Published January 29th, 2021 at 2:58 PM
Nothing says “permanent” like the buzz of a tattoo gun.
And to many passionate football fans, permanent ink injected two millimeters past the epidermis goes a long way in demonstrating devoted fandom.
“Getting one after the Super Bowl was a perfect time,” said lifelong Kansas City Chiefs fan Zach Peterson, who considered Chiefs ink even before last year’s win in Miami.
Following the club’s first Super Bowl win in 50 years, Peterson sat through a six-hour session immortalizing quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The detailed tattoo depicts the 2018 NFL MVP flexing between the Lombardi Trophy and Chiefs logo on his right forearm.
“Every time someone sees it, they usually take a picture of it and post it on their Snapchat or something,” he said.
A recent report from sports betting news site Pickswise.com compiled a list determining the NFL clubs with the most tattooed fans.
Based on social media data, the list paints a picture of how committed, or crazy, each club’s fans are when it comes to tattoos.
So, where do Chiefs fans fall? Let’s just say recent success has probably led to some impulsive decisions.
After combing through relevant Instagram hashtags and their corresponding posts, Pickswise found five clubs with more than 4,000 posts from fans showing a “clear NFL-inspired tattoo.” Among the most-tatted are inked up fans of the Eagles, Bears, Raiders, Patriots and Broncos.
Fans of the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs came in at No. 8 with 2,300 posts, also trailing both the 49ers faithful and members of the famously fanatic “Bills Mafia.”
While not everyone takes to Instagram to flash their newest NFL tat, it is worth noting that Tom Brady’s Super Bowl-bound Buccaneers are second-to-last on the list.
The folks at Pickswise did, however, find a correlation between Super Bowl success and fans commemorating the moment with a tattoo. So it’s safe to say Brady is probably responsible for a few life decisions, at least for Patriots fans.
“It’s unsurprising that the top third of football-inspired tattoos are attributed to clubs that hold an impressive two-thirds of all NFL Championship titles,” writes Pickswise’s Andrew Wishler.
Coming off a third-straight AFC Championship game and last year’s Lombardi Trophy, it’s fair to assume members of “The Kingdom” are set to climb up that list.
Wes Grimm, the owner of Grimm Tattoo, would agree.
The family owned shop in Westport, which has tattooed in Kansas City for four generations, noticed an increase in Chiefs-related requests following last year’s Super Bowl run.
In addition to putting plenty of arrowheads of passionate fans, Grimm recounted an afternoon when the entire Chiefs cheerleader squad stopped by for some ink.
“I guess they all agreed in one big cheerleader moment to get ‘LIV’ tattooed,” Grimm said. “We did nearly 30 of them all in one day.”
The cheer team’s matching tattoos offer a more subtle nod to the hometown team when compared to tattoos like Peterson’s that look as if they might jump right off the skin and tackle you.
Cassandra Gillespie commemorated last year’s Super Bowl victory by a getting a rather inconspicuous ankle tattoo with a friend.
It was October and Gillespie was looking back at what was without question one of the most memorable days in Kansas City sports history. That’s when she decided to go with “02022020” on the ankle commemorating the date.
It also happens to be a palindrome.
“I loved that the date we won the Super Bowl was a palindrome,” Gillespie said. “I didn’t want a tattoo that screamed Chiefs or football. Being a season ticket holder the last couple of years, I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs. I wanted a tattoo to commemorate the win.”
Gillespie doesn’t have plans for more Chiefs-related ink, even if they do go all the way again this year. As for Peterson, after rejecting the possibility of a scenario in which Mahomes doesn’t live up to his potential and remains forever inked on his arm, he said he actually plans to add a few more Super Bowl trophies to the work of art.
“When we win them,” he added.