Note: Before I begin this post, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Luke Sims and I am the editor/Lead Writer for Black and Teal. I grew up in Minnesota watching Packers and Vikings games for years and years. My parents are from Wisconsin, my older brother roots for the Lions, and my younger brother roots for the Bears. While it has been difficult to watch the Vikings struggle to rebuild since the early Denny Green days, I still take a peek at the games from my current home in Montana.
Stumbling across the interwebs today, I noticed Sports Illustrated threw out a round table discussion between the Jags’ Maurice Jones-Drew, Adrian Peterson, and the Falcons’ Michael Turner. As much as I am a big MJD fan and Michael Turner fan, it is so tough to not love Adrian Peterson. I cringed at his early career fumbles as much as the next guy, but as he has developed he has cemented himself as one of (if not, the) best backs in the league. And with his development he has matured immensely.
That maturity was very well displayed when contrasted with MJD and Turner.
While both MJD and Turner are responsible adults and are widely regarded as mature both on the field and off, the devotion and focus that AP had was beyond anything the other running backs talked about. When asked about most prized possessions, AP talked about his deep respect and love he has for his brother who passed at age eight. The picture of his brother is kept safe, a memento and cherished piece of his life. His pre-game ritual revolves around becoming focused yet being flexible (“going with the flow” actually) and praying – I won’t pretend to know whether it’s to crush the Packers or just not to blow out his knee.
While he talked about his life and let SI really get to know who he is, the quirks and less depth in the responses of the other running backs really set Peterson apart. He doesn’t prize a ’69 Camaro or a rolex watch, there’s no wacky pre-game order of things that has to be done just right, and according to the article he was the only one laughing and (apparently) relaxing during this interview.
AP has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately due to the arrest, but when looking at the guy it is so tough to be hard on him. He’s a class act through and through, lives up to his potential, walks the walk and talks the talk, and above all else he is down to earth. AP isn’t some superstar that lets it all go to his head, he’s the kind of guy who breaks his back to make sure that the team comes first.
It has been apparent for a long time, but every time I get a glimpse at the deeper AP he continues to amaze.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims