Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The comic book heroes football dream team

Let’s get this out of the way: yes, we’re freaking goobers. But you can’t tell us you didn’t read comic books or at least watch Saturday morning cartoons as a kid. Perhaps we’ve taken it a bit too far by creating a faux football team based on comic book characters and what they’re best suited to play in the NFL, with the only caveat being nobody is allowed to use their flying powers. Perhaps you can go to hell.

And yes, we had sex once. It was okay. She’s probably had better.


Forget Dick Vermeil’s crying or Bill Cowher’s menacing glare. No one can top King Leonidas' motivational power. He’s the ultimate players’ coach. He’s fought in the trenches. We’re not talking “Ok, fellas, let’s go now, all day!” We’re talking “TONIGHT…WE DINE…IN HELLLLLL!” How terrifying is that? The Spartans made a ridiculous goal line stand in Hell’s Gate, so something tells us Leonidas’ D-line could stuff Brandon Jacobs at the one.


Easy choice here. You could argue the concept of a quarterback is modelled after Superman in the first place. He’s a tall, strong farm boy with a chiselled jaw and wholesome family values. Great with the media, absolute canon for an arm, tough enough to hang in the pocket and absorb any hit but also a major threat to take off. Naturally, Captain America would back him up.


You’ll be hard-pressed to find more toughness and grit in a runner than Wolverine. While he lacks true breakaway speed, his agility and quickness make him a perfect fit for our one-cut, zone blocking scheme (if it can make Olandis Gary a star, Wolverine should be partying in Honolulu every February). His healing powers make injuries a non-concern, and with an adamantium exoskeleton, worn-out defenders will be complaining in the fourth quarter that “It hurts to tackle this guy.”


He’s a little tall and lean for a fullback, but Iron Man’s strength-and-speed combination make him an ideal blocker out of the backfield. Watch out; we’ll even throw him a pass or two around the goal line.


Spider-Man’s leaping ability and sticky hands are unparalleled; he’s a Sunday night Sportscenter staple on his way to shattering every NFL receiving record like Joe Theismann’s leg. Think it’s worth taking the skinny arachnid out with a cheap shot? Good luck getting around his spider sense.

His lack of superpowers hasn't stopped him from putting away some of the world’s most ruthless villains. Why would it bother Batman on the gridiron? Diligence in the film room – though some label it paranoia – ensure the Dark Knight is always in the right place at the right time. A tough guy who battles through injuries, Batman leads our team in receptions and is a key third-down target, creating yards after the catch when he looks all but doomed (think Anquan Boldin). Of course, his frail human body will eventually give out, but the man who prepares for any scenario will simply start patrolling the sidelines, undoubtedly becoming his generation’s Bill Walsh or Clark Shaughnessy.

Our third receiver, The Flash, is a feared deep threat. Usually working out of the slot, his blinding speed is just enough for us to put up with his terrible hands (it’s him or Devery Henderson).


Our squad employs the trendy zone-blocking scheme popularized by the Denver Broncos, so we’ve gone with a relatively undersized squad of Colossus, Juggernaut, Thor, Rhino, and The Thing. Still, these guys all pack a mean punch and suit their individual positions well. Colossus and the Thing line up at tackle, with the tall, long Ruskie manning the left side to handle the league’s most feared speed rushers and The Thing being your typical, right-side mauler. Juggernaut and Rhino are most effective on the move, so they play guard where they can run traps or pull (think of Lombardi’s old power sweeps). Thor gets the call in the middle. The Thing defines the unit with his gruff, blue-collar mentality.


We’ve gone with a lighter, mobile offensive line, so we’ve eschewed a pass-catching tight end for a more traditional run blocker. That’s where Sandman comes in. While his season receiving stats are modest at 16 catches, 142 yards and a pair of scores, run defenders are flummoxed every time they line Wolverine up in their sights only to be levelled by a rock-solid wall.


Playing in a blinding rage, The Incredible Hulk is widely regarded as the league’s most intense player. A threat to stop the run or rush the quarterback, Hulk’s forced fumbles, multi-sack performances, and Dikembe Mutombo-like swatted passes into the nosebleeds are worth the occasional roughing the passer penalty. Sabertooth is a physical specimen, but it’s his tenacity that makes him a nice compliment to the big green monster.


Kingpin is a big, sloppy, sluggish man who never rushes the passer but swallows up any tailback dumb enough to run at him. Not afraid to eye gouge or sling mud in someone’s eyes, either.


