Some Adrian Peterson apologists thought former NFL safety Tim Watson lacked the stature to write a critical open letter to the, at this moment, star Vikings’ running back.
Pouting and likely Cowboys-bound — now that Tony Romo has restructured his contract to free up $12 million — Peterson has complained the Vikings didn’t guard his back when it was exposed after he was charged with child abuse for a severe spanking dispensed to a 4-year-old son.
In a posting that can be read in full at http://tinyurl.com/lvmqmwk, Watson, in part, wrote: “I implore you and your wife [Ashley Peterson] to take the same empathetic position toward the Minnesota Vikings organization that you’d desire. Put yourself in their and the NFL’s shoes as it relates to your case, and utilizing genuine intellectual honesty, what exactly would you have done differently toward you that amounts to fair/unfair treatment? I believe that if you are able to truly release yourself from emotional hurt, and decide logically, you’ll discover the Minnesota Vikings organization is not your enemy!”
When reached by phone in Atlanta last week, the motivational speaker, lifestyle coach and founding chairman of the UPLIFT Community Fellowship ministry, whose NFL career was cut short by injuries, said he’s gotten a lot of “Who is Tim Watson?” chatter. The piece clearly struck a nerve as Watson has counted 80,000 hits, making this open letter the most viewed posting on the sports blog started a couple of months ago.
“People are so messed up in their value system,” Watson said of those who are griping, You’re not a Hall of Famer so you have no right to criticize someone who will be. “When I die I want to be a Hall of Fame man, son, brother, father, husband, friend,” levelheaded Watson told me.
For sure, Hall of Fame Man is not an accolade that matters to some sports fans who can justify all kind of outrageous behavior from athletes.
“Somebody is guiding that young man in the wrong direction,” Watson told me in an interview that went almost two hours. We naturally discussed the Ray Rice domestic assault case, a seminal moment for the NFL that became the harsh lens through which Peterson’s case was viewed. “Go back and look at what happened to Michael Vick for cruelty to animals. He had a contract with his team, he had a contract with Nike. He was dropped like a piece of garbage for cruelty to dogs and spent almost two years in prison,” said Watson. “Your team was going to let Peterson play until the NFL stepped in. Never did a player not have Peterson’s back, never did a coach not have his back. I guess he’s mad at Vikings COO Kevin Warren.” Watson called Peterson’s attitude to the Vikings “so contrary to logic for me I had to say something. … Adrian’s stance is actually an example of a problem deeper than Adrian.”
As for his post (and his follow-up: http://tinyurl.com/q4t54zo), Watson asks that people consider the message more than the messenger.
“Who the hell is Tim Watson da-da-da-da da, we can go through all of that. OK. Does what was written by me make any sense? That’s what we need to get to because what Adrian’s saying does not. There is not a human with any iota of intelligence who can look back over the history of this particular situation and say, ‘I agree with you Adrian.’ ”
In his blog, Watson wrote that “Were it not for the fact that you are Adrian Peterson, and still have immense physical talent, it is highly likely that [as a result] of this situation … a lesser player would no longer have a spot in the NFL with any team. … Neither the NFL, nor the Vikings caused this to occur. This is a matter yet to be decided because of a mistake you made, not them. April 15th is just around the corner as the date given by the NFL for earliest consideration of your return.”
We’ll soon know whether Peterson will return to the Vikings like a man or run away like a little boy.
New knee for Norm
Former Sen. Norm Coleman limped by as artist Shawn McCann was painting a floor mural Monday at the IDS for the 100th anniversary of the Minneapolis Foundation.
“I’ve got a new knee,” Coleman told me. I told him my ortho doc has been trying to put new knees on me for 20 years. “Wait another 20,” he advised.
Minneapolis Foundation PR consultant Teresa McFarland of McFarland Communications told Coleman she assumed the new knee was bionic. “Like all my parts,” joked Coleman, as he hobbled away in what belatedly struck me as a track suit. Have I ever seen Coleman not wearing a suit? Coleman was also noticeably thinner. Most people gain weight after surgery that makes it difficult to exercise, but not Coleman.
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