Who owns Adrian Peterson? The answer to that question is fairly straightforward. Nobody owns anybody however they way people talk and have talked about AD ... myself included ... it's as if we claim part ownership in him, just by sharing his franchise experiences. It's truly hard not to cherish these memories as if we'll somehow own them forever but in fact we have no claim over this free spirit ... other than to catch fleeting glimpses of a disposable good. No AD is not disposable. The event is disposable because it only happens in an instance in time. This disposable concept is the key factor that makes the NFL what it is.
The term "Franchise Ownership" has always been misleadingly linked to player ownership, which has never been the case and couldn't be further from an accurate statement. The term "Player Ownership" is both an ugly and a misleading statement, that serves "THE AGENT", that has been bantered about for years, but it's high time that the term "Player Ownership" be called out on the carpet and then be dismantled for all time. In the case of Adrian Peterson, the franchise holds a contract for the rights over AD's performances, his athletic skills and his ability toward creating true art upon the grid iron. The sum effect of these rights leads toward HOF considerations. This conceptual agreement is as far from the term "Player Ownership" as one can get.
The term ownership however is directly linked to the word control. So when you ask who owns Adrian Peterson the better question is in regard to who controls AD? Does a coach truly control Adrian Peterson? The answer might surprise you but it's fairly apparent that this is not the case. To put this into perspective, when you looked into Bud Grant's steely eyes ... you had to make a choice. Either you wanted to perform for this man or you eventually found yourself at the curb. Sure you can point to any coaches decision in regard to a number of touches, or a players playing time, and then blame the coach based upon these touches however there are numerous factors that lead to any resulting finite number that results in a game. This is true for every player on that team ... even the ones on the practice squad and the ones that don't dress for a specific game. So a coaches control, for the most part, is a fairly fluid thing.
There is however an element of control that does in fact own Adrian Peterson however it is rarely ever realized or even discussed. In fact, this control factor, is overlooked and many times the blame for this effect of control lies directly at the feet of those that foolishly deal with players contracts by simulating what is being done throughout the league.
Years ago NYC had a great problem with corruption within its police force where it was once thought that every cop was on the take. This all changed when police officers were paid an income that was a good deal greater than the amount they could earn in their next best position. In other words, if they were paid $60,000 per year today where tomorrow, if they got caught dirty, they would not only have to face charges affecting their freedom, in their next best job the best they could make was $42,000. This immediately made it less likely to take a bribe for fear of losing their job. This is not to say that corruption was completely eliminated however the net effect was to lower the "True Overall Costs", which most people never consider, even though police officers were in fact being paid more. What this exposed for the most part, as the police force is in fact a team, was the value of S>O>C.
Cris Carter is about to enter the Hall of Fame and he clearly understood this element of control. He vigorously complained about it and we all foolishly overlooked it as if it was all just a bunch of sour grapes ... but it's wasn't. In that 98 championship game he complained about the play of Jimmy Hitchcock as he watched his one and only opportunity of playing in a Super Bowl slip away before his eyes. The way that most people looked at it, it was much more than one single players player, but for Chris it clearly exposed the concept of S>O>C as it relates to a team sport.
How is it that we've allowed Rick Spielman to overlook the most important factor in regard to any team sport as a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. In other words, overpaying Phil Loadholt was in fact a good very thing. Establishing a habitual Super Bowl franchise ... using the draft ... again, a good thing. Whereas, the overloading of Jared Allen's contract ... at the end of it ... not so much.
So what is S>O>C ... it of course is "Strength Of Character"
When you look at Adrian Peterson, there is no question in regard to his S>O>C as he is clearly leading this team toward its first Super Bowl Championship. Figuratively ... the entire franchise is upon his back. That's this franchises most apparent metaphor. There is no question of AD's S>O>C but there is little question that he is still controlled, or will be controlled by S>O>C, as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, just like it was for Cris Carter ... unless something drastically changes. To be direct, the path to the 2013 Minnesota Viking first Super Bowl championship lies with the S>O>C of five defensive lineman ... and not so much in regard to Christian Ponder ... just like it was in 1972. Within their hands they must make a choice as this will be their one and final opportunity at the S>O>C. Sure money can buy a lot of socks ... but that's about all you'll have at the end of the day.
In a team sport ... strength, agility and talent ... is nothing without S>O>C ... and S>O>C is much more than someone that either wants to win or expects to win. So what does this say?
If you want to know the true definition of S>O>C, stand face to face with Ray Lewis, where you're noses are about an inch or less apart and peer into his eyes. Emmitt Smith had that same look, just before the ball was slid into his hands. Those were not the same eyes that appeared before us when Emmitt, with his trade mark smile, was in an interview setting. Can you feel ... "THE S>O>C".
So when we look upon Rick Spielman and Greg Jennings do we ask the question ... "Is this Barnyard Berrian II" or did Rick Spielman actually find "THE S>O>C". Sure Greg hasn't played a down in the regular season yet for this franchise however Rick may have fallen into the "We Need to stretch the field trap" ... or "We need to ...", that was once again unleashed upon us just as it was for Chilly those many years ago. The trap is by trying to simulate trying to be some other franchise ... which is always a losing proposition. The only identity that we should be working on is this franchises identity.
