Every now and then, just for laughs, Mike Weber and some of his fellow Spur Posse alums get together to watch the tapes of their exploits on national TV.
"Back then, we were young cocky punks, plain and simple," says the 20-year-old, who three years ago talked with bravado about his sex-for-points conquests at Lakewood High School. "We weren't as bad as people said. Half of what we said was for show. We did do points, but we weren't exploiting people."
Back then, Spur Posse founder Dana Belman defined himself as "a step above everyone else." Now he's serving a 10-year prison sentence for burglary and fraud.
Back then, Chris Albert spoke of the thrill of being a Big Man on Campus and a talk-show star, and of how he later came to regret his behavior. Now he's dead, gunned down last Fourth of July in a Huntington Beach melee.
While some of the Spur Posse members were chastened by the scandal, more than a few of the others arrested in the sweep have been unable to put their lives on track.
Last year, six young men from Lakewood, including former Spur Posse members Dana Kawamura and Ronnie Breceda, were arrested in connection with the near fatal stabbing of a young man at a New Year's Eve party in Seal Beach. Kawamura and Breceda have been charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. A trial date is pending.
"Everywhere you go, people are carrying guns and knives," says Weber, who has spent time in jail for assault with a deadly weapon and now volunteers as a speaker at facilities for juvenile offenders. "Everyone wants to be a tough guy.
"But we don't get drunk and go fight anymore. We still drink, but not like we used to. We don't go around saying we're Spur Posse guys. Not no more."
Well, maybe occasionally.
"We meet people at parties. They ask where we're from. We say, 'Lakewood.'
" 'Are you one of those guys?' they ask. Sometimes saying we're Spur Posse is good. Sometimes not. It goes both ways."
In his role as rehabilitated criminal, Weber tells troubled kids, "Jail isn't the hard part. The hard part is the real world."
Indeed, the ink on his release papers was barely dry when Weber was stabbed during a fight. It took 65 stitches to close his split chin. Now he lives at home with his dad and younger brother, works irregularly as a security guard and spends at least two hours a day at the gym. He plans to play college football in the fall at a "big-time university." He won't say which one.
While he's scoring touchdowns, many of his friends will be changing diapers. At least seven children have been born to unwed former Spur Posse members, many of whom were star athletes in high school.
"Everyone is just breeding," Weber notes approvingly. "I see them [the children], and I love them all."
Michelle McGill, 22, is the mother of two babies by Spur Posse member Kris Belman. She lives with her parents in Norwalk and is studying to be a medical assistant. "Kris watches the kids and stuff but has had a hard time finding jobs," McGill says. "I'm not getting married for a long time," she adds. "Not until I'm 25 at least. I have enough responsibility."
Since the death of Albert, Weber says he and his Spur Posse buddies have never been closer. "Not a day goes by when we don't talk about Chris," he says. "We don't take things for granted no more."