Being married to a Wisconsin native has definitely impacted my Sunday afternoons during the fall. My wife and I occupy different rooms every Sunday as we watch our favorite NFL teams take the field. This blog is serving two purposes for me. As I prepare to head to the lake for the weekend to spend time with my in-laws, I need to prepare myself for the annual Memorial Day Minnesota Vikings harassment I receive every year. The other purpose is to discuss a pet peeve of mine.
I recently read an article focusing on the question of whether or not the Vikings running back Adrian Peterson can play until the age of forty. He recently made a statement that he believes he can. The article ( http://nflspinzone.com/2016/05/27/minnesota-vikings-can-adrian-peterson-play-hes-40/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter ) does in a sense back up his statement with the author believing that if anyone can do it, Adrian can. I have no problem with that opinion at all. I believe, however, that to be taken seriously in the field of sports writing, opinions don’t carry very far. The sports fan reading the article wants to see stats and examples.
The MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL keep stats on everything. Professional sports thrive off stats, so as a sports writer, this information is needed to carry any weight in the eyes of the reader. The author, Luke Sims, begins this article right away saying that it’s rare to see an NFL player make an impact past the age of thirty. He lost me right away with this statement and it didn’t matter to me anymore that he defended the player on my favorite team. Why was that opening statement a turn off for me? An easy Google search allowed me to look at the NFL career leaders for every stat. I found many players who had very successful careers after the age of thirty. Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith ran for 1,397 yards at age thirty. He ran for 1,203 at the age of thirty-one. In his last season, he rushed for nine touchdowns while rushing for 937 yards in just fifteen games. Players such as Walter Payton, Curtis Martin, Marcus Allen, Frank Gore, Warrick Dunn, Tiki Barber and Thomas Jones all had successful careers well into their thirties. And these are just running backs, the position with the shortest life span in the NFL. I believe that to have this discussion about Adrian Peterson, examples such as this have to be made.
I personally believe that Adrian Peterson will have a very successful career well into his thirties. A great example of the kind of career Adrian Peterson can mirror into his thirties is Marcus Allen. Although his total rushing yards dipped, he was very affective in the passing game and still a factor on the goal line. He scored twelve rushing touchdowns at the age of thirty-three, which was the second most in his career. He rushed for eleven touchdowns in his last season at the age of thirty-seven.
I read sports articles and blogs daily. Opinions are warranted, especially in blogs or tweets. The problem is that in the world of sports, where stats are so heavily depended on to make an argument, we need these examples to have any understanding of what the writer is trying to say.