A long journey to Jersey, plus 10 miles

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
6:45
PM ET
NEWARK, N.J. -- If Mike Adams walks home after the game, he won't be alone.

[+] EnlargeMike Adams
Adam Hunger/USA TODAY SportsBroncos safety Mike Adams, from nearby Paterson, N.J., is sure to have company if he takes a victorious stroll home after the Super Bowl.
The Denver Broncos safety said Tuesday he has received so much reaction from his half-joking proclamation that he suspects there might be a "mini-parade" if he decides to make the 10-mile trek from MetLife Stadium to his childhood home in Paterson.

"My Twitter and my [Instagram] were blowing up," said Adams, who declared after the AFC Championship Game that he'd walk home after Super Bowl XLVIII if they beat the Seattle Seahawks. "My brother said, 'If you're going to walk, I'm going to walk with you.' The reaction has been crazy."

It could be a scene out of "Forrest Gump," one man leading his flock -- sans the shaggy beard, of course.

Adams acknowledged that it was a joke, but he kept playing along on Media Day. Asked if he intended to follow through, he replied, "Are you going to have your sneakers on? Come and see."

Later, he said with a smile, "Now I have to put up or shut up."

You have to love the Adams story. He grew up in a three-bedroom house in gritty Paterson, which wouldn't have been so bad except he was one of seven children under the same roof. His mother died of cancer when he graduated from the University of Delaware, but he comes from a big, close family, and they were together Monday night. Adams returned to Paterson for a dinner of chicken, rice and green beans at his grandmother's house, where they celebrated the Super Bowl.

"When I first heard the Super Bowl was in New Jersey, I actually joked about it," Adams said. "I said, 'Watch, now I'll finally get to the Super Bowl now that it's at Giants Stadium.' Now it's a reality. Now I'm here. Now I'm playing in Giants Stadium for a Super Bowl."

It has been a long journey, one that may extend another 10 miles.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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