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Vikings RB Adrian Peterson: The AFC's Biggest Fan

With Minnesota struggling around him, Adrian Peterson tries to keep the faith.

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DEADLY OBSESSION You don’t want to run into AP on the field—or on XBox Live. Assassin’s Creed: Revelations hits shelves for PS3 and XBox 360 on Nov. 15 behind a teaser commercial that features Peterson, BJ Penn and Derrick Rose donning the assassin’s hood as well as a celebrity multiplayer match. Peterson will lead his team against one led by rival nose tackle BJ Raji of the Green Bay Packers. Before the showdown, he talked some smack to Men’s Fitness. How’d you come to endorse this game? Did they drive a truckload of money up to your house? [Laughs.] Nah, man. I’m a huge fan of Assassin’s Creed. I started playing two years ago and I find it really interesting. I’m really not a big gamer, but this game is very sly.

Did you get an advance copy to practice for your game against BJ? Yes, I got the game, and it’s a really exciting one, especially for fans that have been following the series for a long time. I think everyone’s going to be really impressed. Who else on the Vikings plays? Joe Webb and Chris Kluwe are two of the guys really into it. Kluwe’s really the game guru. No matter what game it is, he knows all about it. Players get in trouble for assuring victory on the field, but this matchup... c’mon, guarantee it. I’m sure those guys are pretty good, but I have faith and confidence in the team that I have put together, so I’m calling a victory. Yeah, it’s guaranteed.

Let’s not rehash what Adrian Peterson means to the Minnesota Vikings. Put simply, he’s irreplaceable—one of the most dynamic running backs in all of football. But one man doesn’t make a team, and it’s been a frustrating run so far for the 2011 Vikings. At 2-6, fans have just about thrown in the towel and are hanging on to every positive play made by rookie QB Christian Ponder to give themselves any reason to hope for better results in 2012. Players, though, don’t have the “wait ‘til next year” luxury, and Peterson says there’s plenty of unfinished business with half of the season remaining. With the Vikings at 2-6, are you holding on to faint hopes of a playoff berth, or do you focus on improving your own game? You stay focused in general—that’s the objective. We’ve got eight more weeks. It won’t be easy to win eight in a row, but you’ve got to keep that mind-set. I’m trying to spread that around the locker room. We’re 2-6 right now, so my focus is going 10-6. NFL years age a man a lot quicker than regular people years. What’s changed for you over five seasons? I’ve gotten involved in a wider variety of training. I started boxing and doing more track and field work. I do distance running, too, plus all my regular field work. It’s a combination of all that. And you’re heavier now. Yeah, probably eight more pounds of muscle. Isn't that a lot for a speed guy? I feel good with it. I’ve been able to ward off injuries—I thank God for that. I talk a lot with other players, and some of the stories are kind of bad. I haven’t had any surgeries or anything like that, knock on wood. What other storylines in the NFL catch your eye? There’s obviously a big one brewing at the top of your division. Yeah, the Packers are playing outstanding right now. I haven’t really been following different teams, I’m just focusing on this organization and hoping to turn it around. This is kind of rough; it’s my first time ever being in this position, so I can’t be paying attention to what’s going on around the league. But I’m going to be honest with you—when I do watch football, and it’s an AFC-NFC matchup, I’m hoping the AFC wins. Seeing as we’re 2-6 right now, we need all the help we can get.   Want a copy of Assassin's Creed: Revelations? Click here for a chance to win one free!

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