Top 12 Minnesota sports stories of 2012: Adrian Peterson

  • Updated: December 31, 2012 - 8:43 PM

The running back might have exceeded everyone's expectations but his own.

2012 is over -- and now, so too is our countdown of the top 12 Minnesota sports stories -- positive or negative -- from the year. We have been running through the list for the past couple of weeks. No. 1 was already a foregone conclusion; Sunday only cemented things. Also, take note: On Wednesday, we will take a (brief) one-day look at 13 potential local sports newsmakers in 2013. But first, here's No. 1:

Adrian Peterson's amazing comeback season.

On Jan. 1, 2012, Peterson tweeted a picture of himself in a hospital bed. He had undergone surgery to repair his shredded knee two days before. He was shirtless and somewhat groggy looking, but he also had a Happy New Year hat and a slight grin. Did he know something all of us didn't know at that point? He must have.

Because fast forward to Jan. 1, 2013. If Peterson is lying in bed right now, as he was a year ago, he should be grinning from ear to ear. He would be, at least, if he was thinking about all he accomplished in 2012:

• He attacked his rehab with fervor and defied odds -- but not his own expectations -- to be on the field for the Vikings' first regular-season game, a victory over Jacksonville.

• In the middle of the season, with the Vikings' ship starting to list, he put the team on his back. Did you realize he rushed for 1,598 yards in his final 10 regular-season games?

• No, he didn't quite break Eric Dickerson's record -- falling 8 yards short of tying it. But his 199 yards against Green Bay on Sunday -- including 26 big ones to get deep into field-goal range on the final drive -- willed the Vikings into the playoffs one season after they won just three games.

He wiped away everything bad about 2011 and made it good in 2012. He was the story of the year.

MICHAEL RAND

12 FOR 12 RECAP

12. Gophers men's hockey returns to prominence.

11. Non-mainstream teams climb to great heights.

10. Minnesotans go for basketball gold, and get it, at the Olympics.

9. A year full of highs and lows for the Gophers football team.

8. John Gagliardi retires.

7. The inspirational Jack Jablonski story.

6. Joe Mauer returns to form.

5. Wild signs Zach Parise, Ryan Suter; lockout hits.

4. Twins' back-to-back 90-loss seasons.

3. The Year of the ACL.

2. Vikings stadium deal.

1. Adrian Peterson's year.

12 12 FOR 12 FOR 12 RECAP 12. Gophers men's hockey returns to prominence. 11. Non-mainstream teams climb to great heights. 10. Minnesotans go for basketball gold, and get it, at the Olympics. 9. A year full of highs and lows for the Gophers football team. 8. John Gagliardi retires. 7. The inspirational Jack Jablonski story. 6. Joe Mauer returns to form. 5. Wild signs Zach Parise, Ryan Suter; lockout hits. 4. Twins' back-to-back 90-loss seasons. 3. The Year of the ACL.
  • related content

  • KNOW THIS

    Monday December 31, 2012

    Shortly before tipoff Monday, the new AP men's basketball poll was released, with the Gophers at No. 9 -- their first top-10 ranking in 16 seasons. The victory over Michigan...

  • TIME FLIES

    Monday December 31, 2012

    TIME FLIES Samantha Steele, wife of Christian Ponder, posted several pictures on Instagram with the message, "Well, that about wraps up the best December of my life."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia 7 Top 6th Inning
Washington 3
LA Angels 0 Top 7th Inning
Baltimore 0
Seattle 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Cleveland 4
Cincinnati 1 Top 8th Inning
Miami 1
Minnesota 2 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 0
Toronto 2 Bottom 4th Inning
Houston 4
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Atlanta - J. Teheran 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 20 15:00
Hamilton 10
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Atlanta 45 3rd Qtr 9:01
Tulsa 39
Phoenix 36 3rd Qtr
Minnesota 39
New York 43 3rd Qtr 7:43
Chicago 41
Indiana 9:00 PM
Seattle
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close