Notre Dame football: Carlo Calabrese, tattoo you...or Purdue?

By Tom O'Toole

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Maybe I’m too old school, but should Notre Dame inside linebacker Carlo Calabrese be tweeting a picture of his new tattoo while on suspension from the football team? Doesn’t “tatting up” while sitting out the Navy game just add to the impression that Calabrese is one of the “criminals” as (former?) Notre Dame radio announcer Allen Pinkett would say? To show your contriteness, wouldn’t a trip to the grotto be more appropriate than one to the tattoo parlor? Of course, there’s no reason one can’t do both; but for a tattoo gotten during a team suspension to be a symbol of team unity rather than self-expression (or self-absorption) it should have some deep-seeded Fighting Irish significance, and I just don’t see it…

On the other hand, trying to decipher the meaning of Calabrese’s new tattoo is a little like trying to figure out the lyrics of the Kingsmen’s infamous hit “Louie Louie.” There’s a lot going on on his arm, and the photo’s fairly blurry, so it’s pretty much conjecture. Attempts to reach Calabrese by tweet for the official explanation were unsuccessful, and although fellow tweeter “Belle” assures the linebacker’s followers that it’s a “gorgeous piece,” she may have had a better view of it than I. Is it “The History of the World, Part III,” “What I did on my summer vacation-suspension,” or perhaps, “What my mind sees after getting hit over the head in a bar fight”?

In fairness to Calabrese, he also tweeted “Great W against Navy! Now on to Purdue week!” after Saturday’s game, which shows he was thinking about the team as well as his massive right bicep. Maybe in our current culture, all the players getting a tattoo is a sign of team unity, however fleeting the euphoria a permanent body inking may be. Still, I think I speak for all Irish fans when I say I would rather see Calabrese and Company tattoo Purdue (and Michigan, Southern Cal and so on) than put one on themselves.

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