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Tattoos of the NFL, and the stories behind the ink

Sports Illustrated Logo By Kalyn Kahler of Sports Illustrated | Slide 1 of 37: Richie Incognito, G, Bills. “I got this before the 2013 season. I got it because, at that point in my career, I had been kind of reinventing myself every year. Like, a knock down rebuild, trying to figure out who I was as a person, who I was as a player. I had been through kind of a tumultuous time. I thought the Phoenix symbolized me. I saw a big part of myself in the Phoenix. Something that kind of re-creates itself. It’s like a new beginning. At that time in my life, I felt like I had gotten over several humps and was getting ready to take the next step forward. I had just made the Pro Bowl, in 2012, and I was really starting to lay the groundwork for where I saw my career going. Little did I know that I was going to have much more adversity coming up in that 2013 season. A very trying 2013, a very trying 2014. And then the Phoenix kind of held true. In 2015, I burned it all down and rebuilt it again. I think everything happens for a reason. There’s a reason I got [the tattoo] at that time. It’s a pretty cool deal to embody that, have that in the back of my mind. And just keep growing, keep growing as a person, growing as a player, and keep taking steps every day.”

Richie Incognito, G, Bills. “I got this before the 2013 season. I got it because, at that point in my career, I had been kind of reinventing myself every year. Like, a knock down rebuild, trying to figure out who I was as a person, who I was as a player. I had been through kind of a tumultuous time. I thought the Phoenix symbolized me. I saw a big part of myself in the Phoenix. Something that kind of re-creates itself. It’s like a new beginning. At that time in my life, I felt like I had gotten over several humps and was getting ready to take the next step forward. I had just made the Pro Bowl, in 2012, and I was really starting to lay the groundwork for where I saw my career going. Little did I know that I was going to have much more adversity coming up in that 2013 season. A very trying 2013, a very trying 2014. And then the Phoenix kind of held true. In 2015, I burned it all down and rebuilt it again. I think everything happens for a reason. There’s a reason I got [the tattoo] at that time. It’s a pretty cool deal to embody that, have that in the back of my mind. And just keep growing, keep growing as a person, growing as a player, and keep taking steps every day.”

© Tim Rohan/The MMQB

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