One warm winter night in 2006, fullback Darian Barnes, formerly of the New York Jets, had a dream about superhuman football players tackling monsters. A longtime comic-book enthusiast, he decided it had the makings of something real.
“It just kind of like hit me that as many years as people tried to fuse sports and athletes with multimedia and pop culture media, it’s never really worked because the two things are so different,” Mr. Barnes, 27, told the Transom by phone on Jan. 15. “But me having a love of comics and video games and stuff like that, I decided I should do it.”
He teamed with a writing partner, Joshua Goldfund, to create something called the National Triumph League, which is currently being produced as an animated Internet series by NEHST Studios, with voice casting beginning in the next couple of weeks. “The idea is that there are 10 teams, government-sanctioned teams to catch Moriarties, or villains,” Mr. Barnes explained, “and they get points based on how powerful the Moriarities are, and you lose points based if you do any damage to civilians or a building or the landscape.”
NEHST studio head Larry Meistrich said he was expecting big things from the project. “The possibilities are endless as far video games and books and movies,” he said.
Mr. Barnes wants to keep the story lines topical. “We’re going to have a drug that’s like steroids—we’re not going to sugarcoat it,” he said. “We already have a drug called Promethium, which is a drug the government makes you take that makes you lose your powers.”
And he’s far from giving up the sport that brought him Super Bowl glory (with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers); as of press time, Mr. Barnes was in the midst of negotiating a deal with the Buffalo Bills. What do his fellow footballers think of his little sideline? “They would call me a big dork,” he said unperturbedly.