Beast, a defensive captain, heads this terrifying unit. Venom and Lizard run wild, Shawne Merriman style, attacking the passer, trucking ball carriers left and right, getting loads of facemask penalties and showboating like crazy after every tackle. Beast, meanwhile, never gets caught out of position and isn’t afraid to call audibles if he doesn’t like what he sees. The wild card: Dr. Otto Octavius. While his weak, flabby frame makes him useless if you put a hat on him, he’s unstoppable if he has room; swim move with one arm, trying to strip the ball with another, wrapping up the quarterback with two more arms. No one tries play action or draw plays with Doc Ock on the field, as he has a tentacle on the quarterback and running back simultaneously during every play fake. He’d be an absolute nightmare for holding calls, though.


These guys give opposing offenses fits. Carson Palmer thinks Chad Johnson has a step on his man, but Nightcrawler just disappears and reappears on top of Ocho Cinco. You can’t catch Daredevil napping, as he senses where Housh and the ball are at all times. Finally, Palmer thinks he has a seam and fires a laser to Chris Henry, but the ball stops in mid air and starts hurtling in the opposite direction. Gus Johnson makes the crazy call:

“Picked off by the Invisible Woman! Oh my goodness! WHERE IS SHE? And…pushed out of bounds at the 10, Comic Book Heroes football.”


It’s just not fair. Mr. Fantastic gets a hand on any pass within 20 yards of him, so he can cover the split end, then stretch an arm across the field and whack down a ball thrown to the flanker. Wonder Woman can end a career in a second. She explodes anyone with the balls to make a catch over the middle. Better yet, she uses her truth-inducing magic lasso to make O-linemen tip her off before the snap. “Sigh…it’s a play-action deep post, ma’am.”


Coffin corner for Bullseye every time. Every time.


We have no idea if Mr. Freeze can kick, but he’s got ice in his veins and that’s good enough for us.


The Flash, of course.


“Forth and 17, Comic Book Heroes on their own 40….time for one more play, down by six, they need a miracle…Superman, drops back…..pump fakes and ducks under Richard Seymour….he…THROWS THE BALL STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR….what the….OH MY GOODNESS, A GIANT CLOUD OF SMOKE….and….snakes…SNAKES ARE FALLING FROM THE RAFTERS! And…what the, one of the snakes turns into a football…it’s…..it’s Comic Heroes’ ball! And…it’s MYSTERIO…MYSTERIO HAS IT….HE LOOKS DEEP….UNLOADS…..AND….OHHHHHHHHH.!!!! AHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIDDLER! WIDE OPEN! 20, 10, TOUCHDOWWWWWWWNNNN! COMIC BOOK HEROES WIN! COMIC BOOK HEROES WIN! COMIC BOOK HEROES WIN! DO….YOU….BELIEVE IT!?!


In terms of talent, they don’t measure up to their teammates. But Kraven the Hunter and Robin both show enough desire and hustle to contribute on special teams. Kraven’s animal-like instincts make him an ideal candidate to bust open wedges. The diminutive Robin gets shoved all over the field when covering punts, but he’s a fearless competitor who quickly becomes a fan favourite.


Lex Luthor


Optimus Prime


Dave A said...

Nice picks.
You are going to have to watch Juggs though, since he becomes unstoppable once he starts moving, you are going to have to deal with a lot of 'illegal man down field' flags.

Heres a couple more suggestions to round out the team:

Professor Xavier. He can really get in the head of the opposing offense. No secret cameras required.

Joker. Always the crazy coach. You never know when that fake field goal is coming.

Forge. The guy can make anything.

Banshee and his daughter Siryn.
They bring the crowd noise.

Anonymous said...

How do you not have The Blob at DT?

Hayesism said...

this piece is just dripping with hurk. hahaha you fucking nerd. davey a, you're right up there as well.

loved the choice of the hog maulies

Belicheat said...

There would be no better fullback than Juggernaut. That's an easy one..."I'm the Juggernaut b*tch"

Anonymous said...

If you were to make a basketball team with supper heroes, would Kazaam be your center?

inspector gadget?

Anonymous said...

Offensive Coordinator- Dr. Doom...

He's Mike Martz in comic book form.

billso said...

