PATERSON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Super Bowl XLVIII was just about 48 hours away Friday afternoon, and one Denver Bronco from New Jersey claimed he will start his own victory parade if his team wins the game.
As CBS 2’s Otis Livingston reported, for many players, there have been twists, turns, bumps and potholes on the road to the Super Bowl. Some put those experiences behind them, while others feed off them. And Broncos safety Mike Adams will be more than happy to travel the road back to his rough past – literally.
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New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is a native of Paterson, and helped take the Giants to a Super Bowl victory in 2012. Adams grew up on the rough streets of the 4th Ward of Paterson, and will try to do the same with the Broncos.
Adams said growing up in Paterson “was tough, but you know, that’s one of the things that made me the competitor that I am. It made me go out there and want something so much more.”
And it was not easy for Adams growing up in a crime-ridden, drug-infested neighborhood that saw murders.
Adams never knew his father. His mother died of cancer when he was a freshman in college.
But the 10-year NFL veteran said the experiences helped mold him into the person he is now.
“I’m proud of Paterson,” he said. “I’m proud of the way I grew up. I’m proud of the way I got to where I am today.”
Adams also left an indelible mark at Passaic Tech High School in Wayne, N.J., where he led the football team to a championship in 1998. He starred on the team as defensive back and quarterback.
That was over 15 years ago, but his legacy carries on in a big way.
“We have a wall of fame, and every morning I walk past, I look at his picture. I’m like, ‘If Mike can do it, anybody can do it,’” said Passaic Tech High School senior running back Thomas Jefferson. “He drives me to reach that level.”
Adams made the very bold statement this week that if the Broncos win on Sunday, he will walk from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford all the way back to his grandmother’s house in Paterson.
“I could do a little charity event or something; raise some money for the youth,” he said.
The trek would amount to 9.2 miles. CBS 2 made the trip driving, and it was a treacherous commute from Route 3 onto the Garden State Parkway, to Route 19.
Adams would also wear his equipment for the walk.
“They would probably think I’m just some crazy nutjob walking in pads down the street,” Adams said.
“I was trying to figure out where I could meet up with him too, to, like I say, ‘Hey, do you need a ride, Michael?’” said Passaic Tech High School athletic director Sharon Hughes.
But Adams and his representatives have spoken to officials about a safer route. And he may even hop into a car after he grabs a bite to eat at Red Robin.
“I can hang a right on 21, take 21 down; I can cut through Passaic, go down Main Street,” he said. “I’ll be all right.”
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