I don’t think I have ever admitted this on these pages, but ever since 1500 ESPN came online, I have wondered at times why I even continue to cover the Vikings.  They took long-time and trustworthy veteran beat writer Judd Zulgad and combined him with the fresh, uber-ambitious style of Tom Pelissero to create a truly dominant source of Vikings information.

Unfortunately for 1500 ESPN, however, they also decided to bring Patrick Reusse into the fold, as well.  The phrase “better to release a guy a year too early than a year too late” comes to mind in this situation.  He might have some sort of radio following, but the station should do everything they can to keep him away from a typewriter.

In my assessment, a gradual decline in Reusse’s work began years ago, but really came to a head when he made the ridiculous declaration that it was a “100 percent certainty” that Manti Te’o would end up being drafted by the Vikings.  Of course, declaring anything a 100% certainty in the NFL is a risky proposition, and it is downright stupid when talking about one of the most divisive college prospects to enter the Draft in history.  If the Vikings coveted Te’o, which it now seems obvious they didn’t, there were still 31 other teams that could have thrown a wrench into those plans.  A veteran in covering sports should know better than to make such lofty and brainless predictions using such definite terms.

There really is no harm in a reporter crying for attention by making such a stupid declaration, though, and nobody has felt the need to hold Reusse responsible for it now that the Draft has come and gone with Te’o now sporting a Chargers jersey.  Yesterday, Reusse decided to make the leap from harmless to damaging in one of the most atrocious pieces of “journalism” I have seen come from 1500 ESPN since their inception, and readers should find the article to be downright insulting to their intelligence.

For some reason, the national sports media seems obsessed with getting superstars to talk about the debate surrounding gay marriage and homosexuals playing team sports.  Adrian Peterson, being the biggest superstar in all of Minnesota sports, seems to be targeted at every possible chance by reporters that don’t have the respect shown by the aforementioned Zulgad and Pelissero.

In the last couple of weeks, Peterson has been asked about it multiple times, and the gist of his comments have revealed that he does not believe in it, could see how team showers could be a little more awkward with an openly gay teammate present, but would treat a gay teammate the same way he treats everyone else.

Reusse wasn’t one of the idiots that felt compelled to ask Peterson about his take on homosexuality, but it is almost worse that he felt the need to bring the issue up days later, jumping on an almost empty bandwagon of observers who feel his comments were somehow controversial.  The results are astonishingly ugly.

He foreshadowed the article with a tweet that makes him look either senile or uninformed, or both.

“Vikes dumped Kluwe because he wouldn’t shut up,” tweeted Reusse before referencing Peterson.  “Will they do same w/ this loud mouth?”

Reusse’s lack of common sense never ceases to amaze.  He states that Kluwe was dumped by the Vikings due to his off-field campaigns as if it is a fact, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.  First, Kluwe’s willingness to have a public life away from football began years and years ago, and he somehow managed to spend those years on the team.  Second, countless other players have been cut through the years without being divisive personalities away from the Metrodome.  Oh, and you can also pick whatever other reasons you like from this gaggle:  Age, injury, production, salary, and he was entering the final year of his contract.

Choosing to single out Kluwe’s activism as the reason for finding his long-term replacement via the NFL Draft is about as lazy as claiming the Vikings drafted Blair Walsh last season because Ryan Longwell was spending too much time on the golf course.

Reusse starts his dribblings by pulling out a laundry list from Peterson’s past.  He cited his speeding ticket for driving over a hundred miles per hour, which is admittedly dangerous and should not go unpunished, but also not overly surprising to hear considering Peterson was in his early 20’s and had access to some pretty sweet sets of wheels.

Secondly, he brought up Peterson’s infamous “slavery” comments that came about during the NFL lockout, and unsurprisingly chose to ignore the fact the author of that article himself said Peterson did not mean to make a literal comparison.  Of course, guys like Reusse and other media vultures couldn’t take a step back, disassociate the word “slavery” with racism, and try to think of a modern profession (other than professional athlete) where the rights to a human being’s professional productivity can be drafted, bought, sold, and traded.  The comments were not the wisest in the world, but it is not a stretch to see how media types put more meaning to Peterson’s words than he ever intended to.

