- Free Agency
Darvin Adams is waiting patiently, just like every member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, while the Canadian Football League contemplates options to salvage the 2020 season.
But waiting doesn’t also mean sitting still for Adams, the veteran Bombers’ wide receiver, who has used this time during the COVID-19 pandemic to partner with ‘Fan Arch’ to launch a clothing line of hats, sweatshirts, hoodies and iPhone cases featuring his ‘DA1’ logo, as well as merchandise with ‘Canton’ – including an ‘A1’ logo – as a salute to his hometown in Mississippi.
“It’s just another way to make some money,” began Adams in a conversation with bluebombers.com this week. “It’s going well, especially around the hometown. There are a lot of people wearing it, a lot of people asking about it and where to find it.
“Never forget where you come from.”
Adams is up to more than that, too, as he is now busy with a remodelling/home renovation business that has become his off-season passion.
Yes, some can create with paint or music, Adams loves to build.
“I do a lot of things and I’d rather find things to do rather than just sit around waiting. And so this is a business I’ve invested in,” he said. “My great uncles, they’ve been doing carpentry work for years. I can remember as a kid knocking nails out of wood for them. Now I’m laying tiles, laminate floors, hardwood, plumbing, remodelling bathrooms. All kinds of things of that nature.
“It’s rewarding to see after you tear something down you can put it back together. It’s exciting to me. I really like doing it. This kind of work is never going to go out of style. People are always remodelling their houses or getting their floors or bathrooms redone.
“I’m glad I’ve got my hands in it now.”
Now 30, Adams said the postponement of training camps and the start of the 2020 CFL season should be an eye opener for those players who haven’t yet thought about life after football.
“It’s hard right now for players,” he said. “It’s hard because everyone just wants to do their job. But what this situation has shown is that you can’t just be dependent on football to take care of yourself and your family. You need to have something else so that in a time like this, it’s not depressing.”
A father to three daughters – Ariel and Darri, both 10, and six-year-old Kaylen – Adams will be home for the summer for the first time in eight years. The opportunity to stay busy and be around his kids is one silver-lining to the current situation.
Still, catching passes is another passion and after signing a three-year contract extension in February, he is eager to get back to Winnipeg and into the Bombers’ clubhouse. His 2019 was admittedly a drop off, as he followed up 1,000-yard seasons in 2017 and 2018 with 47 catches for 549 yards and five touchdowns before playing his best ball in the push to the Grey Cup last November.
And in choosing to re-sign this winter, he stressed to his agent that he wanted to retire as a Bomber.
“I’m ready to come back there and play football at any moment,” said Adams. “At any point if they say ‘We’re coming back’, that’s fine with me. I’m ready for a season, no matter when we start.
“What I miss most is just being around the guys, hanging out and just having the chance to kick it. But I’ve also thought about how much I appreciate the game. This pandemic does make you think about life after football, but sometimes you just get stuck in the moment when you’re not thinking about those things.
“It’s not just times like this, but in any regular season where an injury could take you out at any moment. You’ve got to respect the game and not take it for granted.”