ST. LOUIS, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- St Louis Rams rookie defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks has a unique motivational tool to keep him focused on his burgeoning NFL career -- a face tattoo intentionally meant to prevent him from gaining employment anywhere else.
While Westbrooks was still attending Sacramento City Junior College, the 6-foot-4-inch tall lineman worked at an area Toys 'R' Us, a job he hated and never wanted to do again. Realizing no one but the NFL would hire someone with his skill set if he had a large tattoo on his face, Westbrooks went to the parlor for the enforced visual motivation.
"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 told ESPN.
"Laugh now, cry later," the tattoo reads.
"I don't regret it," said a proud Westbrooks, adding, "It speaks for itself."
Although an undrafted rookie coming from a Division II school, Westbrooks made immediate waves in St. Louis, earning the largest rookie free agent contract awarded by the Rams and a $20,000 signing bonus and beating out Michael Sam for one of the final roster spots on what projects to be a top 10 NFL defense.
"The whole me-and-Michael Sam thing, I wish him nothing but the best in his endeavors on the football field," Westbrooks said.
"[Michael Sam] has a competitive spirit, I have a competitive spirit -- what better way to really just boost one another or see what one another is really made of, to have that [competition]."