The University of Maryland is awash with excitement as graduation draws nearer, and it’s easy to get a little caught up in it. When it was announced that Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank would be this spring’s commencement speaker, UMD senior Mark Baron knew exactly what he needed to do: tattoo his entire body with facts about Kevin Plank. Baron sat down with The Black Sheep to discuss his inspiring story.
The Black Sheep: Everywhere from the stacks of McKeldin Library to the theatres of the Clarice, people are talking about your incredible story. There seems to be one big question that keeps being asked: why did you decide to permanently cover yourself head-to-toe in facts about Kevin Plank? You must be a big fan of his.
Mark Baron: Well, he’s really a self-made man, and I think that’s something that everyone has to admire. That being said, I only really heard about him two weeks ago. [Pause.] It was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision.
TBS: Did it take a long time to compile all of these facts?
MB: Not really. It took me maybe twenty minutes of research to get all the trivia about him I needed.
TBS: It’s impressive you were able to get everything right in such a short time. I’m looking at the third line on your forehead, which reads, “Kevin Plank walked on the University of Maryland football team.” I would have never guessed that.
MB: Right. I guess I imagine he asked them all to lie down in the middle of Maryland Stadium, then just kind of stepped on all of them. [Pause.] Like I said, there wasn’t a lot of time to double-check everything.
TBS: I also noticed that the bottom of your forearm reads, “He majored in businessmen,” which I wasn’t aware was a program here at UMD.
MB: Well, it’s doubtful Kevin Plank would have gotten as far as he has without learning everything he could about businessmen.
TBS: Right, but do you mean specific businessmen?
MB: Just anything about businessmen in general. I like to think he learned about what they wear, how their bodies function, where they take their wives out to dinner, etc. I’m not clear on the specifics. I study econ.
TBS: On your left palm, it just says, “Can’t swallow Testudo.” You mean the statue?
MB: Yeah, he could never fit that down his throat.
TBS: Of course. No human could.
MB: Exactly. That’s how I know it’s true. It’s common sense.
TBS: Right. Anyone could figure it out. Did that make you second-guess permanently etching it into your skin?
MB: I didn’t really think about that. [Long pause.] Maybe let’s just move on.
TBS: Do your parents love your body art as much as everyone else?
MB: Well, I haven’t exactly told them yet. But my cousin’s wedding is coming up next weekend. [Pause.] So I guess we’ll see.
TBS: Are you worried this will affect future job opportunities?
[At this point, Baron quietly rested his head in his hands. He ended the interview shortly thereafter.]
Wow! Just goes to show you how far a little school spirit can take you! Keep on inspiring Terps everywhere, Mark!