Monday, September 15, 2014

What to do about Adrian Peterson's mess?

This Adrian Peterson situation is an absolute disaster.  After being charged with essentially child abuse (whatever the official legal jargon actually is escapes me right now) on Friday, it's been a whirlwind of sadness, confusion, and people on twitter advertising their idiocy in broad daylight.  It's a situation I would classify as "icky," and I can't wait for it to be over.  

I'm not happy with how I've been able to compartmentalize and separate the generational talent Adrian Peterson and the alleged, now serial (after today's report of another child "disciplining") child abuser Adrian Peterson.  I think I land somewhere in the middle of all the different viewpoints I've heard in the past few days.  I'm unhappy with that.  There are the people that are loudly voicing their disgust with our fallen star (these are the ones that are correct) and there are people who are essentially saying that Adrian Peterson shouldn't be in trouble for giving his child a glorified spanking (these are the ones that are incorrect).  

When I sit down and think and read reports about what he allegedly did, I'm sad and disgusted.  I'm alarmed with the cavalier manner in which he seems to think this type of punishment for his children is ok, how he got them and how it's a cultural thing.  However, when I get away from actually thinking about the brutality, I start drifting towards thinking about how this is all going to blow over, and he's going to be back out there 8 yards deep before we know it.  I was justifying my desires for the Vikings to be good and how Peterson helps make that happen by saying that Peterson isn't necessarily vicious, but ignorant.  I'm wrong to do that.

It's not going to blow over.  I imagine this situation is similar to someone getting a DUI; you don't get pulled over the first time you do it.  He's *probably* been doing things like this for a while.  One report stated that his child said his old man has a "whooping room" and "likes belts and switches."  Good God.  Another report came out today in which he gave a different child a black eye.  The whole thing is cringeworthy, especially considering he lost a child a year ago to child abuse at the hands of another man.  Despite the Vikings tone-deaf reinstatement of Peterson this afternoon (a move that came from an ownership that wasn't present at the press conference, no less), I would be surprised if he suited up in purple ever again.

This leads me back to the dark place as a fan that allows me to hope he plays again and we all forget about this and he rushes for a lot of yards and we win the Super Bowl and all is well in paradise again.  What a dehumanizing way to look at sports.  It's pretty gross to think that I would probably be a pretty happy guy if this all went away and we started winning.  People's views on things like this are warped, and that's troubling.  It wouldn't be the first time people looked the other way when a legend showed that he isn't deserving of such a (for lack of a better term) God-like status.  Kirby Puckett did some pretty disturbing things to women in his day, yet he's regarded with the likes of Paul Bunyan around here.  He has a statue and there's a street named after him.  I wish we as a society could quit lionizing these sports heroes of ours.  There's no reason we should do this.  I support the Vikings because of where I grew up, not because of Adrian Peterson.  We root for laundry as Jerry Seinfeld once said.  We shouldn't look the other way (like I was starting to do) because the person in question wears our color laundry.

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