He has not answered his phone in days.
Every week since hearing of The Archangel, your friend asks you to relay the information imparted by The Drunkard. He seems to feed off the obvious veracity of the histories told to you, and every day without new data on the Seahawks he becomes more agitated. You have been trying to reach him, to tell him of The Deathbacker, but it is as though he has disappeared.
It is with these concerns festering in your mind that you walk into the bar.
And there he is, seated next to the mysterious drunk guy. They both slouch in similar ways, they both nestle drinks in their hands, the same expression possesses both of their visages. Your friend's sallow skin is sunken, his narrow cheek bones appear ready to break the surface. He looks like a more attractive Lindsay Rhodes (and probably just as annoying).
You move near them. They are leaning over a genogram that has been hastily sketched on a liquor-stained napkin. The Drunkard is whispering in a low guttural tone, and your friends shoulders seem to be shaking with mirth. Or fear.
They raise their heads to look at you, red-rimmed eyes staring. The Drunkard is grinning. Your friend looks hungry. Every accusation and complaint flees from your mind, and you can only think to utter one question.
"What do you know of Earl Thomas?"
The Drunkard's grin evaporates...
Son, I should slap you for even asking about him. What kind of cockamamie do they teach these days? The modern American man is required to know three universal truths: Prince is never wrong, Earl Thomas is the greatest football player since Walter Camp, and "reverse cowgirl" is like having all that is good and true in this world bestow upon you a blessing the likes of which you have never seen, and are certain you are unworthy of ever seeing again. You forgot at least one of those, and from the way you're walking, and your distinct lack of purple velvet, probably all three.
Earl Thomas is your mom's favorite child, and in the time it took me to say that he intercepted both your balls and returned them for touchdowns.
Most football players are weapons designed to bludgeon, and that's okay; every toolbox needs a hammer. But Earl is a sniper. He lurks in the grass, waiting for you to feel secure in your pocket, until with blinding speed he reaches out and touches you. All that remains is a pink mist, and six points on the scoreboard.
Thomas is an adamantine raptor soaring through the secondary with effortless grace, his eyes scanning for the slightest sign of intrusion. When a wideout dares to cross into his domain his retribution is immediate and filled with a sanguinary rage. His steel-clad beak bursts forth from the back of the unfortunate fool, the enemy's still-beating heart clasped tightly in the razor-edged talons of Seattle's ball hawk. Our secondary is littered with carnage, viscera, and pieces of carrion that were once number one receivers. Straight death, Homie.
I mean, do you even watch him play? C'mon! Did you see him hit Adrian Peterson? He stepped into his asshole, right after eating a bowl of cocoa pebbles. Could you do that? No, of course not. Who could? Dashon Goldon? Shut your mouth when you say his name. More like "Crawlon Copperson". He's cheap and sucks at his job, is what I'm saying.
Earl Thomas is the lead pianist in a jazz group called Bad Bones. He once played a stirring rendition of "Maneater" during Ladies Night at Spanky's Bar & Grill, and nine months later the starting lineup for the 2031 Seattle Seahawks was born. This is the cat you're dealing with. He is a high-octane eviscerator who saws down receivers with the subtlety of a machine gun. Opposing players leave the Line looking for touchdowns, and leave the field as bloated corpses with torn blue and silver jerseys. Seriously, the Panthers are about as real as snake hips. Keep Pounding?
Keep your head on a hinge when you are being hunted by The Dreaded One, Kemosabe.
There was a time, in hallowed antiquity, when gods walked amongst Man. Yet the peace between the two races was weaker than Robert Griffin's ligaments. These creatures of the empyrean were capricious, and demanded fealty from the lowly humans. One such being was the Aztecan God of Hawks. I would tell you his name, but there are a lot of X's and T's, and I'm too drunk to pronounce it. It sounds like an octopus simultaneously sneezing and having an orgasm. Let's move on. This God of Hawks roamed the earth, doing your typical god things: demanding baby sea otter sacrifices, forcing his worshipers to dance, and tricking a coyote into stealing the moon, or whatever. John Q. Deity stuff, really.
