What if NFL Stars were Comic Book Super-Heroes?

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Geoff Lambert

Founder at GoingFor2
I started this site in January of 2015 and never thought it would grow as it has. I'm an avid sports and fantasy sports fan from the Greater Washington D.C. area, but my teams are the S.F. 49ers and the N.O. Pelicans. I hope you enjoy the site and continue to visit us for all your fantasy sports needs.
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I dug up this old article from a now defunct site that I used to write for and thought it was worth reposting. Some of the comparisons are a little out-of-date, but still an interesting read nonetheless.

 

NFL superstar players are larger than life figures in the real world. Kids look up to them. The term “hero” and “idol” are thrown around quite liberally when referring to them. All of us grew up with a favorite player, one that we would try to emulate in our backyard football games, often adding our own commentary when we were throwing around a football: “Joe Montana back to pass, looking, looking, avoids the sack, throws down the field. TOUCHDOWN!”

That was my favorite player growing up, but I bet everyone reading this could substitute “Joe Montana” for their favorite player and it would sound very similar. NFL players, and pro athletes in general, are real life “superheroes” to a fashion, and that got me thinking: what if NFL players were superheroes? How would their personalities translate to comic books, or in this day an age, a blockbuster movie?

I decided to take a break from fantasy stuff and explore just that. So, I took some of the most well-known Superheroes and Supervillains, and matched them with their NFL equivalent!

Iron Man – Richard Sherman

I’m going to start with Iron Man. Why? Because once I decided the best Tony Stark in the NFL was Richard Sherman, as a 49er fan I was sick to my stomach, comparing my beloved Iron Man to one of the 49ers most hated rivals, so I wanted to get him out of the way first.

There is no denying that Sherman is the quintessential Tony Stark. He has the brash, sarcastic, in your face sense of humor. He is better than you and he isn’t afraid to tell you just that. When he puts on his suit uniform, there is nothing that is going to stop him, and he is going to talk about how he is beating you the entire time.

The Punisher – Steve Smith Jr.

nfl superheroes

via marvel.com/baltimoreravens.com

This was an easy one and probably one of my favorite comparisons. The Punisher came into existence because he sought revenge and wanted to punish those who had wronged him. The Carolina Panthers wronged Steve Smith by letting him go after 13 successful seasons, and he got his revenge. The build up started shortly after he became a member of the Ravens. During a radio interview, he was asked what would happen when he eventually faced his former team. His quote was very comic book-esque.

“Put your goggles on cause there’s going to be blood and guts everywhere”

And another quote caught by NFL films during a 38-10 Ravens victory over the Carolina Panthers, a game in which he had seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

“Take your [butts] back to Carolina. Make sure you mow my lawn too while you’re out there. Keep it clean for me.”

Steve Smith Jr. made the Panthers pay for their mistake in letting him go and punished them accordingly.

Two-Face – Tom Brady

Had I written this article pre-DeflateGate, Brady probably would have gotten Captain America. Up to that point, he had said and did all the right things and had those All-American good looks. Turns out, we had him wrong all along. He pulled the wool over our eyes while he cheated his way to the top. Just like Two-Face did.

He smiled and said all the right things in the public eye, but behind closed doors, he was plotting and scheming ways to get to the top — by any means necessary. Brady went from the guy every kid could look up to, to public enemy No. 1 in the blink of an eye, just like Two-Face.

Batman – Andrew Luck

nfl superheroes

via fantasyfever.sportsblog.com/comicbookmovie.com

If Tom Brady is Two-Face, then Andrew Luck has to be Batman. Why? Because Two-Face, I mean Tom Brady, “cheated” Andrew Luck out of a conference championship game. Yes, the deflated balls had nothing to do with the outcome in the end, but what if it had? What if the game had come down to a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman, in which Edelman makes an impossible one-handed catch, one that he could have never made with a fully inflated football? Yeah, that’s a little far-fetched, but we are talking comic books here, far-fetched is status quo.

Batman always wins in the end, though, so maybe this comic book  has another chapter? Does Batman  Andrew Luck meet Tom Brady and the Patriots again on the big stage? We’ll have to wait and see.

Night Crawler – Russell Wilson

Night Crawler’s ability in the comic books is to teleport short distances very quickly.  Anyone trying to capture Night Crawler would have a very difficult time because just when you thought you had him, poof, he is behind you.

