It was a request even Dennis Rodman hadn’t gotten, and one that 31-year-old Kris Glenn had driven to Chicago all the way from Norman, Okla. on Saturday night to make of him.
“I knew in my head when I was going that I was gonna do everything I could to get him to autograph my arm with the intention of getting it tattooed,” Glenn said.
Glenn was one of 51 people who bought a $60 LivingSocial deal that enabled fans to watch a Bulls game in the same bar as Rodman and take a picture with him. Rodman wasn’t required to sign autographs, but not long after getting wind of Glenn’s plan, that all changed.
“When I told him about the ‘guy from Oklahoma who drove 12 hours’ before the public appearance started, he made it very clear that he'd have no problem signing the guy's body,” Rodman’s Houston-based spokesman Sam Freedman said via e-mail.
“He was such a sport about it,” Glenn said. “He said ‘are you really gonna get it tattooed,’ and I said ‘hell yeah I am.’”
On Monday afternoon, the married father of one followed through with his plan, getting Rodman’s barely legible autograph tattooed on the inside of his right bicep.
“It says ‘Dennis Worm Rodman,’” he said. “You still can’t read it that well but he took his time, which I think is hilarious. What I got tattooed is exactly what he wrote and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Compared to the other autographs he gave that night, it’s a little bit more legible.”
The already heavily tattooed Glenn, an advertising sales manager in Oklahoma City, said he didn’t shower from the time he met Rodman on Saturday night until Monday afternoon after the tattoo was completed. He had a tattoo artist friend of his do it and says it took about half an hour to complete.
“I washed my hair for work this morning in the bathtub and got the tattoo this afternoon,” he said by phone on Monday night. “I just took my first shower about an hour ago since meeting Dennis.”
And yes, he knows what you’re thinking as you read this.
“I promise I’m not crazy but in some ways, I am crazy, but it works,” he said.
For him, this tattoo in particular carries a deeper meaning.
Glenn's father Gary died three years ago. Watching Rodman bang the boards helped bring father and son closer together over the years. Glenn says that for as crazy as it may sound, having Dennis Rodman’s name permanently etched on his arm helps him feel even closer to his old man.
“When my dad saw Rodman play basketball at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and was drafted by the Pistons, he pointed to Rodman and said ‘son, that’s the way the game is played,’” Glenn said. “If my dad was alive, he probably would’ve gotten the same tattoo. We’re a Rodman family, we just are.”
He’s not the first person to get a tattoo prominently displaying his support for a public figure this year.
But unlike Eric Hartsburg, the 30-year-old professional wrestler from Indiana who famously got the Romney-Ryan logo tattooed on his face, Glenn says he’s got no regrets about his permanent ode to the Worm.
“Not in the least bit,” he said. “I only support winners. I’m an Obama guy. I would have never gotten a Romney tattoo. I’m assuming that guy hasn’t been a Romney fan since I was 8 years old. I’ve been a Rodman fan since I was 8 years old.”
While Glenn hasn’t entirely ruled out getting more ink, he says Rodman’s signature will be the only one to grace his body.
“There’s no other celebrity that I would ever get tattooed,” he said. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve been a Rodman guy so I don’t think that this tattoo was anything that was spur of the moment. The fact that I’m a tattoo guy and whenever I had a chance to meet him, that’s exactly what I knew I had to do.”
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