This is excellent! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Luke Cage "PowerMan" is the guy to "EVER" knock-out the Hulk. You have to put him at Outside Linebacker...sideline to sideline baby!!!

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. You have combined two of the best things in life, Comics and Football. Genius.

Anonymous said...

I'd Do it a little different with just DC characters:
QB: Superman
RB: Max Mercury
FB/ HB (think Chris Cooley): Batman
WR: Flash (Barry Allen, Wally West, Bart Allen, and Jay Garrick)
TE: Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
OL: Blue Devil, Green Latern Killowag, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Mr. Miracle, and Big Barda

and for the defense
DE: Steel, Hourman
NT: Citizen Steel
LB: Wildcat, Alan Scott, Obsidian, Green Arrow
CB: Plastic Man, Harkman
S: Phantom Stranger, Red Tornado

Special Teams:
P/ K: Human Bomb
KR: Blue Beetle Ted Kord
PR: The Atom (Ray Palmer)
Gunner: Ragman

Anonymous said...

Marvel vs DC.

Who would win the Super'hero' Bowl?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but Flash would have to be moved to RB i.e. the Saints effectiveness with the addition of Reggie Bush!

Anonymous said...

captain planet at RB for his versatility FTW

Anonymous said...

The Saints did not become more effective because of Reggie Bush. It's that squirt they brought in at QB.

Stacey said...

This is actually agovernment project designed to isolate and gather the biggest geeks in America... may as well weigh in.

I'd like to begin by saying that, if a superhero does walk among us IRL, he could choose no better non-secret identity than "Wes Welker."

Playing Superman at QB is like playing Magic Johnson at PF... good, built for the job,,, but he can be used better elsewhere. Put him at tight end, where he could catch and block efectively... and perhaps help on special teams.

Batman should be the coach or the owner, depending on if he has more $$$ than Lex.

Flash as the change-of-pace back... he's like Reggie Bush... not built for the up-the-middle stuff, especially with guys like Beast and Hulk tackling him.

You want Leonidas (or whatever) at MLB... his one and only movie is essentially a goal-line stand. He has the personality to run a defensive huddle, too.

You neglected the most important question... Head Cheerleader.

The squad... and forgive me if I'm a decade or two behind on which comic book girl has the best sweater cannons.... should at least have

- Batgirl

- Xena/Gabrielle (besides Supergirl and She-Hulk, Xena seems most likely to have a chance of effectively playing on the field with the men)

- Storm (her ability to influence weather would be invaluable)

- Lois Lane (a heavy betting favorite)

- Mary Jane, umm, Spiderman's wife

- Catwoman

- Wonder Woman

- Jubilee

- Slut Girl (she doesn't exist, but you need one trashy, Panthers-type cheerleader)

I suppose that the question of who would be Boss Cheerleader would come down to the Judgement Criteria. "Who has better legs" may be a different girl than "who would win the fight."

Quiet is kept, but maybe the head cheerleader might have to f*ck her way to the top... maybe run a James Bond/Dolemite/Aquaman gauntlet of deep-dic*ing.

Finally... Space Ghost calls the game, and Madden does play-by-play, as he is a super hero in his own way.

Jeff said...

I'd pull Doc Ock out from the MLB position and put in Omega Red. Yeah, less tentacles, but sucking the lifeforce out of someone each time they're tackled would really lower their endurance by the end of the game.

My utility player would be Maverick, since he can absorb and rechannel kinetic energy.

I'd also think outside the box and make Shadowcat my running back. Hey, YOU try tackle someone who is intangible.

Avalanche would head the grounds crew.

Uatu would be the referee.

My field goal blocking unit would have Longshot, Domino, and Scarlet Witch out there to affect probability fields.

Anonymous said...

* Problem one: Captain America is NO ONES back up. Cap ain't gonna get stopped by no silly lil green rock.
* Problem two: iron man is a drunk and a wussy. take off the suit and you have what? fat albert
* Problem three, Sandman is NOT a superhero, he's a super villian.
* Sheesh...now you've got the Kingpin, Venom, Lizard, and Doc Ock, all VILLIANS. Not Heroes...

Anonymous said...

Here's another problem, someone actually cared enough to notice, and point out, that they all weren't super "heros". Who cares? I don't really know much about comics but I am a huge football fan and damn it, this great, Superhero's or not!

Anonymous said...

This deserves an X Box game of supers v supers where you can play good v evil or draft the teams and go at it. There are enough comics out there to make an entire league. If handled right this could be fun!

