LONDON - Getting to travel to London to cover the Minnesota Vikings is a pretty big deal for this reporter.
I've never been to the city and I love football, but no one was more excited that I was traveling across the pond than my 8-year-old neighbor Mia.
You see, Mia is a rabid Vikings fan. Scratch that. Mia is a rabid Adrian Peterson fan. When she heard I would be covering the team, she saw her opportunity, and got to work.
Mia, I'm told by her mother, Theresa, started writing a letter to her hero. She went through several drafts that just weren't good enough and decided it needed to be typed and perfect.
She walked it down the street and said she had no expectations, only that if I HAPPENED to run into AP could I please hand deliver it to him.
Here's what struck me about the letter. Mia doesn't love Adrian Peterson because he's a football player. She doesn't think he's a hero because he's famous. Adrian Peterson is her hero because he encourages others and works hard.
I found it interesting that an 8-year-old could pick up on something like that. So, I said I would do my best to make sure he saw it.
Thanks to the Viking's staff, I got the chance to do that Friday. I handed it over and AP graciously read it.
"That's pretty sweet. It feels good to be able to inspire somebody like that. It's easier said than done when you see it in a letter like that and they are able to express the way I play or the encouraging words that I've said what they take from it. It really means a lot to me," said the NFL's MVP.
I asked him if this sort of thing ever gets old.
"No, not at all. It always brings a smile to my face and you know any time that I'm down or whatever might be going on in my life or I see something like this or how I've inspired someone whether it's on Twitter or letters, it always makes me feel good," he said.
Then I asked him if he had anything to say to little Mia. The author of the letter.
"I love you, continue to be encouraged, don't let anything get you down and if you do, get back up and you keep pushing," said AP with a big smile.
Mission accomplished Mia. Now make sure to listen to his advice.
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