It’s not exactly uncommon for die-hard fans to get tattoos of their favorite sports teams. The trend is especially prevalent in world football, ranging from the massive to the commemorative to the downright bizarre.
For Vancouver, Wash., resident and massive Seattle Sounders fan Joseph Garrison, he wanted something just a little bit different.
Garrison has been following the club since its MLS inception in 2009 and traveled to Toronto in December to watch Seattle capture its first MLS Cup title. He had three previous tattoos and wanted to add a sports tattoo, but didn’t want something generic.
Garrison saw the “Posters by the People” artwork created by Matt Milligan ahead of the MLS Cup Final, and something clicked. The image consists of Seattle’s Space Needle and Toronto’s CN Tower crossed like swords in battle, and he decided to have it tattooed on his leg. Garrison even reached out to Milligan in advance and asked if he could use the design, something Milligan was “very enthusiastic” about.
“I didn’t want something like a logo or a name, I wanted something unique and a bit on the abstract side,” Garrison said. “When I saw this poster, I thought, ‘Oh, wow, that’s perfect.’”
Where Garrison went to get the tattoo done is extra sweet for Sounders fans. Because he lives in southern Washington, he went to have the tattoo done in, off all places, Portland. Garrison went to John Wilson at Scapegoat Tattoo just east of downtown and the Willamette River.
“If he was a Timbers fan,” Garrison said jokingly of Wilson, “he didn’t show it.”
The tattoo took two hours to complete and Garrison’s favorite part is that it represents a meaningful moment in time he’ll always remember. When asked if he was planning on getting any more Sounders tattoos in the future, Garrison didn’t rule out the possibility.
“If they win more Cups,” Garrison said, “we’ll see.”