TAMPA, Fla. — The Bucs didn’t take home a win Sunday as the Rams fought off their comeback for a 30-27 victory.
It was a close game, and one that fans were hoping would extend the Bucs’ season at least one more week.
What You Need To Know
- Former Bucs gather to watch Bucs-Rams
- Former Bucs Akeem Spence, Samuel Lamur talk about their football journey
- Ex-players detail their post-football experiences
“It was a good game, wish we could’ve seen them boys take home that win tonight though,” said former Buccaneers defensive tackle, Akeem Spence.
Spence traveled from South Florida with a group of friends, including former Buccaneer linebacker Samuel Lamur.
“It’s good to be back in Tampa,” he said.
Both men enjoyed the game with their family, including Lamur’s twin brother Emmanuel Lamur, who played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets.
“Sorry guys but your team lost,” said Emmanuel, with a smile. “It was a good game though.”
This group of friends has always carried a healthy sense of humor and competition when it comes to sports.
Spence described what it was like for him on draft day, when he officially became a professional player.
“Football changed my life,” said Spence. “On Day Three, I was the 100th pick — the Raiders traded with the Bucs to come get me.”
Draft day is one that most athletes dream of but what is broadcast on TV, the players say, is only half the experience.
“When you’re with your boys that also ball, you have all these expectations of what draft will be like for you, but that’s not how it goes,” said Spence. “You’re like, ‘Man, what if it doesn’t happen for me?’ Being an undrafted guy in this league is probably the hardest way to make it.”
Spence, who is originally from Jamaica, said his football days started more than 20 years ago.
“My best friend Collin Urenda, who introduced me to football, passed away last year,” said Spence. “I really became big in high school, whatever being big in high school means, and then I found out all the great things football can do — free education, travel, football paved the way for my life.”
Spence, who is now a free agent, went on to play for the Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and several other NFL teams. He’s given nine years of his life to the game, and even though he said his coaches over the years trained him to win on the field, those lessons now translate to winning in life.
“Football was the greatest financial gain you can get at 22, but it was also about being responsible and growing up as a man — learning about responsibilities, not just being a young thunder cat that’s spending money,” he said.
Also, a part of his journey involved his father in a big way — Spence said he always warned him of the dangers of spending too much money too fast on things he didn’t need.
“My dad is a business man, he owns his own construction business in the panhandle,” Spence said. “I still thank him to this day for teaching me about finances early.”
Spence, who now donates his time to serving in his community while he builds his real estate portfolio, said that it’s important to show kids that they can make it.
“I’m also thankful to be able to educate young kids and show them that there is a chance,” he said.
Samuel Lamur also has a history of serving in his community, and while he and his brother are now nearly fully vested in their real estate ventures, he too says football was a driving factor in learning discipline.
“Oh, yeah, football has always been a part of my life,” he said. “I’m from Delray and started playing ball there. I’m Haitian, don’t forget to add I’m Haitian.”
Lamur said that he didn’t have an agent when he got that call from the Bucs.
“I was playing arena ball for the Tampa Bay Storms at the time,” said Lamur. “I was with my dad just chilling at the house when I got the call — he passed away a three months ago.”
Jean Lamur, the twin’s late father, also had a big role in the brothers making it into the NFL.
“Oh yeah, I had prior injuries and everything but still made it,” said Samuel Lamur.
After the Bucs game Sunday, the group enjoyed dinner together before they got back on the road, and even though the day was about football, the conversation at the table was about modular homes, NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) and cryptocurrency .
“You have to be willing to elevate,” said friend Jordan Harold. “I created my own cryptocurrency called BlackChain.”
Harold and the guys were also joined by Dr. Violet Howard, who played a major role in educating her community on real estate options.
“I’m building this modular home community,” said Howard. “The first thing you have to do is buy the land.”
Each friend now saying that life is all about setting goals to reach that next level.