We Minnesotans make pretty good spurned sports-lovers.
There's a rich tradition of home fans booing a guy they previously cheered for. A few recent examples: Kevin Durant (in Oklahoma City), Brock Osweiler (Denver), Jason Heyward (St. Louis), Robinson Cano (New York), Derrick Rose (Chicago), Alex Rodriguez (Seattle), Terrell Owens (Philadelphia), Phil Kessel (Toronto)... it's a long list.
Minnesota doesn't give up on our jocks so easily. Mention one-time Twins David Ortiz or Johan Santana, and fans are more likely to get wistful for might've been, instead of vengeful. Doug Mientkiewicz returned to the Twins organization to coach in the minor leagues. Torii Hunter came back to the Twin Cities to broadcast games, as did Bert Blyleven, who, as a pitcher, left Minnesota twice.
Both Kevin Garnett and Randy Moss both returned to Minnesota to play again after leaving, and there's now some chatter about Timberwolves fans that the team should bring back Kevin Love.
Yet more evidence that we can't hold a grudge: Adrian Peterson's jersey is still the top seller in Minnesota. His New Orleans Saints jersey. Hell, that's not even the case in the state of Louisiana; fans there actually buy more Tom Brady jerseys.
This fact, as tracked and disclosed by the NFL's official gear-hawking website, is not lost on Peterson, who mentioned the sales figures in an interview with ESPN.
"It shows I was appreciated [in Minnesota], which I knew," Peterson says. "But that's just confirmation, so that was a nice little addition."
Jeez, Minnesota. If you really wanted to thank Peterson for his years with the Vikings, you'd stop buying up his jersey and throw down some money to finally buy his very, very Eden Prairie house.
Do those jersey sales mean the 2012 league MVP and 2014 pariah will actually be cheered upon his return to Minneapolis? He won't have to wait long to find out. Peterson's Saints open their season at U.S. Bank Stadium with a Monday Night Football matchup on September 11.
Peterson says it "it'll be good to get back out there in front of" Minnesota's fans, who could probably learn a thing or two from North Dakota. That's the only state where a Vikings jersey (wide receiver Adam Thielen's No. 19) leads in statewide sales.
Maybe if safety Harrison Smith strips the ball from Peterson, and (newly rich, and happy as hell) cornerback Xavier Rhodes picks it up and runs the other way for a touchdown... maybe then Vikings fans will get over Adrian?
Until that moment, prepare for the weird sight of football fans wearing another a player from another team's jersey while that very player is trying to ruin their night.
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