We need to talk about our relationship.
Specifically: That child beater you wish to welcome back to our semi-happy home.
Surely we can agree that it's never appropriate to beat someone with a stick unless A) a swarthy Belgian has stolen your man-purse or B) you've encountered a congressman. Even then it's still wiser to use a bike chain. You get more torque.
But you seem to be entertaining the idea that said child beater, Adrian Peterson, would look fabulous in your backfield next fall. Allow me to disabuse you of this notion.
Imagine, for a moment, that you're a normal fan. You do not watch games from the finely appointed confines of a Valhalla Suite (which is a very cool name, by the way). You watch at a place like the Half Time Rec, where "fallen Nordic warrior" tends to mean "guy passed out in the backseat of a Kia."
Now imagine Adrian rips off a 15-yard gain. You turn to the stranger next to you, as they do in Buffalo Wild Wings commercials, slamming the highest of fives. "Yes! Child beater!" You scream in joyous unison.
Other patrons may not understand the context. They will pummel you with bocce balls and uneaten fish.
And how might we explain this to our kids? "Son, never raise a hand to woman or child, unless you can quickly hit the A-gap and show good burst in the secondary." This will not go over well at parent-teacher conferences.
Yes, I realize that forgiveness is a virtue. Especially when it comes to famous people, who are way more important than everyone else.
I do confess some sympathy for Adrian. He had a disadvantaged upbringing; he's from Texas. It's a place where men are so afraid they need assault rifles to go hairspray shopping at Walgreens. So it's only natural they beat 4-year-olds. A kid beyond pre-school might be armed.
But, alas, you've violated our trade agreement. Historically, the deal has always been this: We give you our undying adoration (and $498 million in welfare for your new stadium). You, in return, provide a well-paid team of mercenaries, whom we pretend do battle for the gallantry and honor of Minnesota, even though they'd dump us in a heartbeat for more money in Indianapolis.
Have you ever been to Indianapolis? It's like the product of a one-night stand between Des Moines and Jackson, Mississippi.
Certainly you're aware that the concepts of "honor" and "child beating" can be mutually exclusive. In the name of pretense, would it not be prudent to employ running backs who don't enjoy whipping small people?
I feel I can well speak for my fellow countrymen -- save for the guys who call talk radio shows -- that we'd prefer to lose a few more games if it meant not cheering for Adrian. Given our slender accumulation of titles, Minnesotans never acquired a taste for tying our self-esteem to won-loss records.
If you go 7-9 again, yes, we will curse you in fresh and resourceful ways. But we have remained steadfast for 54 years, through Love Boat, Les Steckel, Randy Moss being a dick to caterers, and Brett Favre playing as hard to get as a 16-year-old debutante.
Even during the Period of Unrelenting Darkness -- a.k.a. the Christian Ponder era -- we did not accessorize with plastic cheese helmets.
Still, custom dictates that, at this point in the letter, I issue some threats. It is a crucial ingredient of modern correspondence. Here goes:
I will dump my season tickets. I will refuse to pay my $2,500 seat license, which grants me the right to buy another seat I can actually sit in. I will start a scrapbooking club that meets at noon on Sundays.
But truth be told... I got nothing. I am but the tiniest point in your Nielsen ratings. I can't even withhold my portion of your $498 million welfare package, since it would likely require math.
So all I can do is fall to bended knee, bow with a supplicant's indignity and plead: Please don't make me root for a child beater next fall.
Sincerely, Your pal Pete
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