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Tale of My Tattoo

Oct. 17, 2005
Oct. 17, 2005

Table of Contents
Oct. 17, 2005

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Catching Up With
Air and Space
SI Players: Life on And off The Field
Pro Football
COLLEGE FOOTBALL MIDSEASON REPORT
BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
HOCKEY
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
College Basketball
Life of Reilly
Departments

Tale of My Tattoo

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

JEREMY SHOCKEY Giants tight end

This is an article from the Oct. 17, 2005 issue Original Layout

"I DIDN'T WANT something [that] 20 years later I'd be, Why did I get this?" says Shockey, who got the inking--his first--in the summer. "It speaks for itself. I'm proud to live in this country, to have the right to express anything you want.... I'm very American." The tattoo took 21 hours over three days, including a stretch of 16 straight hours. Says Shockey, "Six hours in I was, like, 'Just keep going.' Definitely painful."

MATT WILLIG Rams offensive tackle

THE IMAGE IS of the Willigs' traditional family crest from Germany. "We're a close-knit family," says Willig, one of six football-playing brothers from Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Two of his brothers have the tattoo, and he wants Dad, Charles, to get it--an idea Mom, Genevieve, nixed. She's also trying to get the 6'8", 315-pound Willig to scotch plans for another tat. "I might give in," says Matt, "if she lets my dad get [this] one."

SAM AIKEN Bills wide receiver

AFTER AIKEN WAS offensive MVP at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in high school in 1998, a paper dubbed him a "sleeper" because he was from a small school. Aiken got the moniker on his torso for motivation and made it "unique" by putting it in foreign lettering. "I thought Greek looked best," he says. A little-known star on Buffalo's excellent special teams unit, Aiken says, "I guess the nickname still fits."

PHOTOJERALD PINKUS/WIREIMAGE.COM (SHOCKEY TATTOO)PHOTOEVAN PINKUS/WIREIMAGE.COM (SHOCKEY HEAD SHOT)TWO PHOTOSBILL STOVER (WILLIG TATTOO, WILLIG HEAD SHOT)TWO PHOTOS BILL WIPPERT (AIKEN TATTOO, AIKEN HEAD SHOT)