That statement could very well be used for Russell Wilson. There are plenty of running quarterbacks in this league, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick come to mind, but none are as elusive as Russell Wilson. Defensive players chase him all over the field, and he continues to dodge defender after defender, seemingly “teleporting” until he finds a wide open receiver downfield. Night Crawler was also small in stature in the comic books, and if my research has served me right, Russell Wilson is currently the shortest starting quarterback in the NFL. Night Crawler Wilson? Eh, there have been worse nicknames.

Daredevil – Trent Richardson

Okay, this one is more of a joke than a real opinion. Daredevil is blind, and sometimes I wonder if Richardson is too. I’ve seen countless game film in which there is a huge hole to his left, seemingly where the play was designed to go, and for reasons only know to Richardson, he chooses to go right. If only Richardson’s other senses were heightened like that of the Daredevil’s, maybe he could smell the gap to his left.

The Flash – Jamaal Charles

nfl superheroes

via web.vtc.edu/nerdist.com

There were a couple of fast guys I could have used for the Flash, ultimately decided on Charles for no other reason then the Chiefs uniforms are very similar in color to the Flash’s superhero outfit. That doesn’t mean that Charles is not deserving of being called the Flash. For his career, Jamaal Charles has six rushing or receiving touchdowns of over 60 yards. He has been in the league for six years, so do the math, he is good for at least one a year. He had three plays over 80 yards in 2012! You’re not going to catch this guy in the open field. Now if we could just get the Chiefs to add the lightning bolt to his jersey…

The Incredible Hulk – J.J. Watt

Here is another no brainer. Have you ever seen an interview with Watt? He seems like the nicest, most humble guy on the planet. Extremely smart and well spoken. Very “Bruce Banner” if you will.

You line him up in front of an opposing offensive lineman and watch the Hulk come out. He causes destruction in his wake with no regard for anything in his way, and then when the whistle blows, and everything has calmed down, he goes back to being Bruce Banner and takes selfies with the quarterback he just sacked.

Ant-Man – Andy Dalton

I know some of you non-movie buffs or noncomic book nerds just said, “Who is Ant-Man?” You will all become more familiar with him on July 17th when the movie comes out. The important thing here is knowing what his super power is. He has the ability to change his size down to the size of , you guessed it, an ant.

“Andy Dalton is 6’2″, that’s not exactly small like an ant”, you say?

You are right, Andy Dalton isn’t small, but he is the poster boy for “shrinking” under the pressure. See what I did there? Known more for his playoff blunders than any of his great regular season games, or the fact that he has gotten the Bengals to the playoffs four straight years. Dalton will be forever known as the Ant-Man until he can win a playoff game.

Captain America – Peyton Manning

Was there any doubt? He is the greatest regular season quarterback of his time, maybe ever. You can’t help but root for this guy. Everyone in America, except those in Seattle, were rooting for Peyton Manning in that Super Bowl.

Everyone.

Just like Captain America, he is selfless, puts the team above himself, and is one of the best leaders in all of sports, not just football.

Entering this season with all the question marks about his health and his depleted offensive line, Manning is going to wish he had Captain America’s shield by Week 4.

Juggernaut – Marshawn Lynch

nfl superheroes

via buzzfeed.com/comicvine.com

I came really close to giving Marshawn Lynch the superhero Groot from The Guardian of the Galaxy’s movie/comic. If you haven’t seen the movie, spoiler alert, Groot only says three words over and over again for the entire movie: “I am Groot.” Does that sound familiar?

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” – Marshawn Lynch

While that is a pretty hilarious comparison, the fact is, Groot doesn’t sum up Lynch’s playing style like Juggernaut does. Juggernaut lowers his head and runs through walls. He is pretty much unstoppable once he gets going, much like Lynch. Don’t believe me, watch this. Saints fans, don’t click that link.

Mr. Fantastic – Calvin Johnson

Okay, I know Johnson is already Megatron, but we are talking superheroes and comic book villains, not ’80s Saturday morning cartoons. Yes you 20-somethings, Transformers was a ’80s cartoon long before it was a blockbuster movie.

