has already been the focus of a lot of attention.

    Aw, you know, its probably just a fashion statement, right?

    A player saves up his pocket money, foregoes buying a round or two at the Wheel, sells some tickets, sells ten pairs of petroshoeco shoes comped to the university under the endorsement contract, gets a night shift job for a few months, and bingo, he can afford one big tattoo.

    A question nags however: where does the money come from for the rest of them?

    And why get so many?

    Might a club be being joined, or invested in?

    Do contemporary women really require handsome,talented, multi millionaires, and or soon to be so, star basketball players to be decorated before they will go out on a date?

    Aw, who cares on the day of the MSU game, anyway, right?

    (Note: the above photos are posted expressly for noncommercial purposes of this reputedly non commercial web site. Any dissemination of them in any form is expressly prohibited.)

  • @drgnslayr

    Thought you might get a kick out of this web site that has a catalog of NBA player with tattoos and related photos.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Tattoos used to be mostly related to sailors. Guys would put their company insignia, ship name, and other things on their arms to express the level of commitment. Or sometimes “mom” to remember her while at sea or abroad.

    Today it still has a lot of ties into gangs. But, obviously, you don’t have to be a member of anything to get inked. So many people get them so there really isn’t one overwhelming message generalized by a tattoo.

    I think a few years back, basketball players got them as part of earning “street cred.” This originally came out of playground ball. And there was an association with prison tats and gangs. I remember those times on the court. Word was out that “so and so” was released from prison and on his way over. Most of the time, the cons didn’t show up. A few times, these guys did show up. They were always given street cred for toughness because it was always thought that no one played rougher ball than inmates playing in the yard. None of those guys stick out in my memory as being any tougher, better or anything else.

    But now few players relate to playground ball and street cred. Their tattoos are (JMHO) their attempt to mimic their basketball idles.

    I’m mentoring a 25 year old kid right now. He is an ex gang banger trying to turn his life around. He is well-tatted and has gang tats on his arms. He doesn’t like to go out in public wearing short sleeves, mostly because the police know the gang tats and he gets messed with constantly. Four times now the police gang squad has visited my home to check him out. One time they had their weapons drawn.

    Someday… when he gets himself together enough (financially), he will have those tattoos removed.

    I’m pretty sure tattoo removal is one of the fastest growing businesses today.

  • @drgnslayr

    Awesome take. Thanks for sharing that with this old coot. Always glad to hear a young man turning a corner and some one with the right intentions helping.

    I keep hoping some scientist, or dermatologist, or someone figures out a cost effective, painless, and scar free way of freeing these young men of the tatts they got when so impressionable and so subject to peer pressures and belongingness needs.

    Rock Chalk to both of you.

    And are we going to beat Izzo and MSU tonight?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I think there are some pretty sophisticated methods of tattoo removal today that work really well.

    No… we are NOT going to beat Izzo tonight!

    We will THRASH him tomorrow night!

  • @jaybate-1.0 tomorrow

  • @jaybate-1.0

    35 Crazy and Unique Tattoo Ideas For Men and Women

    I really don’t understand this phenomenon with the general public.

    I once new a biker… Big, muscular man… bald… and he had a tattoo on top of his head. When I met him he asked me what I thought the tattoo was. I said… “to be honest, it looks like a pork chop!” I guessed right. Imagine how hard it would be to make a tattoo of a pork chop really look like a pork chop?! He laughed and shook my hand, and introduced himself… “they call me PORK CHOP!”

  • @drgnslayr tell us about yours!

  • @drgnslayr and @Crimsonorblue22

    You have no idea how happy I am to hear that it is tomorrow night!!!

    My remote control for the big flat screen got lost today and I am hoping to get a replacement tomorrow. My big screen is stuck on a really bad movie channel.

    In case I have a problem with getting the remote operational, please tell me that the game will be available on ESPN on my computer tumorrow night. I will sleep much better. I am on comcast and outside of the state of Kansas.

  • @jaybate-1.0 if I was at your house I would find it! Guys can’t find anything!

  • @jaybate-1.0 or just grab any kid on the street and they can program your new remote. Well, maybe not grab.

  • @drgnslayr

    Thanks for the link.

    But could you believe how many African American ball players are listed on that link I gave as sporting tats in the NBA? Just imagine how much money those NBA guys have tossed on the tats.

    I can hardly wait for Chris Rock to do another routine on not talkin’ bout money, talkin’ bout wealth and going off on the brothers for gettin’ their tats.

    Its an incredible body of tattooed men with mega bucks to spend shelling it out for body ink.

    Utterly fascinating phenomenon.

    Imagine the tattoo artists living on easy street because of the NBA players getting in the stratosphere on salaries.

    Talk about an unforeseen consequence.

    Screw investing in NBA franchises.

    Invest in the leading tattoo artist and create the first national franchise brand for tattooing!!!

    Or does it already exist?

  • I’ve read players will use money they get paid from working camps on tattoos. We also know from tge Ohio St. case that players will also trade personal memorabilia for tattoos.

  • For the price of a semi decent used car, I can get my entire upper body completely covered with ink that will last my lifetime? Not really that expensive, guys. Don’t obsess about it. I know some artists and they aren’t getting rich any time soon!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    "Invest in the leading tattoo artist and create the first national franchise brand for tattooing!!!

    Or does it already exist?"

    Guess you might have known this was coming ~







  • @drgnslayr

    These seem the topper on tats. 😄

  • @jaybate-1.0

    The remote is a great convenience but most everything that you can do with a remote you can do with the buttons that every TV set has on one of the sides or bottom. Same thing with cable boxes, the buttons on the front will allow you to do anything you need…minus the convenience of the remote… 🙂

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Good thinking. I hope you are right. But we have not figured out how to use the buttons on the flat screen Sammie to negotiate this new cable interface that Comcast uses.

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