“This didn’t start with his recent seminars on gay marriage or how to deal with a gay teammate,” Reusse claims in his recent article, which can be read in full (bring a barf bag) by clicking here.

A quick trip to Dictionary.com led me to make a quick conclusion:  Despite years of training and experience, Reusse knows not what the word “seminar” means.  By using the word, Reusse suggests that Peterson had a pre-planned agenda to examine and study the social impact of homosexuality in football, or possibly hosted a session to educate others on the impact gay athletes might have on professional sports.

In reality, something that is increasingly clear Reusse has no grasp on, Peterson was asked about the topic and gave honest, respectful answers.  Of course, guys like Reusse will refuse to admit that guys like Reusse are the only reason Peterson was discussing the topic in the first place, because that would be admitting that the media has any role in this apparent trend of asking every player they come across what they think about the social issue.

“As far as the showers and things like that, you can drop the disclaimers. We got it, Adrian: you’re a flaming straight man,” Reusse writes at the end of the column.  “Just because you play football without a governor doesn’t make it a bad idea to have one on the speedometer, or this gay gabfest.”

I don’t blame Reusse for suggesting Peterson end these conversations sooner, or before they even get started, but Reusse shows his true colors by calling Peterson “stupid” at one point and suggesting that his comments are somehow inflammatory, in addition to giving his media brothers a free pass for their contributions to this feeding frenzy of irresponsible reporting that try to paint a player as either homophobic or a brave warrior fighting for social equality.

I can’t recall Reusse ever suggesting that Kluwe should shut up about this particular subject, which leads me to believe that Reusse himself is applying more of a double-standard to Vikings players than the organization ever has.

This is the type of rhetoric that is not only counter-productive to finding a solution to a very serious discussion about social inequality, but also makes the mainstream media look like a group of biased hacks that are incapable of examining a subject with objectivity, even when there are some journalists out there worthy of widespread respect.

If blathering columnists are the judge and jury for citizens that might feel uncomfortable showering with somebody, other than their significant other, that is sexually attracted to them then we might be in for a long, long discussion about how this world needs to change from the way it is now.  Is it now unacceptable to feel uncomfortable showering with people of the opposite sex?  Or straight people of the same sex?  Or how about with someone with a major age difference? Heck, Tobias Funke is uncomfortable showering with even himself, is that wrong, too?

If we allow people like Judge Reusse to correct social injustices by overcorrecting, and creating an emotionless generation of people completely void of quirks and self-awareness, based off of the remarks made by a guy who plays football for a living, then I am sorry America… we’re doing it wrong.

Reusse is obviously paid to give his opinions, but that is no excuse for ignoring facts.  Also, 1500 ESPN editorial staff should consider moving his nonsensical click-grabbing B.S. to an area of their site that is clearly marked as opinion, instead of in the same location we have all grown to depend on for factual material out of the other fine writers.  After all, if the writer can’t seem to separate fact from fiction, then how can they expect the general public to do so while reading his work?

So, Mr. Reusse, on the off-chance that you are reading the work of other writers to gain factual knowledge or widen your narrow view of the world, then I would like to challenge you to a debate on the subject of the circumstances surrounding Kluwe’s release and whether or not Peterson’s insensitivity to sensitive subjects are a figment of your imagination.

I’ll debate you in writing, over the phone, or even on the radio show you are somehow still allowed to speak on.  Whatever you prefer, sir.

Of course, if you decline, maybe I’ll just opt to debate an empty chair.  I get the feeling you have a bias towards people that do that type of thing, and will blindly defend them from that point forwards, so maybe after that we’d be friends and you can tell my employers whether or not they are treating me fairly.

If I can, Reusse, I would like to pick my own time slot for the debate.

I’d like the one immediately following your report on how Manti Te’o is performing at Vikings OTA’s.

