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21 Ill-Advised Sports Tattoos

by: Esteban On  Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ill-advised sports tattoos

Remember last week, when we told you about the rather interesting tattoo New York Jets coach Rex Ryan showed off on his Christmas vacation in the Bahamas? Well, that got me thinking: where does Ryan’s tattoo of his wife in a Mark Sanchez jersey rank in the pantheon of ill-advised sports tattoos?

Now, by “ill-advised” I don’t simply mean bad tattoos (i.e., tattoos that look awful). Instead, I’m talking about tattoos that are just a really bad idea from the outset. Thus, beauties like this are not on the list, because there is nothing inherently wrong with the idea—it’s just very poor execution. Instead, this list will have tattoos that are well done (for the most part) but are poorly placed and/or feature questionable subject matter. Like Rex’s tattoo of his wife. In a Mark Sanchez jersey…and nothing else.

Get the idea? Great. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got.


21. The Cardinals Tear Drop

21 arizona cardinals face tattoo

“Sure, I can do the Arizona Cardinals logo. No problem. But are you sure you want it directly underneath your right eye? That might look…weird.”


20. Commemorating Disaster

20 lions winless season tattoo

In 2008 the Detroit Lions became the first team to go winless for a season since the NFL switched to the 16-game schedule. And this guy decided to carve this infamy into his chest.

Of course, it’s probably the only historic things the Lions will ever do. So I guess you have to work with what’s handed to you.


19. The Dirk Butt

19 Dirk butt tattoo

I’m no expert, but Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t seem like a particularly handsome gentleman. So why a young woman would want a picture of his face on her rear end is a mystery to me. I can only imagine what the men she’ll date in the future will think.


18. The Manning Brothers

18 manning brothers tattoo

You want a tattoo of Peyton Manning? Sure, okay. A tattoo of Eli Manning? Fine, why not. But a tattoo of Eli giving Peyton a noogie…on your ass cheek? Um, no. Not cool.


17. Throw it where?

17 throw it in her butt tattoo

This one is a perfect of example of what I mean by “ill advised.” The artwork here is phenomenal—what a great tat of Johnny Unitas! But the inscription? WTF.

I can just imagine the conversation at the tattoo parlor.

“Okay, all done with Johnny. Now what do you want on the scroll?

“Throw it in her butt.”

“Hahahahaha. No, really.”

“Really. Throw it in her butt.”

“Are you serious?”


“Totally serious?


“Okay then.”


16. Helmet Head

16 patriots head tattoo

A) This doesn’t even look like a helmet.

B) What is the NFL ever switched brands and no longer used Riddell? Then you’d look pretty silly.


15. Al Davis?

15 al davis tattoo

At the time of his death, Al Davis might have been the worst owner in the NFL. So sure, why not get a tattoo of him on your arm?


14. Tyson Autograph13

14 mike tyson autograph tattoo

Wow, who would have thought Mike Tyson’s writing would look like chicken scratch?

Oh right. Everybody.


13. Kazaam

13 shaq kazaam tattoo

Who wouldn’t want to commemorate the best movie ever made about a 7-foot tall genie starring a basketball superstar?


12. The Bears Tramp Stamp

12 chicago bears tramp stamp

Wow, there’s just nothing right about this. However, it could be worse. At least she didn’t get Jay Cutler’s #6.


11. Elway Thigh

11 john elway thigh tattoo

This is some nice art. Unfortunately, it’s a little weird to get a huge tattoo of another man’s face on your thigh.


10. The Clemons Tigers

10 clemson (clemons) tattoo fail

It was hard to justify including this one, given the rules I set out for myself—namely, that the fail had to occur in the idea phase and not the execution stage. However, I decided that this gloriously misspelled tat had a place on the list because a full-back tattoo dedicated to a college football team is always ill-advised.


9. Pooh Bear is an Islanders fan

9 islanders winnie the pooh tattoo

Actually, this one kind of makes sense. The New York Islanders are pretty poohey.


8. The Lynching

8 dallas cowboys tattoo aikman choking mcmahon

I’ll admit that Jim McMahon was a love-him-or-hate-him type of guy. But still, a tattoo of Troy Aikman lynching him seems a bit extreme.


7. The Meta Sports Tattoo

7 tattoo of mike tyson face tattoo

Which tattoo was more ill-advised: the tattoo Mike Tyson got on his face, or this person’s tattoo of the tattoo Mike Tyson got on his face?


6. Michelle Ryan

6 rex ryan tattoo

After careful consideration, I’ve put Rex Ryan’s tattoo of his wife, Michelle, at the no. 6 spot on this list. I know it’s a newcomer, but there’s so much that is wrong with this choice.

First off, when a woman is wearing nothing but a man’s shirt, that kind of implies they spent the night together. Then there’s the fact that a coach has a tattoo referencing one of his players, which might suggest it’s hard for him to remain impartial when making important team decisions. But really, the worst thing about this in my opinion is the simple fact that an NFL coach got a tattoo of the team he coaches for.

Why is that so bad? Because no job is permanent in the NFL. None. I mean, do you think Andy Reid has a tattoo of the Eagles on his chest? No way, because he knows nothing lasts. Even the best coaches move around.

And yet here’s Rex Ryan with a Jets jersey on his arm. Yikes.


5. Premature Tattoo Celebration, Part I

5 rangerschampstattoo

I’m guessing this guy got to the tattoo parlor in the 7th or 8th inning of Game 6 of the 2011 World Series thinking there was no way the Rangers would lose.

Oh well.


4. Premature Tattoo Celebration, Part II

4 texans super bowl champions tattoo

At least the last one had “World Champs” in a discrete font that could be covered up. There’s no way to fix the giant XLVI on this one.


3. Jeremy Lin: Knick for Life

3 Jeremy Lin 17 tattoo

Man, there’s no way the Knicks would ever let Jeremy Lin go, right? Right?


2. Tebow Come Down from Heavan

2 tebow broncos tattoo

Man, there’s no way the Broncos would let Tim Tebow go, right? Right?


1. Tebow Time

1 tebow broncos centaur tattoo 2

The only thing that could possibly beat a Tim Tebow Broncos tattoo? Another Tim Tebow Broncos tattoo—with Tebow as a centaur.