Back to Calvin Johnson as Mr. Fantastic. The leader of the Fantastic Four has the ability to stretch himself impossible distances, so who else would personify this ability than 6’5″ Calvin Johnson? His catch radius is astounding. Matthew Stafford just has to get the ball somewhere in Johnson’s area code and the Lions’ all-time leader in receiving yards will go get it, seemingly stretching his 6-foot-5 frame at impossible angles. Megatron is one of the all-time great nicknames, but for the purpose of this article, he is Mr. Fantastic.

Spider-Man – Odell Beckham Jr.

nfl superheroes

via thefumble.com/misterjjj.tumblr.com

OBJ solidified himself as Spider-Man on one play, the play heard and seen around the world. That one-handed, over the head, falling backward catch could only be made by one other person: Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man. Odell Beckham routinely makes one-handed catches during his pre-game warm-ups, almost as if showing off his superhuman powers for the world to see.

Now if only Eli Manning could stop throwing footballs like the Green Goblin throws those exploding pumpkins (you know, the ones that never seem to hit Spider-man), and the Giants might actually be good.

Wolverine – Adrian Peterson

Bad press aside, there is no one in the NFL more Wolverine-esque than Peterson. Only Wolverine and Peterson could tear an ACL, come back nine months later and have the best season of his career as well one of the best seasons of all-time for a running back. Adrian Peterson needs a Professor X type of coach to steer him away from all his off the field transgressions, but there is no denying it, if anyone in the NFL possessed a healing factor like Wolverine, it would be Adrian Peterson.

Lex Luthor – Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick and his push the envelope borderline cheating, has to be a villain. Who else is a better match than the conniving Lex Luthor? Hungry for power, Luthor will do anything and everything to get it. Does that not describe Belichick to a tee? How many “gates” do we need to associate with him before we see him as pure evil (not really, I’m sure he is a good guy), but a genius at the same time?

Lex Luthor is one of the most, if not the most, recognized villain in comic book history, and Belichick is regarded in a similar manner by the other three teams in that division. With six straight division titles, you could say that Belichick owns the “Metropolis” that is the AFC East.

Dr. Doom – Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell’s claim as Dr. Doom is summed up in one of his press conference quotes.

“I am Doom… Destroyer of worlds… What gods dare stand against me?”

Okay, so Dr. Doom actually said that not Goodell. But can’t you just picture Goodell saying this behind closed doors as he doles out fines and suspensions that seemingly make no sense to the rest of us mere mortals? There is no rhyme or reason to any of these punishments. I think sometimes it just comes down to what mood he is in for that day.

Dr. Doom is another of the top super villains of all-time, and I’d bet 99.9 percent of football fans will agree that Goodell is the ultimate super villain. Oh, and that 0.1 percent that does not agree, that would be Roger Goodell’s clone. Only the super nerds will get that one.

Finally, the superhero of superheroes. The undisputed, most powerful, well-known superhero there is. The one with the word “super” literally as part of his name…

Superman – Aaron Rodgers

nfl superheroes

via sbnation.com/comicvine.com

Who deserves this title more than the defending MVP himself? Aaron Rodgers is as close to other-worldly as they come. Rodgers threw the ball 520 times in 2014 and threw only five interceptions. That means he threw a pick .009 percent of the time. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning while being attacked by a bear than Rodgers’ chances of throwing an interception.

Another similarity is his girlfriend Olivia Munn, who could definitely play the role of Lois Lane if we were to cast yet another Superman movie, which further solidifies his claim to be Superman. The unquestioned “best quarterback in the league” has to be Superman. No denying it.

There you have it. A break from the normal fantasy stuff you expect from me, but a fun article to write and hopefully as equally fun to read. I’d really like to hear what you think of my list? Did I miss someone? Disagree with one? I left the Joker off this list, I just couldn’t come up with a comparable player or coach. Can you think of one? I want to hear some feedback, follow me on Twitter @geofflambert77. I answer ALL my followers. I’ll be back to my fantasy stuff in my next article.

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I started this site in January of 2015 and never thought it would grow as it has. I'm an avid sports and fantasy sports fan from the Greater Washington D.C. area, but my teams are the S.F. 49ers and the N.O. Pelicans. I hope you enjoy the site and continue to visit us for all your fantasy sports needs.

Geoff Lambert

I started this site in January of 2015 and never thought it would grow as it has. I'm an avid sports and fantasy sports fan from the Greater Washington D.C. area, but my teams are the S.F. 49ers and the N.O. Pelicans. I hope you enjoy the site and continue to visit us for all your fantasy sports needs.

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