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Rams rookie gets face tattoo to prevent having to get normal job ever again

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

Tattoos can be very symbolic pieces of body art. People get them for all sorts of reasons: to remember a loved one, for religious reasons, to set themselves apart, or just for style.

But St. Louis Rams rookie defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks had a unique motivation for the tattoo he had placed on his face. He got it in the highly visible spot below his left eye in 2011 so that he'd never have to get a real job again.

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Come again? Follow Westbrooks' logic, as he told ESPN (via Yahoo Finance):

"I was just like I might as well go ahead and get it on the face because if nothing else, it will help motivate me to either be a guy that has a tattoo on his face looking for another job or hopefully I make it in the NFL and don’t have to work too hard to do something (else)," Westbrooks said. "I don’t feel it’s a bad thing now. I don’t regret it. It speaks for itself."

Westbrooks was undrafted in May but received a nice signing bonus from the Rams and had to impress the team with a big preseason — and beat out Michael Sam — to earn a roster spot. Sam appears headed to land on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, but Westbrook looks like he has a nice future with the Rams, as both a tackle and an end, on their 53-man roster.

Westbrooks had been working at a Toys 'R' Us in Sacramento while playing football and attending Sacramento City Junior College, but he disliked the job and decided when he quit that he had to make a statement to himself. That statement — the tattoo reads "Laugh now, cry later" — was there every day as he looked in the mirror, and Westbrooks would be reminded of where he came from.

After starring at Division-II West Texas A&M (not to be confused with Johnny Manziel U.), Westbrooks has been a hit with the Rams and is one of four undrafted rookies on the Rams' roster now. Despite the team being deep on the defensive line, it has high hopes for him.

So this isn't some crazy Mike Tyson thing ... but a pretty good reminder of where Westbrooks came from and where he wants to go in the NFL.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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