The world saw Sunday what Vikings fans knew for three months -- Adrian Peterson is the real deal. Just like Randy Moss nine years earlier, Peterson electrified a game that was seen by a lot of the big names in the sports media business and seeing was believing -- starting a blitz of superlatives to out-praise one another about the greatness Peterson possesses.

The great thing about the Internet is that, regardless of where news happens, you can find the story and get the local response. Sunday's 34-31 win over the Bears didn't come as a great shock to Vikings fans, because we've seen the skills of Adrian Peterson put on display. So, it could be assumed, had the Chicagoland media types, but never this up close and surely never this personal.

On a day when Devin Hester surpassed local legend Gale Sayers in just his second year as a pro for most kicks returned for touchdowns as well as stamping a 14-point comeback in the final minutes to apparently send the game to overtime, it was Peterson who stole the show and the spotlight.

A look at the Monday newspapers in Chicago, you would think that Peterson was a morphed composite of Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson all rolled into one player. While Vikings fans have been making that assertion since the start of training camp, when we first got a glimpse up close and personal just how dominating a presence he can be with pads on, one of the downsides of being a team that few predicted to make the playoffs, much less be a factor in the NFC, the Vikings were routinely stuck on the FOX Sports G Team for announcing crews. In their games with the Lions, Falcons, Chiefs and even the Packers, only a small percentage of the country actually got to watch the game in its entirety. For most of the Chicago media, the only thing they saw of Peterson was about 30 seconds of highlight clips. Sunday they not only got to see him live and in Technicolor, they got to see him set a record for most rushing yards allowed to a single player in the 88-year history of the Bears franchise.

Among those who were singing Peterson's praises were one of the regulars on ESPN's panel discussion show "Around the Horn," a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated and wags for such publications as The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly. They came. They saw. They were duly impressed.

The sad backlash of all of Peterson's exploits was that, in most cases, the hometown media didn't blame the Bears defense for allowing Peterson to run wild on, over, around and through them. Instead, they seemed to focus their anger at Cedric Benson – a running back taken with the fourth pick in the 2005 who has done little to stand out in his own right as a go-to running back almost midway through his third season. To a writer, in the middle of praising Peterson and the Vikings foresight for drafting him, they found time to take shots at Benson, who was transformed from a franchise back to a turd in the space of three hours, despite posting the best numbers of the season.

Much like the 1998 Vikings and their sensational rookie Randy Moss weren't truly appreciated by the national media until they went into Green Bay with both teams undefeated for a Monday night matchup that had the whole football world watching, you get the same sense that Peterson is going to be the talk of not just the water cooler circuit, but the mainstream sports press. Expect to see him gracing the covers of magazine and newspaper stories and be the subject of numerous radio and TV interview requests.

Like it not, he's not "our" secret anymore. His performance Sunday threw him into the spotlight, not just as the guy who almost single-handedly defeated the Bears and dropped Chicago to 2-4 on the season and in last place in the NFC North, but also as the guy who may well be viewed as the Next Big Thing in the NFL.

There hasn't been a running back since LaDainian Tomlinson that has made this kind of national splash so early in his career, but A.P. is being fitted for the crown. It's his show now and, whether Brad Childress wants to limit his touches or not, it might be time to let this horse run wild until he wants a breather. If he continues to time share Peterson, Childress won't just have the Twin Cities criticizing him, he'll have the entire football world questioning his decisions. A.P. is out of the bag and now everyone is going to know what Vikings fans already do – this guy is going to be special.

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