Tray Matthews’ Twitter mentions are not for the faint of heart. After announcing his transfer to Auburn last weekend, the tweets reminding Matthews’ of his time at UGA will likely persist well into August. Although some Bulldogs fans will continue airing their grievances with Matthews on Twitter, there’s one glaring, Hester Prynne-esque reminder the safety bears that may keep him from shedding his past as he heads for Auburn.
That’s a scarlet letter alright. But let’s not kid ourselves; Matthews is neither the first nor the last college football player to get a tattoo in honor of the school to which he spent a copious amount of time dedicated. Enter Rueben Foster, the Alabama linebacker who committed to Alabama, flipped to Auburn, paid tribute to the Tigers with a tattoo prior to Signing Day only to ultimately sign with the Tide.
Foster, a friend of Matthews’, repurposed the tattoo in honor of a family member. The options to repurpose Matthews’ Georgia ‘G’ are there as well; he and an artist will just need to get a little creative. So I have a few suggestions:
1. The simple fix: A little shading inside and outside of the ‘G’ can change the Dogs’ logo to the letter ‘C’ in no time. Just fill in the center entirely and any ties to UGA are quickly snipped. Why a ‘C’? Tray Matthews’ first name is actually Carlos.
2. The poetic update: With the ‘G’ etched on his chest over his heart, Matthews can edit his tattoo to reflect his break up with the school. A set of zig-zag lines down the middle transforms the letter from a tribute to a former sweetheart to a scar of a love lost.
3. The throwback: I cannot be the only one who looks at the UGA logo and sees Pac Man. So the arcade game was released 14 years before Matthews was born, what’s your point?
4. The significant other: Date a girl named Gretchen. Or Grace, or Gwyneth, or Gabby, or Glenda…
5. The Greek tribute: Step One: Join a fraternity. Step Two: Make sure ‘Theta’ is at least one of your newly-adopted Greek letters. Step Three: Extend the ‘G’ on both ends. Boom. Greek letter tattoo.
6. The elaborate repurposing: This option will take some serious artistic skill. But with the right set of hands and an open mind, one could create a tiger’s profile from the ‘G’. OK, so it sounds like a stretch. Hear me out. Throw some ears on it, fangs and enough strips to mask its original form and we’re back in business. You’ll see what you want to see; this is the Rorschach test of tattoos.
7. The hold out: If Matthews finds success with Auburn, who’s to say he won’t have a shot at the professional level? And who’s to say the Green Bay Packers won’t need a safety at that time? It’s a long shot, but how genius would he look should it happen?
8. The homage: To one of the most improbable plays I’ve ever seen in college football. Add 43-38 to the tattoo and no matter how you spin it, Matthews can say he has represented both sides of the absolute chaos that was the Jordan-Hare miracle.
9. The nod to a mentor: “Hey Tray, what does the ‘G’ stand for buddy?” “Grantham, duh.”
10. The last laugh: In a blog earlier this week Matthews’ aunt came to his defense, shooting down claims that her nephew is any sort of thug, but rather an aspiring veterinarian who graduated early from Newnan High School in order to enroll at Georgia last spring. Put an ‘O’ next to that ‘G’, prove everyone wrong while at Auburn and be an original gentleman instead of an original gangster.