30 COMMENTS

  1. GREAT GREAT WRITE!
    I read the article and seroiusly how else is Peterson going to answer, when he obviously is very religious and doesn’t believe in gay marriage? – in every answer I think he seems respectfull and how much more can you demand?

    He could do as all athletes does and just go with clichés or chose not to answer, but I like honesty, and I apploud Peterson for his answers. (even though I don’t always agree).
    Reusse, get your S**T together!

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  2. Here, Here. I can’t stand that hogface!!. All over Peterson for not being what he sees as politically correct. I like Petersons honesty, too. A flaming straight man?! OMG. It’s like I tell my liberal and polically correct friend, why can’t I say Richard Simmons looks like an idiot and the way he talks like an old woman and acting so stupid. I’ll be tolerant, but no, I’m not with it. Most guys are’nt. Why do you have to apologize?

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  3. Reusse’s life has been a train wreck for decades. Read about some of it here
    http://shamasportsheadliners.com/Archives/December%202,%202009.htm
    alcoholic, drug abuser, who knows what else. He’s not right …….. in the head ……..

    Way back in the ’70’s, my older brother and I were listening to Reusse on his WCCO monday evening show. Reusse and the other host (? can’t remember) decided it was a good idea to indulge themselves with marijuana brownies while broadcasting. The usually inane show soon became a gigglefest that only Big Johnny’s Bigger sister could appreciate. I understand your frustration Adam. Too many Viking fans been exposed to his stupidity for too many years. It’s not good journalism and his tired old act is no longer entertaining.

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  4. i had read that article and thought reusse was out of touch. this is what we get during slow nfl times

    btw, vikings.com has some short video of two good catches during recent practices. man, i sure hope ponder has turned the corner. i think we have a pretty good team going forward

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  5. Agreed Adam,
    The man doesn’t use common sense. I’ll take that over just about anything.
    As far as Adrian, He has a relationship with the Lord. He is accountable to Him.
    He has Not offended anyone by his answer.

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    • I intentionally left religion out of the equation, and politics for the most part, because Reusse’s rant makes no sense even without those two items factoring in.

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  6. Thanks for calling this dbag out Adam. This douchepickle has no clue, reminds me of Chris Mathews, yikes.

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    • That’s funny. Chris is clearly a passionate man, and has pushed the envelope on occasion. However, he is not a blatant freakin’ liar like those on Faux Noose (Fox News is another way to spell it, I suppose). It does bug this ex-military rascal that a POS Australian (Ruper Murdoch) is using his lying ass media to influence American politics. Present the truth and let people decide. What does it say about your stance if you need to straight up lie to your audience? Don’t believe me? That’s cool. Some quickly googled examples, for funsies:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3hMODMyed8

      Were I Fox guy, that alone would piss me off and I’d quit watching. But whatever. This is good ol’ Jon Stewart, recapping:

      http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-21-2011/fox-news-false-statements

      Yes. Funsies!

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      • Tomb, your assessment of FOX News is very much in line with mine I will admit (and MSNBC for that matter, so don’t jump on me folks), but how can you badger them for stating opinion as fact but them find it refreshing when Wacky Ol’ Reusse’s does the same?

        Stating, without proof or qualification, that the Vikings deprived Kluwe of his job due to his activism is slander… Hands down. It is a serious accusation, a narrative he is leading his readers to believe as fact, and it is potentially damaging to the Vikings organization. It is irresponsible, and while he might be a mere sports writer, that doesn’t mean he can’t influence public opinion and perception…. A responsibility that should be taken more seriously by Reusse and countless others.

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        • While I’m glad to hear your opinion of Fox is similar, I think it’s pretty unfair to lump MSNBC in with them. MSNBC makes no bones about what they are. They call themselves the progressive station, and one of the main anchors is an unapologetic progressive lesbian. They are not hiding behind statements like “fair and balanced;” they absolutely advertise what they are…and to that point, I’d challenge you to find an example (like the Hannity link I posted above) where they intentionally and knowingly lied to mislead their audience (which is a step beyond presenting opinion as fact, as you stated above). I’m not saying it definitely doesn’t exist, but I’d be shocked if it did. Remember though, there is a huge difference between an error or exaggeration, and an intentionally misleading story. Lumping the two together in that format is an absolute false equivalence.

