Adrian Peterson has received all sorts of compliments, awards and honors since coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament to win the NFL MVP award and top 2,000 rushing yards with the Minnesota Vikings last year.
And Peterson added another honor when he was named the No. 1 player of the "Top 100 Players of 2013" on Thursday night.
Perhaps the most unique compliment of all came from an opponent who wasn't sure what assistance Peterson received during his comeback.
"Man, it's a lot of prayer. The juice of God," Peterson responded.
While it sounds like the Lions player's comment partly was made in jest, the same player told Peterson later that season that the comment touched him.
"It was like turning a negative into a positive," Peterson said. "To be honest with you, it makes me feel good when people say little stuff like that, and I'm sure it happens all the time. I guess I am performing that well that people think I'm juicing, that I am taking something. That really shows me how much God has blessed me to be able to come back and play the way I played.
"To me, it's a compliment (the PED talk). I've always been an honest person. I never cheated the system. I am big on taking advantage of my natural abilities and applying work ethic to it to be able to climb the highest level. People make that decision to do that (PEDS), but I'm not that individual. I feel like I'd be cheating myself. And things I've accomplished would be void. That's not what I am about."
It's sadly a part of our sports culture now. If a player does something otherworldly, fans and other players grow suspicious.
Peterson's reaction is perfect. It's the reaction of a man who has nothing to hide. The reaction of a man who put in the work and knows how blessed he is.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.