by Liane Angerman, Associate Editor

    Stevie Baggs Jr:

    Embracing the oncoming dusk of his career as a highly awarded and remunerated defensive end and linebacker, Stevie Baggs Jr. has learned to trust the ups and downs of life.

    The Calgary Stampeders’ new recruit is no stranger to the business of football, but he is new to the corporate world. With an international degree in business from Bethune-Cookman University at Daytona Beach, Florida, Stevie Baggs is embarking on a corporate extension to his high-profile athletic and philanthropic endeavors as a pro footballer.

    After being a Blue Bomber, a Ti-Cat, a Roughrider and an Eskimo, Baggs has joined the business end of the Calgary Stampeders to make it his fifth CFL team. With abundant NFL experience (Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, and Jacksonville) and many moves under his football girdle, Baggs is excited about his first-ever winter in Canada. Calling Calgary home at this stage in his illustrious career is appealing to him.

    He explains, “I felt a tug when I learned that Calgary is one of the top five cities to live in … there’s a reason why [I have this opportunity]. Maybe it has a lot to do with my passion for the game, [and I] want to show my team I want to be here in this city—and stop moving around.”
    When asked about how Calgary differs in culture and dynamics from other places he’s resided in, Baggs asserts, “Calgary has big city mentality, but you still have hospitality and a country feel as well.”

    Growing up in Fort Lauderdale, spending time in Georgia, and shooting a movie in Alabama (When I Hold My Ears—to be released this summer) have provided Baggs with insight into what it takes to become successful despite fighting the odds. No stranger to the harshness of being fired and rehired, Baggs takes a soulful approach to being “released and relaunched” in response to the uncontrollable forces that drive professional sports and find him renewing his spirituality and trust in the workings of the universe.

    Baggs, with his mother, Lola Robinson, has launched the CETA Foundation (Creating Empowerment Through Autonomy) at www
    .cetafoundation.org/home, an organization to empower and enlighten youth. Baggs performs classroom lectures, contributes at charitable events, and uses the worldwide Web to spread his enlightenment to others. “Knowledge is not knowledge unless you share it with someone else,” he says.

    The first of his family to earn a formal university degree, Baggs feels passionate about changing the thoughts, impressions, and stigmas that instill negativity into society and culture today. Drawing upon personal challenges, Baggs takes heart in repositioning stereotypes and negative phrases, and he is well known for the spontaneous spawning of acronyms aimed at transitioning how people think: The T.H.U.G. movement (Totally Humble Under God) is an extension of how Baggs typically alters a negative connotation into a positive one. His nickname “Shakespeare” was derived from his premium athletic ability to make copious numbers of plays on the field (www.steviebaggsjr.com).

    Embracing the oncoming dusk of his career as a highly awarded and remunerated defensive end and linebacker, Baggs states, “(I) want to finish my career in a place … where people understand what giving is …” And to him, Calgary is that place.

    A perfect fit to his yet-to-be-used international business degree, Baggs is now an executive at the Goliath Group of Companies in Calgary. As a special projects manager, he strives to improve the protocols of disaster and the restoration response of the organization, all the while giving back to those who need his undying desire to make a difference.

    “I love when you can leverage your stock—and evolve.” For Baggs, it’s all about accountability and sharing your seeds of knowledge to be nurtured by all those you encounter.

    With ethics at the forefront of seemingly all he does, Baggs is also starring in the upcoming feature movie, Getting Even, in which three pro athletes are (ironically) jousted by their wives for having given too much to their careers.

    With an autobiography in the works, an ambassadorship of an elite water product (www.VictoryH2O.com), and dreams of corporate successes, Stevie “Shakespeare” Baggs Jr. seems to have mastered the skills to overcome challenges, all the while proving to those less likely to succeed that “less is truly more because there’s a lesson in it!”

    Follow Stevie on Twitter “@steviebaggsjr.

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