“On Monday, they failed again; to consume ESPN’s coverage over those few hours was to feel intermittently insane. It was almost real life, but not exactly. In real life, Adrian Peterson pled no-contest to child abuse, and child abuse is a particularly upsetting, stigma-carrying crime to commit, and probably something you should acknowledge in a meaningful way, even if it’s once.
In the Monday Night Uncanny Valley, everyone is excited to watch him play football again, and why he wasn’t playing is secondary, or tertiary, or quaternary, or quinary. Do you want to hear the truth, or do you want to see me shed some tacklers?”
I watched the game Monday night for two reasons. I had no rooting interest for either team, nor any fantasy football reason to watch, but I wanted to see former Buckeye Carlos Hyde, and see how ESPN handled Adrian Peterson. As soon as I realized that Chris Berman was calling the game I should have known the answer to the latter. Has he ever made a single comment that would make the NFL look bad? He has to be the media’s biggest NFL apologist, and as such he really can’t be taken seriously when he does talk about an issue like this, not that he actually did talk about it!
Look, Peterson sat out his suspension, and has gone through the court system. He, like any other person, deserves to be able to go back to make a living however he chooses after paying for his crime, and I hope what he says about learning to be a better father is true. But can we not talk about his return as if he were returning from injury? In fact, can we not compare his return to the Vikings to Navorro Bowman’s return for the 49ers? One guy sat a year after tearing two ligaments in his knee, the other as punishment for beating his kid. Those are not comparable.