The most interesting thing to me about a player like Earl Thomas, is that we almost always talk about him like his career has already passed. "What's his legacy?" "Where does he rank in the pantheon of great safeties?" "Is he as good as Kenny Easley?" And we do this despite the fact that he's 25-fuckin-years-old.
Thomas was born mere months before the debut of The Simpsons, and yet it's hard to not think about the fact that now he's under pressure to be a first team All-Pro every season because that's what we've become accustomed to. And he could feasibly still be playing in the NFL in the year 2029.
There's a greater chance that the Jaguars will leave the league before Thomas does.
So that's really what I kind of want to know about these transcendent young players, like Thomas, JJ Watt, Von Miller, or Calvin Johnson: How do you deal with the attention? How do you avoid looking at the next 5, 10, or 15 years? How do you prepare for a life after football while you're still preparing for the next game?
And ... Is Russell Wilson a robot or a time traveler?
Thomas went to Reddit today and did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) and there was some interesting insight. I wouldn't say that there were many huge revelations, but Thomas is a lot funnier than people may give him credit for. Here are some of the highlights of that AMA:
On cutting his dreads and switching his jersey to read "THOMAS III":
"It was in the middle of the night, I still had my dreads, something told me to cut my dreads. I woke up in the middle of the night and cut my dreads. The III I tried to get at the beginning of my rookie season, but they wouldn't allow it."
On what music he listens to before games:
"I don't listen to music before games. I'll listen to an audio book. Maybe something like the Art of War. Even some old Mike Tyson stories to tap into my killer instinct."
On his favorite Super Bowl memory:
"The plane ride home. We was in the clouds, it felt like a movie, bro."
On the most under-appreciated player:
"Probably Brandon Mebane, he's been there so long and he does a lot of the dirty work that nobody sees. He's the nose guard, he clogs up the holes and makes it hard for the opposing running game. He's put in a position that you can't really see but his impact is irreplaceable... because he's in the trenches."
On Pete Carroll:
"Instead of a coach, I think Pete is more of a teacher. He allows everyone to have their own personalities, but gives us the indicators that we need to succeed in growth."
"This is my first time browsing Reddit."
"If it don't help me grow, I don't listen to or see it. Growth is what I'm after. I'm self mastering a bunch of other stuff."
On the funniest person on the team:
"Coach Carroll is the funniest guy on the team. The thing that makes him the funniest is that he may have multiple personalities that he actually believes. You can see it in his acting skills."
On whether or not Russell Wilson is a robot:
"No, he's a time traveler."
On raising the 12th Man Flag one day:
"Great question. I haven't thought about it but I see it before every game and it's a very emotional experience. I put that along with seeing my name dropped in the rafters. Something like a goal."
The rest of the AMA can be found on Reddit.