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The meaning of the tattoo

By Christian Procida
On January 30, 2017

I got the idea for a blog focused primarily on tattoos because of my own love for tattoos. Tattoos, in my opinion, are the biggest form of self-expression.

 So for this week’s blog I decided to hit ya’ll with a curveball and talk about why I got one of my tattoos. 

 From my shoulder to my elbow, covering the entire outside part of my left arm there’s an array of colored artwork with more than one meaning to it.

 There is a brown colored football with the number 46 sitting inside it, wrapped up in the American flag surrounded by roses, spontaneously placed throughout the remaining free space.

 When I first started playing football at the age of 6, I was given a random jersey, which happened to have the number 46 on it and HOLY SHIT I hated it. I thought it was such an ugly number. My father sat me down when he noticed how upset I was over a jersey number and told me something that changed my attitude. 

 My grandmother Lillian (my father’s mother) was born in 19(46) and passed away at the age of 46 from cancer. My father told me that there was a reason I got that number.

“She’s watching over you when you play, remember that,” my father used to tell me.

 By my senior year in high school, still playing football, I knew I wanted to incorporate my love for football into a piece to honor my grandmother, even though I never got the chance to meet her.

 That is why there is a football with the number I’ve had my entire life. As for the American flag it’s wrapped in, anyone who can see my every day, patriotic love I have for my country, might think that’s why, but it’s not.

My grandmother Lillian passed away on 4th of July, which is why I wanted to incorporate the nation’s flag. Last but not least the roses, a very traditional piece, but the red rose was my grandmother’s favorite flower. 


 Although my grandmother was taken away from our family two years before I was even born, I feel like I knew her. My parents tell me we would have been very close if I got the chance to grow up with her, simply because we have the same exact personality. 

 My father describes his mother as a woman who had been completely screwed over. She was a woman who didn’t smoke or drink, played by the rules, lived everyday just as the big man upstairs would have wanted, putting everyone else before her - then she loses her life at 46.

It’s bullshit. 

And even though I’ll never play another snap of competitive football, I know she’s still up there looking down, watching over our family and she’ll forever be memorialized on me. 


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