Now that he knows where he and his wife could be for a few years, Buccaneers defensive lineman Stevie Tu’ikolovatu has to find a place to live.
This time, they’re looking for one without wheels.
The seventh-round defensive tackle from Southern Cal has already shown a willingness to make something out of nothing, spending time between colleges living in a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban.
“Not homeless, just a choice,” Tu’ikolovatu said, via Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Bay Times.
The big man (340 pounds) and his wife stayed in his SUV after he transferred from Utah to USC, spending two months bouncing from beach to beach, pulling the back seat out, piling up blankets and pillows, and hanging shower curtains over the windows to block out the light so they could sleep. They’d shower in public beach facilities, and his wife bragged about the way he made a grill out of pieces of wood and aluminum foil. He said he knew he could have stayed with friends in the area, but he didn’t want to trouble them.
“I don’t like to bother people, make a hassle,” Tu’ikolovatu said. “I’m kind of independent. I also understand that when you have struggles, there are also lessons. . . .
“It teaches you not to be selfish. It teaches you not to take life so seriously. It teaches you how to love.”
And at least if the football thing doesn’t work out for him, he won’t be frightened by the possibility of living in a van down by the river.