Idol Chatter

The Rubik’s Cube is a fun puzzle that has confused the minds of millions. How do we exactly get all the nine colors on to one side? How do we do that six times?

Jets rookie lineman Calvin Anderson is a master at solving the Rubik’s Cube, able to complete the puzzle in various ways, including behind his back or blindfolded.

In middle school, he saw a football teammate solve a Rubik’s Cube, and it piqued his curiosity. Anderson was able to pick up the Rubik’s Cube with ease.

“I loved how it was a combination of hand-eye coordination,” he said, “and keeping your mind buzzing the whole time.”

During his football journey, Anderson kept his talent close to him. When he heard about the football team’s freshmen talent show at Rice, he decided he wanted to go big.

“Everybody knew I could do the Rubik’s Cube, so it was going to be lame if I just went up there and did the Rubik’s Cube,” he said. “So I took like seven or eight months before I even got to Rice and I was trying to think, what could I do? I wanted to shake it up. I wanted to do something with the Rubik’s Cube — how could I make it different?”

That’s when he first taught himself how to do it without looking. Watching his grandfather solve Sudoku puzzles gave him the idea of using the numbers 1-9 to help him remember where colors were on the Rubik’s Cube.

“Each color is correlated to another side with the numbers and the colors. So, if you see the colors and you transfer them to numbers — I’ve always been good with numbers. I’m not a big picture guy, but I can remember numbers. Numbers are easy to me — when you fold the cube back together, every time you mix it up, the numbers are always correlated the same way.”

“It’s interesting to me. It helps me with the way I learn,” he concluded.

He has estimated that he has solved over a thousand cubes, maybe even in the thousands of cubes. He owns 30 of them himself and brought two of them with him to training camp over the summer.

“I probably need to get some more, actually,” Anderson said. “I have a little dresser (at home) that has a drawer with a bunch of Rubik’s Cubes.”