It’s easy for some to write off the rest of Adrian Peterson’s career. It’s even easier to for them to say that he’ll struggle during his return to football this season. But let’s not forget, this isn’t Adrian’s first return.
Yes, every football fan remembers Adrian’s iconic 2012 MVP season. Peterson illustrated how special he is by not only returning from the reconstructive knee surgery in only 8 and 1/2 months, but he pushed the boundaries of human nature, physics, and NFL records . He showed his uncanny ability to fight against the grain to prove his doubters wrong. He wore his heart on his sleeve. Nobody thought it was possible, many even said that the Christmas Eve game against the Redskins would be Peterson’s last.
After missing the final 15 games of the season last year, the doubters are back and chatter is becoming louder. “Can Adrian still play in this league at a high level?” “Do the Vikings need to move on to a new running back?” “AP turned 30, he is going to hit the wall.” All of that talk is cute, and kind of funny to Peterson disciples. But now even the Bleacher Report article is helping remind America of how big of freak Adrian Peterson really is.
However, I was never worried. The National Football League has never seen an athlete of Adrian’s caliber — the work ethic, the natural ability, the vision, the pound-for-pound strength, the size/speed combination, the durability*, the beating heart inside of a starving competitor, the anger that he runs with, the ability to produce in a time of need, the ability to ratchet strap a football team to his back, and finally, the freak inside of him.
*Does the ACL injury even count with the way that he returned?
We’ve never seen a predecessor of Adrian Peterson’s breed before. Bo Jackson was close, maybe a better athlete, but he didn’t have the body of work, or long-term success that Adrian has had. He’s not a better football player. Barry Sanders was a phenomenal running back, arguably the best ever, but doesn’t have the running style, personality, or body that Adrian contains. There have been many great running backs in the history of the game, but in my eyes, Adrian stands alone. He’s in his own category. AP literally looks like a science experiment. What attribute/physical feature has a running back had that Adrian doesn’t? Eric Dickerson’s goggles? Walter Payton’s headband? OJ Simpson’s gloves? I mean seriously, he’s got it ALL.
It simply isn’t fair to compare Adrian Peterson to anybody else who’s played the game of football because he’s in a league of his own. He’s had flashes and owns pieces of every great running back that this league has featured. The closest things on Earth we have to Peterson’s football abilities are fictional TV show/movie characters (I’m not kidding) because there is no way that anybody could create Adrian Peterson without using technology. I’m 100% convinced that he’s either any alien, somebody sent down from the clouds, or he’s from the future and used a time traveling device to illustrate the year 3038 for modern humans. For all we know he’s robot created in the basement of Ed Sabol’s home — worth noting that Randy Moss, Deion Sanders, Odell Beckham Jr, and Bo Jackson are rumored to have similar technology wired inside of them.
I will now put forward my best effort to compare Peterson to what he really; a fictional athlete. Watch video links for full perspective.
Walter White — Breaking Bad
Adrian Peterson is the danger. Adrian Peterson is the one who knocks!
First off, this scene from breaking bad couldn’t fit Adrian Peterson any better. And yes, I just compared Adrian Peterson’s dominance in the NFL to an Emmy winning methamphetamine kingpin who makes millions of dollars each year.
Similar to Adrian Peterson, Walter White is the single most feared person in his respected field of choice. Walt doesn’t just have the best drug on the market, he makes it himself. He’s a chef, a mastermind warlord of his craft. Anything that he says goes because it’s his world and everybody else is just trying to survive in it. He strikes fear into his buyers because of his reputation as a cold-blooded killer. However, it’s far from the truth because Walt does everything with his family in the back of his mind, along with his craving to showcase his talents. However, any wrong move by a client, or business partner and Walt will snap.
Walter White is similar to Adrian Peterson because everything he has done in his career has been to help his family (team) — this isn’t a spot to send Adrian flak for his parental choices. No matter what Minnesota has needed, Adrian has tried his absolute hardest. He’s been a commander for the Vikings since his rookie season. A blue-collar athlete whose work ethic is unmatchable. Regardless of the negatives — the injury, the incident, or the Houston arrest — Adrian Peterson still runs an empire. Job title? Best running back in the National Football League.
The scene in Breaking Bad where Walt is laying on the ground below the foundation of his house acting insane has nothing to do with Adrian Peterson, but I love this scene. I will pretend this is the way Adrian Peterson would have reacted if he was Marshawn Lynch and not handed the ball on the one yard line. That’s the difference between Peterson and Lynch. Even Pete Carroll would’ve been like, “Why don’t we just let Adrian take us home? Okay, yup, let’s do that.”
*Carroll calls the play in for Peterson to win him the Super Bowl (without hesitation).*
“Man, that was pretty easy looking!” — Pete Carroll
John Wick — John Wick
“That f—–g nobody is Adrian Peterson.”
“Adrian will come for you and you will do nothing. Because you can do nothing.”
John Wick is a retired legendary assassin who is pulled back into the game only days after his wife dies. As a way to release anger, Wick slips into his old days and goes after the people who have caused him recent pain. Simply put, John Wick is an all-time bad mother shut yo mouth! He won’t stop fighting until what he wants is finished. This is the way Adrian Peterson runs the football — violently, flawlessly executed, with finesse, perfectly timed moves.
All it takes is one opening and Adrian will haunt a defense for an entire offseason. AP already runs the football like he is pissed off, but now the NFL has given him a reason to play with rage. He has something to prove, he’s on a mission.
The best way to fully understand this comparison is to either watch the movie (high recommendation), or at least this short clip below where John Wick is an unstoppable bad, baaad man.
Batman — The Dark Knight (Or any other Batman movie)
“He’s the hero Minnesota deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.”
First off, it’d be great if for now on every Adrian Peterson highlight montage on YouTube was created to The Dark Knight’s theme song. Secondly, this is a fictional character I picked because everybody knows who Batman is.
Everything that Batman means to Gotham City is exactly what Adrian Peterson has meant to Minnesota. He’s a protector of the state, an unbreakable force that holds hope inside every Viking fan’s heart, a humble warrior, and a hero of the youth football players across the state.
You can say what you want about how last season went, but there are two things I’ve learned throughout my life while watching professional sports.
1.) Time and on-field production heal EVERYTHING.
2.) Nobody truly wants to hate a superstar. Especially when that superstar has had fandom like Peterson.