Adrian Peterson Named 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player

USA TODAY Sports

Not that long ago, some folks sat down and determined exactly which day rapper Ice Cube was talking about in his seminal rap hit "It Was A Good Day." That day was determined to be January 20, 1992.

For Minnesota Vikings fans, February 2, 2013 was a pretty damn good day as well.

Cris Carter was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 earlier on in the day, finally breaking through in his sixth year on the ballot. After the euphoria from that settled down a bit, it came time for everyone to turn their attention to the NFL Honors ceremony taking place in New Orleans. Now, if you're waiting for the broadcast, the festivities should be kicking off on CBS here shortly (8 PM Central time, to be precise). The event was taped prior to that. . .not sure why the NFL couldn't do this live. . .so if you are waiting for the broadcast and don't want things spoiled, don't read any further.

Adrian Peterson racked up a bunch of awards on the night, starting with the NFL Fantasy Football Player of the Year Award. Peterson thanked the folks that drafted him in fantasy football this year. . .NO PROBLEM, ADRIAN. . .because that's just the kind of guy he is.

The next award Peterson racked up on the evening was the award for NFL Offensive Player of the Year, which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.

The biggest highlight, however, was when Peterson was named the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League. This morning, I wondered whether or not Peterson would be able to fend off the challenge of Peyton Manning for the award, and it turns out that he did. In a season that started just eight months after Peterson had surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL (among other damage), he put together a season for the ages, rushing for 2,097 yards. That's the second-highest total in NFL history, and just eight yards fewer than Eric Dickerson's all-time single-season record of 2,105 yards. He also led the way in taking a Vikings' team that was a 3-13 disaster the year before to a 10-6 record and a spot in the 2012 NFL playoffs.

There will be some people that will jump up and down and throw a fit about Manning not getting the award, but really. . .and yes, I'm biased. . .but Peterson really was the best choice for the award. If you base the award on who had the best season, nobody had a better year in 2012 than Adrian Peterson. If you base the award on who meant the most to their team, nobody meant more to their team than Adrian Peterson meant to the Vikings in 2012.

Peterson is the first Minnesota Vikings player to be named Most Valuable Player since Fran Tarkenton won the honor in 1975.

Congratulations to Adrian Peterson on being named the Most Valuable Player of the National Football League for 2012. Knowing Peterson, however, he's already started focusing on what he needs to do to get even better in 2013.

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