Some of the other replacement players spoke about why they chose to play
James Ramey, a former defensive end at the University of Kentucky who played briefly for the St. Louis Cardinals and
last played for the Bandits in 1985, said he never expected to put on shoulder pads and a helmet again. ``I honestly felt
my playing days were over,`` he said. ``But I've got that feeling again that tingle up and down my back that I only get
And none of the newly signed free agents expressed much misgiving about the circumstances of
their second chance to make a NFL team or the uncertainty of the length of their stay in Tampa.
``I have a lot of friends in the NFL and I hope the strike ends real soon because the guys on the 45-man rosters
worked real hard to make it,`` said Herkie Walls, the former Houston Oiler who was in the Bucs' camp this summer.
``But people will understand us wanting to make the most of another opportunity.``
Lee Paige, a former defensive back from Florida State who was twice unsuccessful in earning a job with the Bandits,
said he's unconcerned about the name-calling that is sure to follow. ``That stuff doesn't bother me,`` he said. ``I'm a
college-educated man, an adult and I'm free to choose. I just want to play football and, besides, this is a dog-eat-dog world.``
Rick Stroud, The St.Petersburg Times October 1987