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Adrian Peterson exhibiting Purple Pride on and off the field

Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson is as talented as any football player on the planet. His combination of size, speed and toughness has put him on pace to be one of the greatest of all-time.

The seventh pick in the 2007 NFL Draft has rushed for nearly 4,500 yards and 40 TD’s, during his first three NFL seasons.  Last season, Peterson’s rushing totals declined with the arrival of Brett Favre, but he set a career high in pass receptions, with 43.

Despite his immense productivity, Peterson does possess one massive and devastating weakness, ball security.  In his three seasons, Peterson has fumbled 20 times, losing the ball on 13 occasions.

Peterson’s strengths and weaknesses were on full display during the Vikings 31-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.  In this contest, Peterson scored three TD’s, but fumbled the ball twice.

Next season, assuming Favre returns, Peterson will need to regain his past running form, while figuring out a way to hold onto the ball. A 41-year old Favre will not be able to replicate his amazing 2009 season, so Peterson will need to step up if the Vikings want to contend for the Super Bowl in 2010.  

While Peterson’s on-field performance can be highly scrutinized, his devotion to the Vikings’ fan-base appears to be very strong.

Below are two pieces of video exhibiting AP’s positive interaction with fans.  The first scene took place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, shortly after the Vikings 30-17, week 13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The second setting is a promotional appearance at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.   

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Jon Rapoport has spent his career working on all sides of the media and sports industry. He began his career at ESPN in studio production at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. While there, he won an Emmy for his contribution to "SportsCenter." Following his tenure at ESPN, Jon relocated to Los Angeles, joining the staff of the “Best Damn Sports Show” on FOX Sports Net.

Upon leaving the show, Jon worked in Web site and sports radio show development/production, with Major League Baseball in media operation logistics for the World Baseball Classic and on behalf of Los Angeles’ effort to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics back to Southern California. Jon currently writes a political blog for the Los Angeles edition of Examiner.com.

Born and raised in Plymouth, Minnesota (just outside of Minneapolis), Jon is an avid sports fan, particularly for his beloved Minnesota teams. Jon graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned his BA in communication and interned for ABC’s “Good Morning America” in New York City and Washington D.C. He is married and resides in Los Angeles.  

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