Olympian Lloy Ball: Now Disbelieves His “Anger is a Gift” Tattoo — “And to have the Devil on your arm does not bode well”

From: Washington Post, Lloy Ball, Tattoos and Capricious Youth

The U.S. men’s volleyball team has its share of characters, but media folks aren’t going there after this month’s events. I spent a few minutes with longtime setter Lloy Ball last week….

If you’ve followed the team’s history, you remember that Ball was previously depicted as the bad boy of indoor volleyball: the “Satan” nickname, the “Boo-yah!” screams after successful spikes, his fish face that he called “The Grouper,” the “Anger is a Gift” tattoo that came from Rage Against the Machine lyrics. An “in-your-face, tattooed Generation X’er,” one newspaper called him during the ’96 Games, and virtually every story had a similar theme.

[…]

And what about the ‘Anger is a Gift” thing?

Yeah, uh…capricious youth? Back in ’96 for some reason I thought I needed to be somewhat upset to play well. Luckily it only took me 12 years to figure out that that’s not true. And to have the devil on your arm does not bode well when you go to church with your mom on Christmas, I can tell you. But, you know, live and learn.

So you don’t play angry any more?

Not so much. I mean, it takes someone across the net saying REALLY bad things to me in a language I understand to get too upset.

Really? Does that go on?

Oh yeah, yeah. You’ll see it when we play Italy. You know, a lot of us just aren’t real fond of each other. We play against each other on the national teams but also in club ball a lot of times. I’ve had a REAL good couple of years in club ball, so I’m not real popular with some of em, and I’ve on occasion let them know that I’m a little better than they are sometimes, and they take offense at that and start yelling at me through the net. In Italian, most of ’em.

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Related: Cyclist Mimicks His Devil Tattoo

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