The reason for falling into the trap is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the money used on Greg Jennings should of been used on S>O>C for many players that will be hitting the open market in 2014 that include Toby Gerhart, Everson Griffen, and Joe Webb. These players represents S>O>C with game changing abilities. They are also drastically undervalued, for one reason or another, by this franchise as they are focusing on the wrong things like QB rating or they forget that Christian Ponder played in Green Bay too last year. What is apparent is that this organization should be actively working on offering above market long term contracts for each of these players. If Chris Cook can stay healthy ... he should also be seriously considered too. Why? Could anyone question his mentors "S>O>C". There's now a whole in my heart Toine'.
As for Charlie Johnson, Kevin Williams and Jared Allen, the one that tugs at the heart strings of the nation the most will be Kevin Williams as his presence will be missed the most. Prior to Kevin's arrival, QB's throughout the league would step up in the pocket, with no one left in front of that QB, and then select the entire field to cut our defense apart. His unselfish role cost KW sacks. To be direct ... the Vikings should milk the last ounce of Kevin's football S>O>C, where he should play his entire career as a Viking and retire as such ... as it is within this franchises power to make that happen. Matt Birk isn't the only Viking that's capable of retiring on top.
As for Jared Allen, he is now a victim of his own contract as in 2013 he will clearly be vastly overpaid for his services regardless of his performance, much like Barnyard Berrian, where Jared's pride will not allow him to select a future with this franchise versus his actual true value. He has a choice but he can't select it. Sometimes money means more than a clear path to secure the Hall of Fame. A bird in hand is always better than two in the bush ... right? Money is both fleeting & evil and it has a way of blinding us from the path that will eventually make us most happy in the long run. "S>O>C" is an investment ... not a dividend. Hey, when you're dead ... you stay dead ... that's were the issue lies. Jared's S>O>C is both clearly and definitely at risk, whereas the expectation of the S>O>C of the key part of the William's Wall, is as strong as it ever was by comparison. There is a contract Jared but there is true fear by Rick Spielman that he'll offend you for protecting the future of this franchise. Respect, in many ways, acts much like an amputation. The body lives ... the leg dies ... and neither party wants that ... but that is clearly now your choice. Rick played his 14 million dollar card as he's clearly played the ugliness of his ill fated hand. Jared can stop the spillage of VIKING BLOOD. The decision lies within the offer of security and a path but no one can make that decision ... other than Jared Allen. Yeah! Even this humble narrator can fear these words. Your decision also affects your vision of the future. One is within your control ... the other is not. Do you see yourself as the Bishop or the Pawn? Sometimes all you have to know the right question. Can a man purchase his future? No ... that's Pulp Fiction! These aren't my words ... they are the words that somehow found a way to collapse a dome. The same words that put Trent Richardson in Cleveland ... where he belongs. Do you act or would your rather react? The phone is a ringin'! Can you feel the fire under your ass?
As for S>O>C, there is always something to consider. When you hear your coaches working with you ... making adjustments ... enhancing your abilities and game-smarts ... you might be wondering where that all might be coming from. Switch the roles. Make the coaches compete in front of the players and then have the players freely evaluate the coaches ... to see which coaches give up ... and more importantly when they give up the competition. Sure the coaches can't do NFL stuff because if they could they'd be in the NFL ... but they can compete and they are not immunized from having to compete. The answers then become crystal clear, as long as everyone of the players, acting as coaches, is paying attention. You can get your head pounded in the dirt ... and still carry the "S>O>C". That happens to us all. The moral of this story is that, sure there are great actors ... some better than others ... but you cannot hide "THE S>O>C". It's all out there like dirty laundry. The ugly part of it all is once you give it up, it follows you forever. It sounds something like this, "The stink of it is ...
Sure, there are countless stories of resurrection within the league but here's the thing. Did Marcus Allen ever give up "The S>O>C". Go ahead, try and tell us all that he did. Do your best. Then you'd hear something like, "Wasn't that Marcus Allen playing full back?" ... dishing out the lead blocks as if he never existed at all. That's right ... and his career ended right there and then. Well ... not so much! That's "S>O>C"!
Now apply the "SOC" to the Hershel Walker trade. Which franchise ended up with a Super Bowl dynasty and which one was focusing on, or better said, blinded by everything other than "SOC".
We've all had a belly full of the Steeler's and 49er's but it's clear that these franchises have built dynasties based upon
"THE S>O>C". The Redskin's, Cowboy's, and Dolphin's, somewhere along the road lost it, but the memories of those Lombardi's can be relied upon to resurrect it in a flash. This particular franchise has no such crutch. Knowing "THE S>O>C", at every step ... is paramount.
So when it comes to controlling Adrian Peterson, and his quest, and you're part of this franchise, with little consideration toward the S>O>C, I'd just rather you'd just thank our franchise and find the exit. There are plenty of other franchises that are eager for your talent and abilities.
S>O>C cannot be bought and sold? It doesn't work that way. Sure, you and many others can be raped by evil but losing virginity will always be more than a physical act. You can't hide the status of your "S>O>C". It's like a junkie on SMACK ... it's the itch ... one you've taken the easy path ... money ... power ... control, you become the beeach. Let that be your guide.
The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: July 26, 2013