I loved and marveled at what Adrian Peterson did a year ago, rushing for over 2000 yards and returning to, and dominating football less than 9 months after a terrible knee injury. Yes, it’s true I drafted him much higher than most in fantasy leagues so I had a rooting interest. I believed in him. I believed he was a freak of nature.
Others may believe it was more than genetics. Others think performance enhancing drugs were involved.
I do think that is a possibility. It would be foolish to just assume any pro athlete is completely clean or incapable of cheating. How often do we have to be fooled? I am typically an optimist, but sadly when it comes to PED’s and pro sports, I’ve become suspicious of everyone.
I don’t think that is wrong. I do think that is sad. But it’s not AD’s fault. It’s not Kobe Bryant’s fault. It’s not RG3’s fault. They all may be super-freaks that work really hard to come back from injuries. They are suspects by association.
The PED user is no longer just Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Guys with bulging biceps and enormous forearms. PED users come in all shapes and sizes. Rashard Lewis, tall and lean. Ryan Braun, slim and fit. Melky Cabrera, pudgy. Josh Gordon, big and fast.
Anyone that does the extraordinary is a suspect. Anyone that recovers too quickly from injury is a suspect. Anyone that plays sports, is a suspect.
That doesn’t mean I go, or you should go around just pointing fingers and dismissing everything. It does mean we shouldn’t be surprised by anything, and can’t just pick and choose who we should assume innocent and guilty.
I admire the way All Day has dealt with the scrutiny. In an interview with USA Today Sports Peterson said he takes it as a compliment when somebody accuses him of using PED’s.
“Seriously. Especially with the amount of work I put in,” the NFL MVP said. “Guys say that to me, or if I hear someone saying that; it makes me feel good.
“When you know you don’t do it, and someone’s saying you do, you’re like, ‘Wow. They think I’m on HGH? I’m doing that good? Well, hoo! Thank you, Jesus!’ It’s a compliment. I don’t get mad about it at all.”
I think that is a great attitude. If you aren’t guilty of anything, then don’t get mad or worry about what people say. Understand that all the wrong-doing in sports has jaded fans and media. It will take perhaps a generation or longer for us to recover and stop talking about drugs. At the end of the day, if you are clean, and stay clean, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
You can’t control every opinion. Adrian Peterson knows that, and he should take it as a compliment that what he is doing seems beyond human. It will only add to his legend as long as he stays clean.