South Floridian, former 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 is arguing that there are some similarities between the two sports. Anderson, who spent five years completing acrobatic receptions in the National Football League (NFL), is connecting the dots between sports by making serious strides in his ardent pursuit of a PGA Tour career.
Anderson is one of three brothers from Jonesboro, Louisiana, a small bucolic town, who notably all played in the NFL. He is now, among all the places, on the links, where he travels around the country playing PGA qualifier tournaments.
While it’s obvious from the power of his swing that Anderson has the physical assets to play on the road, it’s still a gigantic challenge ahead of him. Anderson has spent his entire life overcoming obstacles. He defied all the odds when he was drafted in the eighth round of the NFL by the Arizona Cardinals in 1993, after playing at Grambling State, an obscure college with an enrollment just under 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 most winning coach in division one in college football history. However, playing for Robinson had its drawbacks.
Robinson maintained a strict rule, in which all veterans on the team, be it a superstar or a bench player, had a chance to play. In Anderson’s case, this resulted in halftime. Robinson applied this measure to give older adults a chance to be seen by scouts.
While this unconventional coaching philosophy was Robinson’s noble, it severely impaired Anderson’s ability to set high numbers as a wide receiver often required of players on teams not on the radar of NFL scouts. .
Anderson’s final 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 geeks, this translates to one touchdown for every three receptions.
These numbers were good enough that Anderson was invited to play in the Hawaiian Hula Bowl, the all-star game of college football, a rarity for players from small shows like Grambling State, despite his heritage to produce college alumni. NFL, whose roster includes Doug Williams, the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl in league history.
Anderson, the 6-6, 215-pound wide receiver with incredible speed, size and length, was rewarded appreciably for his stellar college career when he was drafted in the eighth round by the Arizona Cardinals in 1993. Anderson continued to play for five years in the NFL with 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 subsequently landed awkwardly on his knee, tearing his posterior crucial ligament (PCL). After her football career ended, Anderson successfully transitioned to a modeling career and her life seemed to be on track.
Now the sport of golf is his hobby. If history repeats itself for the comeback boy Anderson, you’ll see him racing on the same green turf as Tiger Woods one day in the not-too-distant future after an illustrious career on the field of play.