I had never heard of Adrian Peterson until January 8, 2013. There was an article in our local newspaper about the star football player. I live in Buffalo Bills country. We may not have a Superbowl trophy on the shelf, but we are dedicated fans. So, why on earth was everybody gushing about a running back for the Minnesota Vikings? Adrian Peterson did something off the field that made him a real hero. He called a teenager, battling a rare form of cancer, just to talk. Blake Cognata took the call from his bed at Strong Memorial Hospital. For five minutes Blake was in his glory, speaking on the phone to his favorite player.
The 17-year-old died days after his dream came true.
Today I saw another story about Adrian Peterson. The headline read:
Report: Adrian Peterson’s young son dies after alleged assault
The suspect is the boyfriend of the toddler’s mother. Joseph Robert Patterson, 27, has been charged with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault. I do not understand how anyone could hurt an innocent child. My heart aches for Adrian Peterson. He just recently learned that he was the child’s father. The toddler was on life support when he met him for the first time.
During that phone call to Blake Cognata Adrian Peterson talked about his faith and told the teen, “not to give up.” I imagine Blake is with Peterson’s little boy looking down from Heaven whispering those exact words.