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Jurevicius picks court over catwalk

[Times photo: James Borchuck]
Jurevicius may have the legs for it, but modeling's not his thing.

By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published November 24, 2002


At 6 feet 5, 230 pounds, Bucs receiver Joe Jurevicius is an imposing figure with strong opinions. Here is his take on basketball, his Lithuanian heritage, JLo, life on earth, heaven, Gladiator and a modeling career:

RM: How many times do you get stopped by people who think you're a basketball player?

JJ: From time to time. But it usually happens with people who you can tell aren't exactly athletes. They automatically presume because I'm 6-5 that I play basketball.

RM: Do they ever take you for a particular player?

JJ: Well, if they saw me play they would take me for Jordan.

RM: Easy, easy. . . . You have a game, in other words.

JJ: I can play a bit. It's one of the things I do in the offseason.

RM: You know your locker room has a crew of hoop players?

JJ: I look forward to the offseason. Every football player, deep down, wants to be a pro basketball player.

RM: Brad Johnson claims, aside from his grandmother, dad and a coach, no one's beaten him in H-O-R-S-E.

JJ: He must be living in the sticks somewhere.

RM: We pronounce your name (JEH)-re-vi-shus, but in its Lithuanian it's pronounced yu-(RAH)-vishus. What gives?

JJ: I'm an American and everybody's name has been Americanized. The name has been (JEH)-re-vi-shus forever. So I don't think it's anybody's business to tell me how to pronounce my name.

RM: But don't you get some old school Lithuanian chastising you for forgetting your heritage?

JJ: I know where I came from. To everybody, I'm (JEH)-re-vi-shus and I'm going to stay that way.

RM: I'm not buying into this latest JLo romance.

JJ: I like Ben Afleck, but I don't know either. When you kind of look at who's she been with and for how long, it seems like she likes to try new food every now and then.

RM: In her song Jenny From the Block, she said she's the same person who grew up in the Bronx. I'm saying, that's bull.

JJ: I'm not the same person I was when I grew up. Of course, we value the lessons we were taught as children but I know I personally have more money than when I was younger. I do a lot of things differently. I can afford different things. So, I don't buy that at all.

RM: But you always hear people saying that they will never change.

JJ: But change is good. As we experience things in life we learn from our mistakes, from our likes and dislikes, and you learn to change the things you dislike.

RM: You're in space and meet an alien and she asks for three things you're proud of, and three things you're ashamed of.

JJ: First, I would say to be an American. The second thing is I would tell the alien about all the beautiful things that the Earth has. Like waterfalls, mountains, people, buildings. I guess I would tell them I was proud of our technology. Just to be up in space would prove that.

RM: Personally, I'm proud of barbecue ribs ... And three things you would be ashamed of?

JJ: War. Life is too short and when you have people like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein creating war, I'm ashamed of that. I'm shamed of hate. There's too much hate in this world. Racism. Different ethnic groups incapable of getting along. Thirdly, I haven't won a Super Bowl yet. I had a chance to win one, and we lost as a team. I want one. Not having a ring, I'm ashamed of that.

RM: Big fan of the television series Friends?

JJ: It keeps me coming back every Thursday at 8 p.m. I can't miss it. Sometimes I have to renege on dinner with my wife because Friends is coming on.

RM: Why are siblings, by nature, a pain in the butt?

JJ: I have a younger sister (Jennifer) and she's a royal pain in the a-. She's been spoiled. Everything that I never got, she got. I can't sleep over at a friend's house; she's sleeping over all the time. The things that I used to get slapped for, she's doing it the very next day and the next day and the next day. Family is great, but I would get frustrated because the things I couldn't get, she's getting.

RM: When did you start listening to your parents?

JJ: I remember sitting in the green porch at the back of the house and my dad saying that "Blood is thicker than water." I was about 11 years old and remember exactly where I was sitting. If I think hard I can probably remember exactly what I was wearing. Low and behold, as you go through life and face some of those challenging things, you come to realize that you can't depend on your neighbor or that person you thought was your friend. You can only depend on your family. I guess at that time I realized that my dad wasn't full of s--.

RM: Is Pontius Pilate in heaven?

JJ: That's deep. We forgive everyone or at least that's what we were told. He's such a part of history now. I believe he's one reason we're here today.

