Works of art

SCOTT UNGER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

Tattoos come in many sizes and with many different meanings, especially in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers locker-room.

Defensive end Ron Warner, for example, has an abundance of designs drawn on him. Probably the one that stands out the most on him is "Warner" across his stomach.

"It represents my forefathers," said Warner, who only adds a marking to his body if it has some meaning to him.

TO REPRESENT WHERE I'VE BEEN

"It's to represent where I've been and what I've done in my life. It's a symbol that that's me. I represent with ink. It's fun. I haven't received a tattoo in years. They're all old, but I might get something else down the line."

But that might not be entirely up to him.

"Well I am married now with a couple of kids," Warner explained with a chuckle. "It depends how I and my wife feel about it. If it was up to me, yeah, most definitely."

"She doesn't mind though," he continued, "as long as it isn't a big graphic. Once I am done (playing) I am going to get into coaching and teach young boys how to get through life."

Panning across the locker room, offensive lineman Matt Sheridan can also be seen with a plethora of markings.

"To be honest with you, they don't mean anything," Sheridan said. "(They are) purely abstract."

And they all have a theme, which according to Sheridan, is pain.

"Well, it usually turns out that way because we like to do long sittings," Sheridan said.

"The shortest one I've gone through is my leg. It took nine hours."

"It's kind of been a work in progress piece by piece. They have all added together and we've made them synergistic. It's interpretive. I didn't want to do anything too traditional like a dragon and in 30 years it looks like a gecko. This is just free flowing."

All of the pieces of the puzzle on Sheridan's body are of the large variety for a simple reason.

"Size is relative," he quickly responded. "It was a chance for me to do something that I was always interested in. It was a bit of a leap and a bit of a test of my own personal fortitude. So far, I have become addicted to it."

There are plans for more works of art to be embedded on Sheridan's body, but there is one catch.

"I only have a six month window (to get a tattoo)," Sheridan said, because of the time it takes to heal.

"You have about two weeks of inactivity to let it heal. Then you can't expose it to any chlorine or sun for about a month after that. It has to fit into my timetable."

But Sheridan does know at least what part of the body is up next.

"It will be a continuation. It goes across my back now. So we'll finish off the right arm and then maybe bring it to my thigh."

While body art may seem neat or cool, placekicker Troy Westwood, with a tattoo of Sitting Bull, gives this advice for anyone that is looking at trying it.

"People say it doesn't hurt. That's a bunch of B.S. It hurt like hell. My tattoo took five hours. I went in there stone cold sober and it's like getting bee sting after bee sting after bee sting."

But then again, football players are tough. They can handle it.


Videos

Photos