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The Head of a Patriot

Shannon Mullen

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Fanvas and Artist
(Shannon Mullen)
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Victor Thompson's an average guy ... from the eyebrows down. We'll come back to that.

He hangs at the House of Tattoos, up the street from an old mill building and a funeral home. He doesn't work all winter. In the summer he installs people's docks on the lake nearby and he admits he's never had much of a goal in life.

"I don't know," he says. "I just went with the flow, whatever happened happened."

It was during a particularly low point recently that Victor decided to dedicate himself. He was serving three months in prison for assault, but his favorite football team, the New England Patriots, was having a record season.

"You know I was in there sittin' there incarcerated," Thompson says, "the third game of the season I was watching, and everybody has hats and t-shirts, that sorta thing, and I says, 'You know what I want, I want Brady's helmet tattooed on my head.'"

As in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. And over the past month Thompson's had all the symbols from Brady's helmet tattooed on his shaved head. He has the team's minuteman logo wrapping around both temples and across the base of his skull there's an American flag, Brady's number 12 in the middle and the NFL logo. He's trying to convince his wife Barbara to let him do more.

"If I had my way, I'd put the whole silver helmet and the face mask," he says. "But she told me if I do the face mask I get a divorce."

His wife Barbara is standing her ground. "He can cover the head up. The face you can't cover that up," she says.

"But I'll be ready for Halloween," retorts Thompson. "I won't need a mask!"

Even with his helmet-head, Thompson will probably never pass for Tom Brady, who's a star athlete, and Thompson's, well, Thompson. But he says that doesn't matter, after hours under the needle, and a thousand bucks in the hole, he feels like a true Patriot.

"I have their team emblem on me now," Thompson says. "And now they can't forget me. Now any time they think about number 12, they're going to think about 12 in N.H. That guy's wearing it on his head. Well that's me, Vick Thompson. That's what I wanted to do, and I did it."

If the Pats win the Super Bowl, Thompson wants to get a tattoo of the trophy on top of his head. And he's hoping Tom Brady will come to Laconia, take up the tattoo needle himself, and complete Thompson's helmet with an autograph.

  • Music Bridge:
    Dead Weird Keks
    Artist: Global Goon
    CD: Family Glue (Audio Dregs)

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