Glen Timmerman Chicago Bears Fan, Round Lake Beach, IL
How many Chicago Bears autographs do you have tattooed on your body?
Yesterday, I got Lovie Smith and Big Cat Williams, so I'm now up to 73 autographs. And I just started this three years ago. My goal is to get to 100 by the end of the year.
Do the players actually sign your body?
Yeah, I show up at autograph signings with a Sharpie, and they write it wherever there's room.
How long have you gone without washing because you were waiting to get a tattoo of a signature that was on your body?
If you get signature, you gotta get to the tattoo parlor fast. So I'm running to the tattoo shop as soon as I get it. I get all my tattoos at Bustos Tattoo in Round Lake Beach. He's closed on Sundays, but if I get one on a Sunday, I'll give him a call and he'll open his shop to do my tattoo.
Which autograph are you most proud of?
Mike Ditka's, which is on the back of my head. He gripped my head really hard when he signed it. When he was done, he said, "That's a one of a kind because I'll never do that again!" And I said, "Good! 'Cause I don't want you to do that again!"
Do you regret any of them?
A lot of people say "Oh, you've got Rex Grossman" or "You've
got Tank Johnson," but to me, it's not the tattoo it's the whole experience of it. I got Tank Johnson when he was under house arrest. The newspapers wouldn't give out his address, but for some reason they gave out his roommate's address. I went over to his house, since I knew he'd be there. He came down in his robe and signed me. Those sorts of experiences make it fun.
What made you decide to go with autographs?
I was just too lazy to carry a football around. It's a lot easier to hold the Sharpie.
Are there any Bears player you wouldn't get tattooed on you?
Gale Sayers. The irony is that whenever anyone hears the name Gale Sayers, they think of the Bears, but he isn't fan-friendly. I don't want to get his autograph. He doesn't smile for the kids and take pictures with them. I've seen him blow people off so many times. I don't want that on my body. We're the ones supporting you, so you could show a little enthusiasm.
Have you ever forgotten any of the players who've autographed you?
I was once in a dark bar, and this guy came up to me and shook my hand. He asked if his wife and kids could see my tattoos. I thought he was just some regular fan who'd heard about me, but when he was looking at my back, he says, "See, that's my autograph right there." It turns out he was Roland Harper, a fullback in the early '80s. I didn't recognize him at all.
Too bad there aren't any current or ex-Bears who are also tattoo artists. They could give you the most authentic Bears autograph tattoo ever.
Seriously. That might make my head explode.