Man, it has been a weak year for movies so far! I’m a few days removed from seeing War Dogs, which, after The Nice Guys, was my second most-anticipated movie of 2016. At least Jonah Hill was exceptional–I’d go as far as to say that his role as the devious arms-dealing scumbag Efraim Diveroli was as memorable as his role as Jordan Belfort’s Robin in The Wolf of Wall Street.
As for the movie, it was….good. Not bad. Nowhere near great. Just good–and, in this case, good equaled disappointment. Especially since this was coming from director Todd Phillips, who brought us two of the most riotous yet delightful comedies of this century in Old School and The Hangover, War Dogs was not as funny as it could have been. More distressing, though, was how the movie wasn’t nearly as riveting or suspenseful as it had to be. This, ultimately, was its fatal flaw.
But at least it wasn’t nearly as disappointing as some of the other notable movies released this year! 2016 started with a confusing dud–Hail Caesar!–that looked great on screen, but didn’t feel like anything. Then, in late March, I sat through nearly three of the most agonizing hours I’ve ever spent in a movie theatre, wincing, cringing, squirming, and ultimately leaving dismayed by the complete joke that was Batman v Superman. And this past summer, I was extremely let down by both The Nice Guys and Jason Bourne, two movies I thought I would have loved beforehand, but turned out to be nothing more than your typical stale, run-of-the-mill movies that are far more intriguing in theory than they are in actuality. Oh, and I’d be remiss not to mention that I didn’t even bother with Suicide Squad.
This year hasn’t been all bad for movies, though. There was Zootopia, which was outstanding. And, thankfully, there were two superhero movies that helped get rid of the bad taste in my mouth from seeing Batman fire a machine gun at a giant monster…thing. First there was Deadpool, which will probably go down as this year’s Kingsman for being the most fun time I’ve had at the movies this year. Then there was Captain America: Civil War. Look, I’m not a Marvel guy by any means. I even try to actively avoid most of what they have to offer. But Civil War was great, and I appreciated it more considering how badly DC failed trying to get all their heroes on screen together successfully.
So with those two movies in mind, I’d like to….think about what NFL stars compare the most to our favorite superheroes.
Cam Newton Antonio Brown
I know the reigning MVP has proclaimed himself to be the NFL’s Superman, but he’s not. That honor belongs to Antonio Brown, the man I deem to be the best athlete in the NFL and the man who can do it all on a football field like no other offensive player in the league. Plus, Superman never wanted to be Superman. He just was Superman! And Clark Kent wasn’t exactly running around town bragging about himself all the time, either. That’s why Brown, who also comes from humble origins like the Man of Steel himself, is the perfect fit.
NFL Comparison: Tom Brady
For the Batman comparison, we’re looking for a player who has risen to the top of the food chain, partly due to his troubled past and partly due to his guile and sheer will. No one fits those qualifications better than Brady, a former sixth-round pick who continues to thrive to this day based on his acumen and field awareness. Plus, it helps that he’s a multi-millionaire celebrity who is just as comfortable wearing a Tom Ford suit with a beautiful girl on his arm as he is in football pads.
NFL Comparison: Andrew Luck
This one’s tough–I said it in the byline. Do I go with Luck or J.J. Watt? Watt certainly has a case. He’s crafted a perfect image for himself and he’s basically indestructible. But can’t we say the same about Luck? Plus, there’s something about Watt that I feel may be contrived about him (I’m not the only one who has said this, either). If you’re going to be the NFL’s Captain America, than you have to be as authentic as it gets. Andrew Luck has that authenticity about him, and he even has that dorkish personality that makes you wonder how a guy like him could ever be blessed with such a rocket arm and a thick, prototypical frame to play quarterback. It’s an interesting debate, but that’s why I’m going with Luck over Watt here.
NFL Comparison: Darren Sproles
Sproles is absolutely Ant-Man. Yeah, it’s mainly because he’s the shortest player in the NFL. But it’s also because he is dynamic and can make defenders trying to catch him look ridiculous. For Sproles, being small is an advantage–just like it is for Ant-Man.
The Incredible Hulk
NFL Comparison: Rob Gronkowski
If the Hulk had a touchdown celebration, wouldn’t he spike the ball as hard as he can, too?
NFL Comparison: Aaron Rodgers
Tough comparison to make. In a perfect world, we’re looking for a billionaire hotshot who’s looking to break out of daddy’s shadow by saving the world in a tricked-out exoskeleton that allows him to fly. But this isn’t a perfect world. I was thinking maybe Eli Manning? You know, because Archie Manning is his dad and…OK, nevermind. So then I settled on Rodgers. He has that Tony Stark-arrogance, but he is too charismatic for you to ever hate him too much (unless you root for one of the other teams in the NFC North). And, of course, he is nasty. With the way he slings it, maybe his Packers uniform really is just one of Iron Man’s suits in disguise.
NFL Comparison: Dan Bailey
If the Avengers were a football team, they would absolutely treat Hawkeye like a kicker. Alright Hawkeye, just, you know, practice your thing and we’ll call you if we need you just in case everything goes to shit. The main difference, I suppose, is that Hawkeye doesn’t even have the ability to bail the Avengers out! He’s lucky he even gets the Dan Bailey comparison.
NFL Comparison: Odell Beckham Jr
They both operate in the Big Apple. They both behave like teenagers most of the time. But, most importantly, they both have webs for hands.
NFL Comparison: Von Miller
You don’t necessarily draft Black Panther first overall in a superhero fantasy draft, but boy is he an asset. Same goes for Miller, who was the most integral part of Denver’s title run last year.
NFL Comparison: Richard Sherman
Deadpool has to be a cornerback, right? He’s on an island unto himself in the world of superheroes and, rest assured, he’d confidently lock down anyone from Spider-Man to Captain America who lines up across from him. Sherman’s the perfect match because he too is brash and plays with an enormous edge.
NFL Comparison: Adrian Peterson
I feel like if Wolverine were in the NFL, he’d play running back because it’s a position predicated on rage and is rather simple in purpose. Plus, he’d have an unbelievable stiff-arm. Even better than Peterson’s, who is the closest thing we have to Wolverine.
NFL Comparison: Case Keenum
Green Lantern is lame. Sort of like Case Keenum.
NFL Comparison: Tyler Lockett
The Flash would be a weapon, particularly on special teams. Also, judging by The Flash who was teased in the latest Justice League trailer, his NFL comparison would also have to be young. Seattle’s second-year slot receiver and special teams dynamo is the perfect fit.
NFL Comparison: Clay Matthews
Pretty self-explanatory, right?
Superman photo courtesy of Everett Collection; Brown photo courtesy of flickr; Batman photo courtesy of Independent; Batman photo courtesy of Getty Images; Captain America photo courtesy of Screen Rant; Luck photo courtesy of Getty Images; Ant-Man photo courtesy of Telegraph; Sproles photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated; Hulk photo courtesy of Collider.com; Gronkowski photo courtesy of Boston.com; Iron Man photo courtesy of denofgeek.com; Rodgers photo courtesy of USA Today Sports; Hawkeye photo courtesy of Gamespot; Bailey photo courtesy of insidethestar.com; Spider-Man photo courtesy of Variety; Beckham photo courtesy of Fox Sports; Black Panther photo courtesy of People.com; Miller photo courtesy of Rant Sports; Keenum photo courtesy of USA Today Sports; Lockett photo courtesy of Fox Sports; Matthews photo courtesy of Bleacher Report