A.D.'s Chance To Shine At Texas Stadium

IRVING, Tex. -- Last week at Texas Stadium felt like a photo shoot for US magazine. But this week features one single guy worthy of the same volume of attention.

Hey, there's Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn's daughter, the actress who keeps making the same romantic-comedy movie over and over again, the girl who, after attending both the Mavs-Warriors series and the Cowboys-Patriots game officially takes the baton from Laura Miller as DFW sports' Typhoid Mary.

Hey, there's Eva Longoria, the "Desperate Housewife'' who so rules man-boy husband Tony Parker that he attended the game in a gold-lame' hoodie.

Speaking of Mexicans. … hey, there's the president of Mexico, Vincente Fox, maybe wondering if he'll soon have to give up his position to Tony Romo.

Michael Jordan had tickets to the game. And of course, A-listers like Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Bill Belicheat possessed front-row seats.

But while last Sunday's loss to the Patriots required the rolling out of the red carpet, somebody might want to wake up America – and, of course, the Cowboys themselves – to the one-man show making an off-Broadway appearance in Irving on Sunday.

Meet the soon-to-be-crowned NFL Rookie of the Year, the early heir to Ladainian Tomlinson's all-purpose hold-your-breath throne, and at this moment the best running back in the league: Palestine, Texas' own. … The University of Oklahoma's own. … The Minnesota Vikings' own. … Adrian Peterson.

Some have started to call him A.P., which is wrong. What A.D. (short for "All Day,'' A.D. was his childhood nickname because of his inexhaustible ability) did last week in Chicago to the proud Bears defense was an A.T. (all-timer): 224 rushing yards, 361 all-purpose yards, three straight-outta-Madden explosions for touchdowns, and the game-winning set-up from a last-second 53-yard kickoff return.

The 67-yard touchdown run? It came early in his 224-yards-on-20-carries day. It was so brilliant – speed, yes, but also craftsmanship – that it would later cause every Viking fan to frustratingly ponder how he could end the day with a paltry 20 totes.

The 73-yard touchdown run? Like what happened through most of that day, because Minnesota's QB Tavaris Jackson is a rare steak, Chicago looked to have eight men in the box. Oh, and this Vikings team was also 1-3 going in because its receivers have hands so bad thy might as well try to catch footballs by pinching them with their elbows. But so what?

The 35-yard touchdown run? A.D. has what old-timers would call a "huck-and-buck'' running style, yet he's somehow a 4.3 guy. He displayed that here, bursting past three levels of Chicago defenders, each of which thought it had the angle on the kid, and then. … whoosh! … the seemingly outcome-sealing score.

The 53-yard kickoff return that set up Ryan Longwell's 55-yard field goal at the final gun for Minny's 34-31 win? Well, let's put it this way: In this same game, Chicago's Devin Hester made his own someday-I-belong-in-the-Hall statement with his 10th return for a touchdown in only his 25th NFL game, an 89-yard punt takeback. And Hester snared a clutch 81-yard TD pass to tie the game 31-31.

And Adrian Peterson seemed infinitely more dangerous than Devin Hester.

Now, the Vikings haven't had much to celebrate in recent years. The late 90's were halcyon days, with Daunte Culpepper throwing up jumpballs to Randy Moss and the team making two NFC Championship Game appearances. And this Vikings team isn't very good; second-year coach Brad Childress started 4-2 but is a bumbling loser since, his prehistoric gameplans seemingly holding his own potentially dynamic talent in check. Minnesota's secondary cannot check anybody (too bad for the Vikes, inasmuch as their run-stopping skills are top-notch). They don't know what they heck they're going to do in the Twin Cities about a new stadium.

And heck, Adrian Peterson has shown himself, especially while at OU, to have the potential to be busted into a skillion pieces. (Fragility? Aggressive, upright running style? Who knows?) But beyond your love of the Cowboys, there is something else worth being entertained by Sunday. And it's the same something that A.D. said about himself when he was a high-school kid back in Palestine, rooting for the Cowboys while realizing his future.

"I'm pretty sure,'' he told an interviewer who asked him about impossible dream of jumping straight from high school to the pros, "I can outrun the whole Dallas Cowboys team.'' Gone from Irving are Kate Hudson and Tom Brady and Eva Longoria and Randy Moss and Bill Belicheat and Vincente Fox and Michael Jordan. Arriving in Irving is Adrian Peterson. … and his chance, finally, to outrun the whole Dallas Cowboys team.

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