          Now then, as far as Reusse, I hope it doesn’t look like I’m defending him in any way. He’s a self-aggrandizing, bloviating buffoon. If someone takes him seriously, that is an unwise move. However, when the article’s headline begins with “Reusse’s Reality,” that indicates to me I’ll be reading an OP-ED piece, not legitimate news. The difference between the inane ramblings of an old curmudgeon and an entire “news” organization who concertedly and blatantly lies to influence the voting behaviors of its audience is gargantuan. I miss the days when the election concerns centered around low information voters. The new wave of mis- and dis-information voters have the potential to influence the path of an entire nation. Reusse is a turd, and he does not wield anything close to that kind of power, nor was he trying to. He’s just trying to influence page hits with outlandish (and yes, misleading) statements.

          HAVING SAID THAT (I think I say that a lot), I changed my mind. I think you should eviscerate him. If nothing else, it’s fun. The thing that initially surprised me about your article was the snarling, passionate nature of it. I wasn’t sure where that was coming from, but your post further down that said “…but these cats show a total lack of respect for an elder that has had an incredible career. And Reusse is one of them” tipped me off where the animosity sprung from. Now I’m on board.

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          • Oh, I forgot to say, you get extra bonus points for the never-nude link. One of the better written shows on TV, if you ask me…even if you don’t, actually.

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          • But Tomb doesn’t like to bring politics into Vikings Territory. Just ask him. He’ll tell you so, as soon as he is done making his left leaning point. Time and time again.

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            • LOL. When you’re right you’re right, and Tomb’s ol’ pal Freds is right.

              Tomb is full of it in that regard.

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  7. Wow. Scathing article, Adam. Where the hell did that come from? Your acrimony is oddly pointed and surprisingly intense. I’m not certain what set that particular rant off. A “journalist” (I quoted that because in the modern internet era that term has basically lost all meaning) these days wear their heart on their sleeve. I think it’s refreshing this guy is so out there, that you can dismiss anything he writes immediately without giving it any real dedicated thought. It’s the sly bastards with the specious arguments that are the ne’er-do-wells, not this guy. In any case, he’s writing for a football site. What impact on the socio-political spectrum does that carry? Slim to none?

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    • By the by, Adam, this:

      “If I can, Reusse, I would like to pick my own time slot for the debate.

      I’d like the one immediately following your report on how Manti Te’o is performing at Vikings OTA’s.”

      I laughed out loud at that one. Good stuff.

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    • I know everyone likes to poke fun at Sid Hartman, but I’d be pissed if I were him. The local sports guys take to Twitter and flat out embarrass Sid, without him knowing, in front of a national audience. I’ve picked on Sid’s articles in the past, when they deserve it, but these cats show a total lack of respect for an elder that has had an incredible career. And Reusse is one of them.

      Sid can at least back up his homerism with a quote or stat in most cases… Reusse can’t. His writing seems just as out of touch, albeit oodles more pessimistic, but even Old Man Hartman has enough left in the tank to put some thought into his words.

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  8. Very nicely done Adam! Obviously Reusse has to make those types of statements and wild assumptions to make up for his lack of talent. He has kinda always reminded me of “Eddie” on Christmas vacation.

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  9. Throw the towel in the ring… this fight is over in the first round. Reusse can’t continue this debate! Adam, you knock him cold with one punch.

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  10. Adam…great article…even brought me out of the closet…..I mean, brought me out of retirement …

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  11. Krugs! Good to hear from you.
    And yeah Adam,, what Tomb, Krugs and all the rest indicate; Very interesting piece!

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  12. I just read an article on Greg Childs. Sounds he is making remarkable progress. I am really pulling for this kid. He has busted his arse to get back. Gotta love players who work hard to overcome hurdles and just want to play. I’ll take those guys any day of the week.

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