RM: What would you have done if you were Pontius Pilate?

JJ: Knowing who Christ was, I would have said, "This is the Man. I'm letting him go. I don't have any problems with him."

RM: What is heaven like?

JJ: It's a big party. It's everything you ever wanted. All the people you like. It's a 24 hour a day, seven day a week party. You don't have to worry about wrong, war or hate.

RM: They got barbecue ribs in heaven?

JJ: Ribs for you. Sushi for me.

RM: Make a choice: Would you rather be the richest man in the world, or live forever?

JJ: Richest man in the world. Hopefully, with all that money I have I can try to add a few extra years to my life. But God knows, when I'm 700 or 800 years old, I'm not going to be the best looking man.

RM: You saw the movie Gladiator?

JJ: One of my all-time favorites.

RM: Maximus was the man.

JJ: I'm trying to convince my wife that if I have a (boy) I know he's going to be a bad a- and I'm going to name him Maximus.

RM: That's not going to happen, Joe.

JJ: Probably not.

RM: Considering that Commodus killed his wife and child, I would have shanked him in Coliseum the first time we met.

JJ: Well, I would have to have agreed with you. After what he did. You know you're going to die anyway, may as well take him out right there.

RM: Why do runway models walk that way?

JJ: Because people pay them lots of money to walk that way.

RM: You've done some modeling.

JJ: I have done . . . some.

RM: So you could be a model if you weren't playing ball.

JJ: Absolutely not. I'm not saying some models aren't intelligent, but you listen to some of them talk and you kind of scratch your head. I don't want to be associated with them.

RM: Where and when did you model?

JJ: It was in New York, but I'm not giving any more details.

RM: What did you model?

JJ: Sweaters, jeans, you know, the casual look.

RM: Runway work?

JJ: I walked down a runway, that's all I'm saying. But I promise you, it was a regular walk. Nothing more than a regular walk. My face was probably red through the whole thing. I tried to walk to one end and walk right back and then hide.


Back to the Bucs

Today's lineup

Bucs

  • Fighting for home
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • High Profile -- Brett Favre
  • Side line
  • Jurevicius picks court over catwalk
  • Respect begins with Packers
  • Letters: Losing Nickerson a mistake by Bucs
  • Gary Shelton: Rice's life a study in poetry and motion

  • Rays
  • Rupe looking toward future

  • Lightning
  • Milestone energizes Lightning
  • Team will stay together and relax

  • Other sports

    College football
  • Wildcats seal MEAC, playoffs
  • Party first, Fiesta later
  • Bulls make case again
  • ACC champs?
  • Missouri QB gets yard for history
  • PSU's Johnson joins the club
  • Clarett stings Wolverines
  • Big Ten: Boilermakers going to 6th straight bowl
  • Wildcats get tough up close
  • Suber sits out win for B-CC
  • State: Knights win shootout but lose chance at title
  • Big East: Irish win moves them closer to BCS berth
  • Bulls play 'what if' after win
  • Buckeyes help Bulls' bowl chances
  • South Florida by the numbers
  • Nation: Mountain West belongs to CSU
  • Big 12: Sooners rout Red Raiders for berth in championship
  • ACC: Motivated Cavaliers again defy expectations
  • C-USA: ECU stuns top team in league
  • Pac-10: UW denies WSU's national title hopes
  • SEC: Tigers savor unexpected win
  • Running back struggles in return home
  • Florida State by the numbers
  • Darrell Fry: Martz betting on QB choice
  • Hubert Mizell: Ex-Packers GM dishes on Favre and Bucs of old and new
  • John Romano: Mediocrity has become Seminoles' new goal

  • More sports
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  • Highs and lows
  • Sports briefs
  • Teske leads Sorenstam
  • Tampa tops Mocs, advances to final
  • Attitude adjustment aids 'Noles
  • Slap shots
  • Minnesota sets record for scoring
  • Hamilton's defense is the cornerstone
  • Bowerman, Panthers earn titles
  • Third not good enough
  • Lyons has last word
  • Chilly air no problem
  • Gator, Wildcat both finish 18th
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  • Tensions run high as halfway point nears
  • Three-team deal could land Neagle with Mets
  • NFL Game Day: Week 11
  • Fishing: Daily fishing report
  • Letters: Southern Illinois coverage pleases local Saluki alumni
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