Cam Newton has an open invitation to watch film at Anthony "Spice" Adams' house. But not with Adams — with his wife, Andenika.
"It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes," a laughing Cam Newton said on Wednesday after Charlotte Observer reporter Jourdan Rodrigue asked about Devin Funchess' routes.
For Adams, a former NFL defensive lineman who played nine years in the league, it'd be concerning if the women in his life didn't talk about routes.
"It’s clear to me that he [didn’t] grow up in a household like mine," he told HERO Sports. "My mom loves football. My wife breaks down film with me. She understands protection, where the offensive line is going, type of route a receiver is running, steps a running back is taking.
"I would invite Cam Newton over to my house to watch film with my wife. My wife could be a head coach in the National Football League. She understands schemes, where the pressure is coming from, who’s blitzing and who’s bluffing. You hear Tony Romo in the booth when he can predict where Brees is going to go on this play or where Brady is going. It sounds like my wife."
— ANTHONY ADAMS (@spiceadams) October 3, 2017
These days some of Adams' film study includes his alter ego Cream E. Biggums (aka Hoodie Biggums), Rec Specs and near-illegal short shorts. Growing up an only child, he was always an entertainer, hoping his antics would entice kids to come over. He drew laughs for impersonating friends, teammates and even superiors, including his former coach Joe Paterno
Following his retirement in March 2013 — announced with a hilarious YouTube video — Adams has crafted a little-bit-of-everywhere entertainment career. He appeared in the HBO series Ballers, hosted ABC's The Great American Baking Show and partnered with Giuliana Rancic for NFL Homegating to connect with fans. But it's hysterical characters like Biggums, a step-back-loving rec basketball player with a following of nearly 25,000 on Instagram, that have spurred multiple viral hits and opened up the bigger opportunities.
"I get inspired by a lot of social media influencers and I put my own spin on things," he said. "These characters come out of nowhere. There’s always a guy at the gym who wears the most ridiculous outfit and thinks he can ball but really can’t."
In addition to Cam Newton and Biggums, Adams also chatted about Mitchell Trubisky, Jay Cutler and, despite not having any regrets about his playing career, a desire that his son picks golf over football.
Where does your love for entertaining come from? What’s behind that desire to make people laugh and keep things light?
I tell this story a lot. My mom dropped me off at the high school and said, ‘Go introduce yourself to that coach.’ By the time I turned around, four tire marks were in the street. She was gone.
So I introduced myself to the coach, and he told me to starting running. That became a brotherhood for me. Football is a form of entertainment, which I had from the age of 14 all the way to 32. Now I’m still doing a form of entertainment. It’s always been a big part of my life.
Mitchell Trubisky is making his first career start on Monday. Do you think it’s the right call to have a rookie start at quarterback?
I don’t see anything wrong with it. If it was me playing defensive tackle and I had a string of bad games, they would put somebody else in.
I saw first-hand a rookie starting a quarterback with Alex Smith. Either you win or you learn. If [Trubisky] comes out and doesn’t have the type of game he expects to have, he’s going to learn from this. It’s important for him to get out there and understand how the blitzes are going to look and disguised coverages. If he can do something like he did at North Carolina, Chicago would love him forever.
Your former teammate Jay Cutler (2009-11) retired in May and was set to become a TV analyst before joining the Dolphins in August. Do you think it was hard for him to, first, come back, and second, now play poorly for a struggling team?
Yes! You’re sitting on the couch with a rattle in your hand playing with your kid and someone says, ‘Come play quarterback for us.' You haven’t been looking at any playbook and someone says, ‘Come play football for us for 16 games.'
That’s the hardest thing in the world to do . . . it’s the most demanding position in all of football. For him to go out and be successful [without] time to prepare, it’s tough. Miami was in a desperate situation so they pulled the trigger on it.
If somebody offered me $10 million and I hadn’t had any training, I’m going to jump on that too. If someone said, ‘Go play punter for $10 million, you wouldn’t do it?' I'll play any position you want me to play for $10 million.
In 2013 you said, "I don't want my son to play [football]." Do you still feel that way?
I don’t want him to play early. When he gets to high school, it’s going to be his decision and I know he’s going to want to play. If it was up to me, I would have him play golf. My wife’s grandad is 100 years old. He plays golf right now.
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t know what’s going to hurt. I don’t know if my back is going to hurt. I don’t know if my ankle is going to hurt — or my shoulders, my elbows or neck. I don’t want him to feel like that every morning.
I’m 37 years old and my body feels like I’m 60. I don’t want him to feel like that. I want him to get up and start his day. I think golf isn’t as hard on your body as running into another 350-pound man.
Does that mean you have any regret playing football?
None. I have no regret.
When I first started it was a brotherhood for me. As an only child, it was people coming together from all walks of life . . . for one common goal. You learn so much from people. You learn to be accountable and punctual. People depend on you to trust for you to be where you need to be. There’s nothing like that in the world. No regrets.
You appeared as yourself on Ballers and said you loved it and have a newfound respect for what actors do. Do you see more acting in your future?
Absolutely. I love it. I like to work. I’m a nose guard. Nose guards bring their lunch pail to work every day. We do all the dirty work and take on the double teams so guys like Brian Urlacher can make plays. All the fantastic plays you see linebackers make are because of their defensive line.
You’re on set 12 or 14 hours a day, or however long it takes. Reading and memorizing your lines and bringing them to life is just like a playbook. I try to relate everything in my life to my experiences. You read a playbook, understand what’s going on and go on the field to perform it in your own style. It’s the same way with reading your lines. Read and memorize your lines and bring them to life on set.
When things change and they say, ‘Don’t say your line like this, say them like that,’ it’s the same as on the field. You think a team is going I-formation and they shift to an empty backfield. What do you do? You adjust. It’s the same thing.