Back in September, when I was independent, ESPN asked me if I would help them coordinate some kind of blogger involvement in their team previews. We knocked around some different concepts, and I ended up having the idea that we should ask bloggers this question: "What would it take for you to get a tattoo of your team's logo on your chest?"
I found this question to be fairly goofy and maybe too awkwardly innocent. It was an attempt to get just slightly at the passion that fuels this whole sports enterprise. Now, however, it seems pretty pretty darned real, as you'll see.
Most of the answers were, I thought, good and outlandish.
For instance, Wizznutzz wrote:
We would get Wiz logo tats if we could ...
... share a ham with Kevin Duckworth.
... be God Shammgod's MySpace friend.
... get Tyrone Nesby to stop calling our mom.
... trade Ike Austin for Ben Wallace.
... get the relationship between Jerry Stackhouse and G-Wiz recognized by the state of Maryland.
... record the commentary on the "My Giant" DVD.
... find a publisher for "The Devil Wears Fubu", our nonfiction account of Michael Jordan's DC comeback.
... get OUR logo tattooed on the chest of Michael Ruffin, just below the "Fear No Squirrels" one he already has.
That was one of my favorites.
Another one that's kind of interesting is what Ryan McNeill of Hoops Addict wrote:
Bryan Colangelo left his mark on the franchise when he gutted the roster and restocked the team with a former slam dunk champ, a player who won a title with the Spurs, the top pick in the draft, a former lottery pick and a handful of European stars.
The Raptors' roster now reflects the cultural mosaic of Toronto, and brighter days ahead. It's up to the players to leave their mark on the NBA, especially in the postseason.
If they do that this year, I'll leave a permanent mark on my body, in the shape of a Raptors logo.
Hold that thought, while you read what Natalie Sitto from Need4Sheed wrote about Detroit:
If Jason Maxiell struts his stuff, opponents will stop Fearing the Fro and start being Menaced by Maxiell. If he can block just one of Ben Wallace's shots when the Pistons meet the Bulls, I'm off to get inked.
See, Ryan from HoopsAddict and Natalie from Need4Sheed have a little problem there, right? This stuff they predicted, it actually happened! Which means the sweet little joke from the preseason is a real deal date with a tattoo artist. And they're both getting emails about it from readers. Here's some of the conversation from my email:
Henry - It's looking likely that I'll be getting this Raps logo (the one they have a centre court) done this fall. I'd do it sooner but you can't get a tat in the summer because you can't go in chlorine (pools) or have prolonged exposure in the sun. I'll keep ya posted if you want and I'll have this done well before training camps kick off in October.
Natalie - Are you interested in getting this done still? I have a big group of buddies that are going to get other stuff done and there's a really great artists in Peterborough (Matt had his shoulders done last fall and it looks amazing).
Sorry about the Pistons loss... the ACC was rocking tonight!!
It's looking like I have to do it, especially since I personally told Jason Maxiell that I had to get a Pistons logo tattoo because of him. Keep me posted ... but do I have to get in on my chest?
Then it's my turn:
I swear, the chest thing was my idea. If you want to get it somewhere else, I think we can still consider this matter closed. Maybe we should put it to TrueHoop readers?
And Natalie introduces a new problem, that she really should have considered in September:
Ryan, I am still trying to figure out where to get this thing considering I despise tattoos and this will be my first one. I do have to say one thing, if I don't end up chickening out you know you can always trust my word.
Let me see the pics, though I don't know if I need someone that impressive. If I am doing it I am going for the OLD SCHOOL logo and I think just about anyone can handle it.
Ryan is in for sure, but not until fall:
Henry - I'll be getting the ink done this fall but I won't be putting this on my chest (it'll be on my right arm to cover up a tat I currently have and dislike) ... If you want some pics in September/October when I do this let me know and I can send them your way.
Oh, yeah, we'll be needing to see those photos. And can we please all agree that Natalie can stick that old school logo wherever she wants?
Honestly, I'm just glad the Pacers didn't start baffling the opposition with a small-ball lineup, because if that had happened, J.E. Skeets of the Basketball Jones would have been on the hook, and he's not even a Pacer fan. He's just a good writer who nicely filled our need for some blog content on the Pacer page back when good Pacer bloggers were scarce.