Steve Smith Sr. Talks Working at Taco Bell, His First Days as a Retiree and More

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Former Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith has a bright future ahead of him following his recent retirement from the NFL. This morning, the potential Hall of Famer took to the airwaves with ESPN’s Adam Schefter to talk about his past, present and future now that he’s out of the game.

The conversation happened on Schefter’s new “Know Them from Adam” podcast. As one might expect, the transition to retirement after 16 seasons has been somewhat jarring for the 37-year-old Smith. “One of the things that’s very interesting that I’ve had to process is, the last 20 years, really, I’ve had a schedule and a regimen telling [me] where I need to be, what time I need to be there and then, even in the offseason, what my time limit is of doing what I prefer to do,” he told Schefter.

Asked whether he’s now lazing around and sleeping, Smith declined, saying he’s been busy with his family. “My schedule now is different, meaning it’s at the mercy of the kids’ schedule,” he said, using his daughter’s upcoming volleyball tournament in Myrtle Beach as an example.

In classic retiree fashion, one of his first personal goals is to perform better on the links. “Right now, I would be considered a golfer that would be damaging the golf course. I would prefer not to put as much divots and holes in the golf course as I do now,” he said.

As FOX Sports pointed out, Smith also delved into some of his earlier work before he was paid to play football. He noted his first job was actually working as a cashier at Taco Bell in his hometown of Los Angeles. He said he originally took the position in high school just to pay for his prom, but kept it through junior college before he received a scholarship to play football at the University of Utah.

“They let me thrive and learn,” he said of the experience. He added, “I learned a lot of hard work that I already learned from my folks, but it gave me perspective of how hard people work. And sometimes the job that you see yourself in and the job you’re actually doing, you have to make the best of it. And even in that business, it’s a hard business, but with the right path and willingness, you become a manager.”

Given Smith’s intense work ethic during his time playing for the Carolina Panthers and the Ravens, it’s no surprise that he has plenty of respect for the working individual. “A lot of people that work. just like in the league, they work their way up, and the only way you get it is not if you know someone, but with hard work,” he said.

Smith and Schefter covered a lot of other ground on the 40-minute podcast, including Smith’s love for giving back to those in need, cooking and how he believes money affects human behavior. Click here to listen to the interview.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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