When the Colts signed Mike Adams in 2014, they knew what kind of guy they were getting on the field – a team player who would work tirelessly, give of himself, and make those around him better.
What they didn’t realize was that they were getting a guy who would also work tirelessly off the field.
Mike Adams grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. He speaks often about the neighborhood that surrounded him.
“Mainly, the worst conditions possible.”
On the field, he’s a safety – the last line of defense. Off the field, he’s a safety net – a helping hand to those in need.
During his time in Indianapolis, Mike Adams spent countless hours getting hands-on in the community. He adopted a charter school, Phalen Leadership Academy. He made regular visits there, meeting with the staff and students, supporting and inspiring them in any way he could.
His charisma and million-dollar smile made Adams an instant fan favorite.
Aside from athletic ability, his infectious personality is perhaps his greatest gift. It’s a tool he uses to connect with others and those interactions are what fuel him.
Every year around Thanksgiving, he gathered his teammates and brought dinner to families in need. He didn’t want to drop it off at the school or the community center, he didn’t want to ask them to pick it up – he brought it to their door. He wanted to spend time with the families, hear the stories, hold the children, and hug the mothers.
Writing for Colts Roundup, I followed him as he dragged me into parts of the city I had never seen and opened my eyes to what was there.
When I drive by those same neighborhoods now, the ones that once made me shudder – I think about the families who live there – people I’ve met, smiled at, and shed tears with. I wonder how they’re doing and what we can do to help.
No matter where Mike Adams goes, he makes everyone around him better. He made the Colts better. He made the city of Indianapolis better. He made me better.
And I’ll always be grateful.
Thank you, Mike, for giving of yourself in every possible way, for leaving the community better than you found it, and for doing it all with a smile on your face and love in your heart.
You’ll forever be a Colt and I’ll forever be your fan.