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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Spires, three Falcons fined by the league
By STEPHEN F. HOLDER and JOANNE KORTH
Published November 26, 2005
The rivalry between the Bucs and Falcons went from nasty to costly Friday when the league announced four players had been fined a combined $30,000 for unsportsmanlike play in Sunday's 30-27 victory by the Bucs.
And there might be more.
Tampa Bay defensive end Greg Spires was fined $7,500 for unnecessary roughness for striking the quarterback when he was on the ground in the first quarter. Though the league did not specify, the play likely occurred when Michael Vick was sacked at the Falcons' 1-yard line by Anthony McFarland and Spires landed on Vick's legs, forcing Vick to leave the game for a play. No penalty was called on the play.
"I fell on him. That was a legal hit," Spires said. "I fell on top of him and got fined. Can you believe that?"
Three Atlanta players were fined.
Linebacker Demorio Williams was fined $10,000 for poking an opponent in the eye in the second quarter. The player is believed to be rookie running back Cadillac Williams .
Guard Kynan Forney was fined $7,500 for an illegal clip and tackle, Kevin Shaffer $5,000 for an illegal peel back block. Both plays occurred in the fourth quarter.
Emotions between the NFC South rivals got out of control in the first quarter, when Falcons punt returner Allen Rossum claimed a Bucs player poked him in the eye at the bottom of the pile. No fine was levied for the alleged offense.
League officials review every play, spokesman Michael Signora said, but it's possible clear footage was not available.
Atlanta coach Jim Mora indicated Monday the team had clear footage of a Bucs player poking Rossum. Teams can submit footage to the league for review and subsequent fines are possible, Signora said.
The Bucs and Falcons meet again Dec. 24 at Raymond James Stadium.
COLMER ON HIS BLOCKS: Rookie offensive tackle Chris Colmer entered the players' parking lot Friday to find his Lincoln Navigator sitting on four cinder blocks, with no wheels in sight.
Taped to a window was a note from a prankster, with a map of the Bucs' complex identifying the location of his misplaced wheels. Colmer took the practical joke in stride, managing a laugh once he realized he hadn't been the victim of theft.
The culprit in all this: one Mike Alstott , who had some help in hurriedly removing the truck's wheels after practice before jumping in his own truck and rushing out of the parking lot.
INJURY REPORT: There was no change in the injury situation Friday, with tight end Anthony Becht (knee), left tackle Anthony Davis (ankle), safety Dexter Jackson (hamstring) and safety Will Allen (knee) remaining questionable.
Coach Jon Gruden said Jackson has shown the most promise after participating in every practice this week.
The team made a move Friday to bolster the tight end position with Becht's status up in the air by promoting Nate Lawrie to the active roster. To make room, fullback Rick Razzano was released and signed to the practice squad.