DENVER (CBS4) – New Jersey native Mike Adams had tears in his eyes on the field after the Broncos beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
“I’m going home. New Jersey, baby,” the ecstatic Broncos safety told a CBS4 crew as the confetti fell on the team during the celebration at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Then came the strange part.
“When we win I’m going to keep my equipment on and I’m walking to my house!”
If Adams does walk home, it will be to the town of Patterson, not far from East Rutherford where MetLife Stadium is.
Adams told reporters on Super Bowl Media Day Tuesday that he grew up in a rough neighborhood in Patterson, and that it shaped him early on.
“Growing up in a neighborhood where there’s killings, there’s drugs, there’s drug use and all that, you had to have a strong mind, not just be strong physically,” Adams said. “You just have to overcome all that to do what you want to do.”
And what Adams wanted to do was play football.
“He wasn’t the best athlete, but he was just fast,” said Jerrel Adams, Mike’s big brother. “And a lot stronger and more determined than most of us.”
Adams told reporters this week that he tried to be like Jerrel growing up.
“I always strived to be better than him. And I told him that a couple of days ago that I looked up to him, and that I appreciate all the hard work that he has done, because he always made the one-handed catches, he was hard to tackle,” Adams said.
Adams was good enough to lead his high school — the Passaic County Technical Institute Bulldogs — to a state championship, and with a win on Sunday he could bring back another title to Patterson.
“He said he’s walking home after the game. And I said I’m going to be right there with you, bro,” Jerrel said. “Just let me know what exit we’re getting off on.”
The Broncos will play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
– Prepared for CBSDenver.com by Jesse Sarles