Tattoos are wonderful because whether they are awesome or awful, there's (usually) always a meaning behind or story behind them.

Seeing as Monday is National Tattoo Day, we decided to remember some of the strangest tattoos we've seen in sports.  Enjoy!

Brian Urlacher

Urlacher is the first to scoff at his barbed wire tattoo. He justifies it by explaining that he was only 18-years old at the time. The embarrassment of this tattoo can be felt in a few different ways.

The tattoo is actually unfinished. As it turns out, the reason for this is because Urlacher could no longer handle the pain when his tattoo artist got around to the inner arm and asked him to stop. Despite having the tattoo for over half his life, he has never bothered to complete the failed ink.

Allen Iverson


Allen Iverson has some really cool ink (“Only the Strong Survive”), but like lots of other inked up people, not all of them are knock-outs.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Iverson explains that he loves his tattoos and that they all have meanings, except for one. The outlier is unfortunately a large picture of a panther on his right forearm – the arm he always wore the signature armband on.

In the interview, Iverson speaks of a tattoo that used to be on that arm showing the grim reaper holding a basketball. Unfortunately, the grim reaper strongly resembled a monkey. After relentless teasing from Iverson’s friends, he decided to cover it up with the panther that now represents his one meaningless tattoo.

Hines Ward

Hines Ward is one of those happy, go lucky types. It is actually hard to think about him without a massive smile spread across his face. This was his reasoning for getting the Mickey Mouse tattoo on his arm.

He explains that Mickey Mouse symbolizes fun, and that he just wants to be a happy guy playing football. While the positive attitude is welcomed, a Heisman-posing Mickey Mouse may not be the best approach.

Kenyon Martin

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Most people know not to get a significant other’s name or initials on their bodies. Kenyon Martin actually took it a step further and got his girlfriend’s lips tattooed – and on his neck no less.

While he may have thought it was a good idea to get the smack lips of his girlfriend (and rapper Trina) at the time, they have long since broken up. Since the breakup, Martin has turned the tattoo into a crown.

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Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders got in to only 5 games this season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging less than 3 minutes, and it may have had something to do with his decision making.

Sanders had the unfortunately circumstance of not spell checking his tattoo idea. Now, permanently etched on Sanders’ body is the word “Recieve” instead of “Receive”.

Shawne Merriman

Shawne “Lights out” Merriman! The former linebacker was pretty much given the coolest nickname ever. Known for his crushing hits and incredible field vision, the nickname “Lights Out” was a nod his shutdown ability.

As many people do with nicknames, Merriman decided to pay homage with a visual representation on his body. Unfortunately he took the very literal approach of actually showing a hand turning off a light switch.

In the end it’s a pretty harmless tattoo, but we can still cringe thinking about how bad the tat could be had his nickname been something else.

Anthony Brown

So, once upon a time somebody told Anthony Brown that he had a chip on his shoulder. This can be a motivating thing to hear, as having something to prove makes one strive harder to achieve.

Similar to Merriman, Brown took that note and illustrated it just a little too literally when he marched in to a tattoo parlour and asked for a Ruffled chip to be branded into his shoulder.

Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan has a very colourful personality in general. The long time NFL coach that has since become an ESPN analyst was recently in the news when he and his twin brother Rob got into an altercation at a Nashville Predators Stanley Cup final game.

It’s these sort of antics that have kept audiences entertained by Rex, but there has never been a greater spectacle than when he got a tattoo of his wife wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey on his arm.