By their very nature sports fans (and players) can be an odd and superstitious bunch, and none more so than in the world of hockey. Players are renowned for their dedication to the "playoff beard." Simply put, hockey players at all levels will throw out their razors once the playoffs start and refuse to shave until they have bowed out, or won it all. This is child's play compared to the permanent tribute one Pittsburgh Penguins recently got — a tattoo of winger Phil Kessel riding a hot dog.
Yahoo Sports tracked down Phil Hammerstein, the fan with the peculiar tattoo, to find out why exactly he pictured Kessel on top of a mammoth wiener, Stanley Cup in one hand, gleefully squirting mustard out of the other. It turns out that it all goes back to rumor from when Kessel was with the Maple Leafs, a period where the forward's play fell short of expectations. Allegedly Kessel, who is on the heavy side for a hockey player, chowed down on hot dogs when he should have been out there trying to win.
“Big Phil just clicked with Pittsburghers – chubby dude with a comb-over and penchant for street weenies, dry humor, bad breath, tries hard and loves the game,” Hammerstein told Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog. “Plus I have buddies in southern Ontario to troll.”
We're guessing that Kessel would love the tribute, even if Hammerstein accuses him of halitosis while praising the hockey player. The tattoo was doing by Aaron Harding at Pittsburgh Tattoo Company, and it is quite a likeness.
Kessel and the rest of the Penguins are looking to become back to back Stanley Cup champions, hopefully this phenomenal tattoo will bring them some luck. Unfortunately for Hammerstein, unlike a playoff beard, he won't be able to shed his tattoo if their quest for the cup falls short.