The Sports Avengers
The summer movie season officially kicks off this week with the release of the much-anticipated Avengers movie. Marvel Studios has spent five years and five movies building up to The Avengers and devoted fans have been counting the days until it’s debut. While we got caught up in the anticipation we couldn’t help but notice that the team of superheroes in The Avengers bear a resemblance to some of the biggest names in professional sports. With that in mind we decided to recast the movie with a few picks of our own.
Derek Jeter as Captain America
This was the easiest call to make, as the Yankees captain makes the perfect Captain America. Not only does he already have the title, but the similarities to the hero are undeniable. Much like Cap, Jeter has made a career of being athletically gifted, but without any real special powers. A shared love of the spotlight and the undying admiration of the media clinched it for us. Plus, let’s be honest, they are both a bit past their primes.
Tom Brady as Iron Man
He’s rich, powerful, surrounded by models and actresses and always trying to upgrade his weapons. That sentence could be used to describe either Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or Iron Man Tony Stark. While we aren’t sure of Brady’s attitude toward communism, we know that he enjoys destroying his enemies on the field of battle while maintaining his reputation as a lovable playboy. Besides, anyone who’s seen his flabby combine photos knows he’s gone through some serious upgrades.
Ndamukong Suh as The Incredible Hulk/Bruce Banner
A friendly, generous and well-spoken man off the field the Lions Ndamukong Suh becomes a monster for opposing linemen on game day. Few football players can dominate the line of scrimmage like Suh, but when he gets angry opposing players better watch out, as Suh has committed more personal fouls over the last two years than any other player. Much like Bruce Banner, when Suh lets the beast out there is no telling what damage he might do, and there is no telling when he will go off. Besides, “Suh Stomp” is almost as good a catchphrase as “Hulk Smash.”
Jordan Zimmermann as Hawkeye
Unless you are a dedicated baseball fan your first reaction to this casting was probably “Who?” Much like Hawkeye and the Avengers, Zimmermann is overshadowed by his better known Nationals teammates Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and even newcomer Bryce Harper. And like Hawkeye, Zimmermann thrives thanks to his amazing accuracy. This summer might be the first time the general public gets a good look at either of them.
Clay Matthews III as Thor
Thor isn’t the actual Norse God, but a member of the royal family of a race of powerful aliens. Clay Matthews shares the same blood lines, his father and grandfather both played in the NFL and his uncle Bruce is a Hall of Fame lineman. Matthews also shares the imposing physique, warrior’s will and flowing blond hair of the heroic Thor. While Matthews can’t wield a weapon like Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir (we can’t guess how much Roger Goodell would fine him for that), opposing ball carriers know how it feels to be hit by one.
Alex Rodriguez as Black Widow
This one might be a little gender bending, but it just fits. Both are extremely talented athletes that benefited from a little extra chemical “assistance” in their early days. Both take great care for their looks and have both dated a string of muscular partners. The Black Widow was an assassin for hire before joining the Avengers, and Rodriguez has experience as both a hired gun for the highest bidder, and in killing the Yankees in the playoffs. In the comic books Black Widow also carries on a long, but complicated relationship with Captain America.
Kobe Bryant as Nick Fury
In the Ultimate Avengers universe General Nick Fury is a slow-aging warrior tasked with bringing together the Avengers team, but rarely gets along with the heroes he brings in. Fury is gifted with above average speed and agility, is a deadly shot and a combat veteran. Kobe fits this description perfectly, and shares Fury’s appreciation for history and unwavering dedication to his goals. The only problem is that Kobe’s Fury would force a trade of Thor to the X-Men for two mutants to be named later.
The Other Avengers
There are a number of characters in the Avengers universe who can be replaced by folks in the sports universe, here are a list of some of our favorites.
LeBron James as Hank Pym/Ant Man
He has great value to the team, and no one is as good at being small in big moments as LeBron.
Tony Dungy as Edwin Jarvis
We can’t find a better person to be the adviser, assistant and sometimes nanny to the Avengers than the retired Coach Dungy.
Venus Williams as Wasp
The both share a love of fashion and had greatly underrated careers.
Wes Welker as War Machine
Like War Machine and Iron Man, Welker wasn’t much without Tom Brady, and is best as the #2 weapon.
Jon “Bones” Jones as Black Panther
Black Panther was a master of martial arts, gifted with incredible strength, speed and agility, and the first mainstream black superhero. Jones is the only man who could do this character justice.
Jeremy Lin as Scarlet Witch
What else but the Scarlet Witch’s ability to make the improbable happen could describe Lin’s breakout performance this season.