And so it came to pass that the God of Hawks was cruising around the sky, crushing brews, and looking to rassle up some trouble, when his eyes alighted upon the pulchritude of a young gypsy hanging out by a well, or a pond, or something. The god approached the woman, and spoke in a soft and soothing tone. "Είστε μια όμορφη γυναίκα" he said, which roughly translates to "Damn girl, look at that ass. How you livin'?" One thing led to another, and soon the God of Hawks was playing Seattle Football, and pounding the rock until he hit paydirt. After a time he ascended to the firmament, and the woman was left on earth, pregnant with his bastard progeny.
Earl Thomas was raised like any other young boy--he played in the dirt, everything he held turned into a gun, and he once set off on an adventure with three other boys to find the body of Ray Brower. While technically a demi-god, Earl Thomas III did not exhibit any unusual behavior. His mother was afraid that he would seek a life of danger and conquest, and was concerned for his safety. Thus his normalcy was a relief to her, though the feeling was short-lived.
For when he left for the Orange fields of Texas his true powers commenced manifestation.
It began as brief bursts of levitation during jump balls. Then tackling a runner with a power well beyond his stature. Eventually Earl was able to predict where the ball was being placed, as though he were inside the mind of the opposing quarterback. Thomas destroyed the best laid plans of every team who mustered the courage to stand against him. But it was not enough. Earl played to the extent of his abilities, and still had received no sign that his father took notice. He began to long for a greater arena.
Thomas's odd talents caught the eye of Mr. Peter Carroll (an angel on this earth if there ever was one), and Peter convinced the son of the God of Hawks to join the squad he was assembling in Seattle. Earl realized that the sacred ground of the CLink would be the optimal place for him to catch the eye of his wayward father, and he immediately left for the iron-grey skies of the northwest.
There, Earl Thomas broke through the self-imposed barriers on his ability, and fully realized his immense potential.
With talons extended, blood coating his hands, Earl prowls the rain-soaked field of Seattle. His passage is marked by the splintering of bone, the crushing of cartilage, and the terrified cries of the rival players who failed to sense him approaching. With his uncanny sight Earl resides aloft, biding his time. When the incautious and timid Falcon of Atlanta dares to soar too deep into his protectorate, Earl launches himself forward at a speed terrible to behold. The Falcon is hit with a barrage of power which crumples his chest cavity and disembowels the mewling coward. Earl Thomas then leaves White red, and discarded on the field as a sign to Julio, Harry, or any other of those bunch o' sucks.
Our demi-god, half human spawn of the God of Hawks, only seeks to gain the notice of his father. His hope is that, should he succeed, he will ascend to his father's right hand. He will come face-to-face with the being who bore him. He will finally look this Aztecan God of Hawks who dallied with his mother in his raptor's eyes.
And lo, he shall cast his father down and leave his broken body atop the pile of Ed Reeds, Troy Polamalus, Adrian Wilsons, and Lifehouse's discography. Earl Thomas is destined to seat himself on the Winged Throne, and take his place as the true God of (ball)Hawks. From there, he will advance the dark agenda of Seattle.
Earl will turn his predatory gaze towards the lands of the southern teams. He shall subjugate them, crush the heretics beneath his heal, and reduce their famed citadels to rubble. Except the Redskins, because Fed-Ex field is already rubble, and no one wants to enslave those cheap bastards anyway.
The Drunkard abruptly falls silent, goes limp, and his head bounces off the bar top.
Startled, you grab your friend's arm and begin pulling him away. He resists, but eventually succumbs to your tugs and stands up from his seat. You lead him towards the door, leaving the low snores of the booze-soaked man behind
Your friend turns to look at the mysterious drunk guy one last time, then he quietly leaves the bar. You place him into a waiting taxi, and begin the long walk back towards your own edifice.
The Drunkard's words echo in your head, and you can't seem to suppress them. You feel a drive in you, a need to satisfy your own curiosity, to discover the truth for yourself.
Reverse cowgirl, eh...?