INDIANAPOLIS – Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson has used Super Bowl week to reveal the details behind the most bizarre jewelry accessory in the NFL.
Johnson, who had seven touchdown receptions this season and has become one of the league’s most colorful characters, told omg! about how an off-season trip to Las Vegas with his cousin, rapper Ya Boy, left him sporting a diamond stud that is embedded in his left cheek.
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Speaking at the EA Sports Madden Bowl at the Bud Light Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, Johnson said: “I shouldn’t even be telling you because it happened in Vegas and what happens in Vegas stays there. But no, I got it in Las Vegas for my birthday, me and my cousin. It was just something that happened at the spur of the moment – ‘let’s get our face pierced.’ It didn’t hurt, it is just like a regular ear piercing.”
Johnson underwent the surgical procedure nearly two years ago but his jewelry item, often known as a cheek piercing, has so far gained little attention and is usually covered by a Band Aid during games.
He explained how the stud cannot be removed unless it is by a body art specialist, and plans to keep it in his face for the foreseeable future. Johnson insisted there was no downside to having the stud in place while he plays, although admitted he feared it had become dislodged following a crunching tackle from the Baltimore Ravens’ hard-hitting linebacker Ray Lewis in 2010.
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“It is in the whole season,” Johnson said. “I almost got it knocked out by Ray Lewis, he hit me with a good shot but I checked and it was still there so I was ready to play on the next down.
“It is actually like a surgical process, they take a little bit of meat out and insert the diamond. It is flat on the inside so it is sitting sideways and the only way I can take it out is if I go to the shop. I can’t just pull it out if I want to right now.”
Johnson has emerged as one of the more outrageous in the NFL, and has twice been fined for excessive celebrations. He was heavily criticized for a touchdown dance that saw him act out a crashing airplane following a score against the New York Jets, before making fun of the Jets’ Plaxico Burress’ imprisonment for firearms use.
“I wouldn’t say I am one of the biggest characters in the NFL,” he said. “I am just a young dude trying to get the job done and have fun with it.”