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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Heckling Colts fan was 'sheep' to Jameis Winston's lion

Jameis Winston makes a call at the line of scrimmage during the Bucs' loss to the Colts.

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Jameis Winston makes a call at the line of scrimmage during the Bucs' loss to the Colts.



It was a cryptic scene captured on camera from the Bucs sideline during Sunday's loss at Indianapolis: Bucs QB Jameis Winston grabbing the shirt of fellow rookie Evan Spencer and explaining to him that "Lions do not accept opinions of (expletive) sheep, OK? He's a sheep."

Just who was the sheep in this discussion? Spencer, a receiver on the Bucs' practice squad, explained Wednesday that he had gotten tired of criticism directed at Winston from a heckling Colts fan and responded to him, something Winston reminded him not to do.

"It was just a situation where I stepped out and said something I shouldn't have to a fan, because I felt he was disrespecting my quarterback," Spencer said. "Me being the person I am, I said something to him. Afterwards, Jameis said 'You know what, we don't mind ourselves with his opinions and things he's saying. We have to go out and do what we can. It was just a moment and after that it was over with. We talked about it and we're good to go from here on out."

Here's a link to the video from WFLA -- caution, in that it does include foul language.

Winston was referencing a quote from the popular HBO show "Game of Thrones," offered there as "A lion doesn't concern itself with the opinion of sheep." The quote is a variation of a line attributed to author Vernon Howard, who wrote that "A truly strong person does not need the approval of others, any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep." Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Texans pass-rusher J.J. Watt have used the same "Game of Thrones" quote on Twitter in response to criticism.

Asked if the fan was heckling Winston about football or about something more personal, Spencer said it was "fans being fans," but it got to a point where he'd had enough and was compelled to say something back.

"From the time I got there, I've tried to show I'm going to work my butt off and do everything I can to help this team," Spencer said. "Hopefully he's seen that and respects that from me. We're developing a relationship from that standpoint, I guess."

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 4:59pm]


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