Sports Illustrated, given exclusive access to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson throughout this season, released this week a long cover story that takes a look back at the controversy that engulfed Peterson in 2014 and how it relates to the present day.
It's an interesting read, if not altogether satisfying. The last part is not the fault of any person or a failing of the writing. It's just a nod to the fact that Peterson's life and how he is viewed remain complicated.
If you want it to be a tale of redemption, it's not that.
If you want to be mad at Peterson because he hasn't learned or grown between 2014 and now, the story will show you that's not true, either.
But against that backdrop, here are a few things I found to be either highlights or particularly interesting nuggets from the story:
• Peterson was indicted by a grand jury on child abuse charges in September of 2014, missing all but one game of that season. Yet he did not meet face-to-face with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell until April of 2015 — at which time, Peterson says, one of Goodell's first questions was, "What is a whuppin'?"
It's incredibly odd that one of the league's top players would go seven months and most of a season before getting that meeting.
• Peterson appears to be trying to walk a very thin line between somehow maintaining innocence while also acknowledging that he should change his ways in regards to his parenting. Some might call that a contradiction. It's outlined in these passages from author Greg Bishop:
"To Peterson, how outsiders view his case is an indication of a cultural misunderstanding. He says he disciplined his child the way his parents disciplined him, which is the way many parents punished their children where he grew up."
And yet Bishop also writes:
"Peterson says that through counseling he learned other methods of discipline. He says he'll never use a switch again."
• You get a good sense for how he views his football legacy, including a fantastic quote about greatness:
"There won't be another Adrian Peterson," he says. "There will be a guy that reminds you of me. But there will only be one me."
In the end, though, most readers probably won't be moved too far off whatever opinion they had of Peterson before reading the piece.
If you've forgiven Peterson or softened your stance as he's racked up yards this year, that won't change.
If you swore off the Vikings forever when they brought him back, that won't change.
And if your feelings remain complicated, that won't change.