As a writer, one of the great things about social media is that the messages and pictures within its digital realms can serve as research material to support a particular position or theme. Such material can be important, as a well-placed tweet not only adds a voice of authority, but often confirms the points being made in the piece itself.
And then there’s the lighter side of social media: that of pure, unadulterated entertainment.
Although tattoos have been found on mummies in ancient Egypt and China dating back as far as 1200 B.C., they have experienced a spike in popularity over the past 20 years. No longer viewed as the purview of inmates or the military, they have become accepted as legitimate forms of artistic expression.
Sports-related tattoos have seen a similar rise in popularity. Sports-themed tattoos are now commonplace, and not just with athletes. Following the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory in 2014, for example, my brother-in-law had the Seahawks logo tatooed to his upper arm — the irony being he absolutely hates the Seahawks. Don’t ask.
Like most other sports, hockey-themed tattoos have become more and more ubiquitous.
When I started this piece, I thought I’d point out some of the funniest ones, and later I considered a list of the worst ones I could find. In the end, I settled on just plain ‘weird’ as the unifying theme. That way, good, bad and indifferent can all come together in a cacophony of ink-stained hockey imagery. To make things simple, I used Twitter for source material.
Thus, without further ado, the following are five of the weirdest hockey-related tattoos out there.
#5: War of St. Louis
What happens when you can’t decide if you’re a bigger fan of the St. Louis Blues or the St. Louis Cardinals? You get a bizarre amalgam of both logos, as shown below:
St. Louis fan got a Cards/Blues mash-up logo tattoo. pic.twitter.com/0IMgj8zkyK
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) May 14, 2015
Even the birds perched on the lettering appear to be in shock over what they are etched within. The one at the bottom looks like he’s hoping a cat puts him out of his misery.
This one is pretty cool, but what the heck is that octopus doing to the Wings logo?
— Joe (@Jc_1978) October 7, 2014
It’s either some sort of mating ritual, he’s playing it as a ‘guitar’ or it’s a shield. Either way, the critter doesn’t look happy.
#3: Shawn Thornton throws water on P.K. Subban
So you’re a Boston Bruins fan, and your team happens to not only have been in the Finals two of the past five years (2011, 2013) but is the last Eastern Conference Cup winner, period. So what do you do to honor your beloved team? How about getting a tattoo of the infamous incident when Shawn Thornton squirted P.K. Subban with a water bottle?
You’ve got to have a pretty weird and inventive mind to come up with that one.
#2: Colonel Fantasy
Admittedly, the two-dimensional visage of the Colonel on billboards and buckets of chicken has always creeped me out. Multiply that by a factor of about a hundred when gazing at this fantasy league-inspired tattoo:
It’s not an NHL image in any way, shape or form. It’s not even the face of some decrepit Russian or Latvian hockey hero. Nope, it’s Colonel frickin’ Sanders, permanently etched on some poor fool’s body.
#1: “All kinds of fail and awesome at the same time”
This looks like something that might come after you in a cartoon nightmare:
— Best Coast Show (@BestCoastShow) March 29, 2015
In what universe would a majestic Kings crown be doing on the head of an old-school Mighty Duck? I think fans of both franchises just threw up in their mouths a little.
Anyone know of any weird or interesting hockey tattoos they’d like to share? Leave your thoughts below, or message me @McLaughlinWalt.
Walter McLaughlin is a Los Angeles Kings correspondent for The Hockey Writers. He is an avid sports fan, having followed the Kings since living in L.A. in the mid-1970’s, as well as suffering through Seattle sports teams’ general futility. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and has worked in community banking for over 25 years, specializing in SBA loans. He is married and has two daughters.