South Floridan, from the New York Jet goes from the Gridiron to the Greens
It’s hard to find two sports that are more polar opposites than golf and soccer, Stevie Anderson argues that there are some similarities between the two sports. Anderson, who spent five years completing acrobatic catches in the National Football League (NFL), is connecting the dots between sports by making serious strides in his pursuit of a PGA tour career.
Anderson is one of three brothers from Jonesboro, Louisiana, a bucolic small town, who surprisingly all played in the NFL. He now finds himself, everywhere, on the links, where he travels all over the country playing PGA qualifying tournaments.
While it’s obvious from the power of his swing that Anderson has the physical assets to play on tour, it’s still a gargantuan challenge ahead of him. Anderson has spent her entire life overcoming obstacles. He defied all odds when the Arizona Cardinals drafted him in the eighth round of the NFL in 1993 after playing at Grambling State, an obscure college with an enrollment of just 5,000 students.
Anderson was a very special player at Grambling State, a historic black college where he had the luxury of playing for legendary football coach Eddie Robinson, the second-winningest coach in Major League college football history. However, playing for Robinson had its drawbacks for him.
Robinson maintained a strict rule, in which every veteran on the team, whether superstar or bench warmer, had a chance to play. In Anderson’s case, this resulted in half playing time. Robinson applied this measure to give seniors a chance to be seen by scouts.
While this unconventional coaching philosophy was noble for Robinson, it severely handicapped Anderson’s ability to put up the high numbers at wide receiver often required of players on teams not on the radar of NFL scouts.
Anderson’s senior year was by far his most successful. He made the most of each of his 36 receptions by turning them into a staggering 12 touchdowns. For math fans, this translates to one touchdown for every three receptions.
These numbers were good enough for Anderson to be invited to play in the Hawaiian Hula Bowl, college football’s all-star game, a rarity for players from small programs like Grambling State, despite his heritage for producing high school alumni. the NFL, whose roster includes Doug Williams, the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl in league history.
The 6-6, 215-pound wide receiver gifted with dazzling speed, size and length, Anderson was measurably rewarded for his stellar college career when he was drafted in the eighth round by the Arizona Cardinals in 1993. Anderson went on to play five years. in the NFL with both the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets.
In his fifth season in the NFL while competing against the Seattle Seahawks, he suffered a career-ending injury after executing a routine pass pattern. Anderson’s defender tripped him and then landed awkwardly on his knee, tearing his Posterior Crucial Ligament (PCL). After he finished his football career, Anderson successfully transitioned into a modeling career and his life seemed to be on track.
Now the sport of golf is his calling. If history repeats itself for Anderson, the returning kid, you’ll see him race on the same green grass as Tiger Woods one day in the not-too-distant future after an illustrious career on the grid.