As I am sitting down here to write one of the most difficult posts I have ever written, its absolutely crazy how much things can change in an instant. Adrian Peterson has been my favorite player and collecting target since 2007, when he was drafted by the Vikings in the first round. After meeting him three times and seeing his public persona, I never thought I would EVER be in the situation I am in right now. As really the last running back in the hobby to have value, this indictment and arrest could be the end of an era.
Peterson’s cards have already taken a rock bottom tumble over the last few days:
2013 Topps Five Star Adrian Peterson Auto Relic Booklet
2007 Contenders Adrian Peterson Auto Ticket RC
2007 SP Authentic Adrian Peterson Rookie Auto Patch
2007 Exquisite Adrian Peterson / Marshawn Lynch Dual Relic Auto
Peterson has always been a class act, consistently going above and beyond to be an integral part of the Vikings team and Minneapolis community. His enormous success and MVP season in 2012 earned him a ton of collectability in the hobby, including a legion of fans. Despite an arrest last year on charges eventually dismissed, he has had zero problems during the course of his seven year career with the Vikings. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, he is charged with one of the worst possible things anyone can be charged with – hurting his son in an act of discipline.
As a father myself, I cannot fathom how anyone could put their child through this kind of torture, and I use that word purposefully. This was an act that no child should ever have to endure, despite how common it may happen across the nation. Peterson cites that it was the way he was raised, which is not unsurprising, but not an excuse. I do completely understand how difficult it can be to break from the way you were raised, but this is a bit different.
Peterson will no doubt have his course changed in the NFL and with the Vikings, and it may mean his time in Purple has come to an end. As a player collector, whose office is filled with memorabilia from his run as the team’s greatest player, I am literally between a rock and a hard place. Thousands of dollars could potentially be down the drain, and I am not even kidding.
Although there have been other players in the league to do similarly awful things, including some that have come back to have a successful finish to their career, none of them were the elite player that Peterson is and was. He may not be the face of the NFL like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, but he is the best running back there is, period. Its rare that someone of his talent level goes through a situation like this, unless you look at the way Alex Rodriguez has been changed in the eyes of baseball collectors. Rodriguez only hurt himself, which is his choice, but Peterson hurt a four year old – much more deplorable.
Scary thing is, players like Aaron Hernandez and Michael Vick still have value in the hobby despite their horrific transgressions, and Peterson does have a lot to his credit regardless of this situation. Funny how this works:
2012 Topps Five Star Aaron Hernandez Auto Patch
2012 Topps Five Star Michael Vick / Robert Griffin III Dual Auto
1970 Topps OJ Simpson RC
I have already come to the decision to not buy new Adrian Peterson cards and memorabilia from this point forward. Depending on how this all plays out, I might need to liquidate my collection. If I werent so much into already, this would already be happening. Its just too much money right now. There are people still bidding, but not many. The fact that so many people dont see this as a huge deal may also preserve some of his value.
As mentioned above, there is a redemption story that could come of this, and it is likely not going to happen with the Vikings. It may happen with Dallas or another team that will give Peterson a chance despite the situation, and that might be a time where I can recoup some of my enormous investment.
The lesson to be learned is that we should love the game, and not the players. Its too much of a risk to do what I have done over the last few years, and its likely the last time I dive in head first. I thought I was safe with Peterson almost guaranteed a place in the HOF, but you just cant see what goes on behind closed doors. Right now, Im about as shocked as I have ever been in this hobby.
No idea where to go from here, hopefully there will be some silver lining that has yet to be determined. At this point, it looks like its going to get a lot worse before it gets better.