Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adrian Peterson: Out of Touch

Adrian Peterson is one of if not the top running back in football. There's little doubt that the Vikings will be a better team next season with AP as their starting running back, and for that reason the Vikings continue to insist they won't trade him.

I don't think the Vikings are as against trading him as they've indicated publicly, but rather I think no teams stepped up and made an offer the Vikings deemed fair. If Dallas wants to give up multiple first round picks, I think you'd see the Vikings moving on from their talented star. Using AP's cap money to get two solid defensive starters would have been ideal, but at this point in the off-season any money they save by trading AP is unlikely to go to another free agent. There just aren't very many good players available at this point.

No other team will give up even one first round pick for a 30-year-old running back making $13 million this coming season, regardless of the career AP has had. And the Vikings feel he adds more value this season than any second round pick would. That's understandable.

What isn't understandable is how poorly Adrian Peterson has handled the whole situation. He was accused of beating his son with a switch, in case you've been living under a rock for the past year. The Vikings originally planned to suspend Peterson for one game following the incident. They reinstated him after he missed the second game of the season, but then the Ray Rice video dominated the headlines and suddenly Adrian Peterson's problem was also a bigger issue. The Vikings (either on their own or more likely from NFL pressure) decided AP would miss more than one game. That eventually became the entire season, and rumors persisted that the Vikings key attorney was pushing to keep AP off the field all season.

That last bit of rumor seems to be what's angered Adrian Peterson the most. He feels the Vikings left him out to dry, and refused to defend their own player. He wants to go somewhere he feels someone has his back. At least that's the way him and his agent want you to think the situation has played out.

But let's back up to last summer, when Adrian Peterson tells Jerry Jones on a random phone call he wants to play for the Cowboys. This was before any of the child abuse stuff had become public. AP was mad this time because the Vikings had fired Leslie Frazier despite Peterson clearly wanting him to come back.

If you're keeping track, that's two times AP didn't like the resulting outcome and immediately acted like a 12-year-old. Despite being the highest paid running back in football, AP also expected to have a voice in the coaching search? Players are generally terrible at knowing who to acquire and even worse at knowing what coaches will be successful. 

For example, everyone knows LeBron James has been controlling the Cavs personnel moves since he went back to Cleveland. The Cavs are winning because of LeBron James basketball skills, but they've really hurt their future because of his poor player acquisition skills. (James would deny he had anything to do with roster moves, I think, but the moves the team made were ALL cleared with James. He has a ton of say.) KG was horrible at bringing in guys he wanted in his prime in Minnesota.

Players play, and other people do the other stuff.

Anyway, back to AP. The reaction to his court case may have been a bit reactionary from the general public. Sure, he beat his kid and really shouldn't have done it. Had he shown he learned from his mistake and truly felt remorse, the public outcry likely would've calmed down. After all, he was punishing his son for BEATING UP A GIRL. That's a good thing. He's teaching his son to treat women right. Unfortunately, he again showed he's not the sharpest tool in the shed by using violence to teach his son violence is wrong. AP is also one of the strongest men on the planet, so using a switch on a 4-year-old boy seems beyond excessive.

The situation was not caused by the Minnesota Vikings legal team. Rick Spielman didn't tell AP to beat his son. The resulting outcome of AP's criminal case (him being suspended all season) was excessive, I think. But that also isn't the Vikings fault. Sure, they may have had a hand in helping the NFL keep him off the field, but the Vikings had no control over the public outcry the Ray Rice video had on NFL violence issues.

AP doesn't understand that it seems. Everyone's out to get him. That's ridiculous, of course, but nobody ever accused an NFL running back of being a genius.

That looks and sounds great, until you get to the third to last paragraph! Peterson tweeted that immediately following the news breaking that he'd beat his son. He takes blame for what he did, admits it's wrong... and then a few paragraphs later he defends his actions by saying he was disciplined that way and it's what helped him become who he is.

His next tweet on the subject:

Umm... okay? A polygraph does nothing in this situation. AP beat his son with a switch. AP admitted it, but said he felt it was necessary discipline. Nobody felt Peterson was lying, just that he was horribly out of touch with the way the world works. His polygraph tweet only proved that.


I actually agree, in general, that most media outlets are terrible. But despite AP saying "just in general" it's clear he's upset about the coverage his child beating case received.  He also was angry the media was reporting on his children out of wed-lock. Again, I agree. It was blown out of proportion. What he does in his private life, as a single man, is his own business. Until he beat his child. Life is NEVER fair. Bad things happen all the time. And it's really difficult to not see that Adrian Peterson brought the problems on himself.

Scattered around all of his twitter complaints are bible quotes and scripture. I'd just like to tell him that it might not be the best idea to quote a man who (allegedly) sacrificed his only son when you're dealing with a case involving beating your own son.

Peterson isn't a regular citizen. People aren't just going to stop following him because they don't like his tweets. Some might, but in general Americans need to know what celebrities are doing at all times. They can't click the unfollow button on famous people if their life depended on it. In his defense, this tweet seemed to be more regarding the Mike Brown issues, but he obviously meant it for everyone.

This was in regards to Darren Wilson not getting indicted for shooting Mike Brown. It's not wrong, and it's not even that stupid in a vacuum. But at a time when the whole country was focused on racial issues and police violence, AP took the time to remind all of his followers that he was indicted for beating a child. In his mind his punishment was unjust, but in the public eye he just looks silly.

Despite AP creating his own legal troubles and making the Vikings organization look bad in the process, he still refused to accept really any blame for his actions. If he's using his mistake as a way to get what he wanted last summer (to get out of Minnesota), fine. It might work. But it seems like he's really mad at the Vikings front office for his own mistakes, and the team not doing enough to help him.

Ideally, AP will play for the Vikes, have another great season, and the team will trade him next off-season for a solid return. Most people seem to think if he plays for the team this year, the issues will be water under the bridge and the team will keep him. I'm not so sure. With a way too big cap number for a seemingly useless position in today's game, the Vikings would be better off spending his money elsewhere and becoming a passing oriented offense. And if Dallas sputters out and misses the playoffs, AP might be the savior Jerry Jones wants.

Update: 2 days after this post AP tweeted another weird and wrong rant. Someone get this guy a PR team fast.



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