Monday, November 28, 2011

Ink Different


I watched a lot of football over the long weekend, a lot of football.

The game has changed quite a bit since I was a kid and marveled at the athletic abilities of Mike Curtis, Johnny Unitas and John Mackey. If you can't tell I was a Baltimore Colt fan.

The play calling is a lot more elaborate.
The hits are more vicious.
And everybody on the team, with the possible exception of the head coaches, is sporting tattoos. There used to be a time when, if a guy wanted a tattoo, he'd slap one on the thick of his shoulder and be done with it. But now these hulking behemoths are covered from head to toe.

On the big cornfed offensive linemen from Nebraska, the herringbone patterns that run the length of their leg-sized arms looks kind of cool. The high contrast between their pasty white flesh and the jet black ink is startling and stunning at the same time.

The same cannot be said for some of the black players.

The dark ink on equally dark skin looks muddled. The writing is indecipherable. And patterns becomes meaningless. Let's not even get into the wisdom of tattooing one's face, but the young man in the above picture is showing off his Gucci tattoo stamped on the left side of his head. If I didn't tell you that was Gucci you might have just assumed he fell asleep on a wire box spring.

But I'm not addressing this issue without offering a solution. And a simple one at that.

It all comes down to Communications 101 and the demonstrably improved legibility of reversed out type.
This is why I'd like to see African-American football, basketball and baseball players consider the wide array of lighter shades of ink.

If not for me, do it for the one woman on Earth who has endowed you with strength, courage and heart,  the woman for whom you have proclaimed your everlasting love and emblazoned across your chest in 6 inch high Times New Roman type.

Do it for Momma.

1 comment:

geo said...

I am a firm believer that only 4 sorts of tattoos should be permissable.

1. "Mom" on the meaty part of your shoulder.

2. An anchor on the topside of your forearm. (Where Popeye had his.)

3. A hula girl in a bikini on the inside of your forearm that you can make dance by flexing.

4. Tears from your right eye, each tear indicating a person you've murdered.

Anything else is gross and hipster regardless of color.