Anonymous said...


at WR, how can you leave out Silver Surfer...(he can double as your kick return guy...and he's pretty much unstoppable)

at FB: Like Cage, Power Man (he'll bust open some holes, and the chicks dig him...)

At Safety: Captain America - it's Ronnie Lott w/better agility (and forget everyone else, he's the captain of the defense without anyone else being considered - come on - he basically led the Avengers for 3 decades...)

And I don't know about you guys, but as my D. Coordinator I want Dr. Strange (you try to game plan against that, baby...)

Anonymous said...

i bet the patriots beat them

Anonymous said...

Well if the coach has all the defensive play calls, maybe they have a chance... but I suppose if we have villans on the d' The Pats may lose a QB if Sabertooth gets a hold of him... Maybe not a great idea to match a real team against Super types... Even if they are cheaters...

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is great, comics and football. Pure genius. But I do have one question. Who's the mascot?

Anonymous said...

You stole this from me. I sure hope you aren't getting paid for this because I'd expect some royalties. I wrote a very similarly premised list two years ago and I can prove it. Only mine wasn't dorky.

-Randy Rader

Marc from Jersey said...

What an awesome idea. I liked it even better the first time I heard it 2 months ago on the Max Kellerman show.

Anonymous said...

If there is any question as to where this idea came from, look at what I'm talking about: http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/justrandy/2006/01/26/Miscast_through_life_an_NFL_OFFENSE
Pay close attention to my right tackle. Look at the date. It's blatant and this person ends up on the 9 with my idea. I don't like it.
-Randy Rader

Anonymous said...

Then Max Kellerman stole it from me.
-Randy Rader

Anonymous said...

to randy rader.. this idea is completely different from yours.. having one comic book character on your team does not make this a "total ripoff" and how could juggernaut not be running back?

Anonymous said...

It's nowhere near different. He stole the premise. It's fictional people used to stock a football team. How is that different? Also, he words phrases similarly to me. It's the same and my idea was almost two years ago.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I didn't mean fictional people. I meant recognizable people in a different role.

Stacey said...


I wrote a joke on my page where I called the NBA All Star Game 'the Black Oscars." About two weeks later, I see Bill Simmons using "the Black Woodstock" to describe the same game.

I looked into suing Bill, who had been a radio guest on the show where my NBA joke was read. I thought it would be easy money. My lawyer squashed it, though. Too much If, basically.

SI can hire better lawyers than a blogger can... and, while it might be worth it to sue Simmons... how much money do you think you'll get out of Spirit Of Jake Plummer?

You got a link up on a hot page. Be happy with that.

- Stacey



Spirit of Jake Plummer said...

We've been caught! How did you find out that we're diehard Randy Rader fans? Damn.

That's how we roll at Spirit of Jake Plummer. We're not big on independent thought. Our mandate is to seek out crappy blogs that no one reads and steal their ideas.

Clearly an article about the Cleveland Browns is the same as an article about comic book heroes.

We feel for ya, Randy. We used the word "the" in one of our posts and that jackass, Steven King, uses it in all his novels. What a ripoff artist!

Noooo! Noooo! Why? Why'd you have to give us up? Oh, the humanity!

Anonymous said...

Where did any of that come from? Mine isn't about the Browns. It's painfully obvious that you stole it. I don't care. It's funny that I elicited such a funny response. That's great. You can deny til the cows come home but you and I know the truth.

Anonymous said...

nice list. I think there needs to be 2 teams, one with heroes, one with villains.

illustar said...

Wow. I'm not a football fan - if it suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, I probably wouldn't notice - but if it were these guys playing, it would probably be my favorite sport.

Very entertaining idea. XD

Neil said...


Started a new team. Picked all white people. When will you learn that you can't win with an all white-team.

(Yes, I know the Hulk is green, but he was born white.)

Anonymous said...

I feel my team could rival this.

QB: Captain America
FB: Juggernaut
RB: NightCrawler
WR: Human Torch
WR: Silver Surfer
OT: Bulldozer
OG: Piledriver
C: Optimus Prime
OG: Thunderball
OT: The Wrecker
TE: Iron Man

DE: Colossus
DL: Hulk
DL: Thanos
DE: The Thing
LB: Thor
LB: He-Man
LB: Conan
CB: T-1000
CB: Venom
FS: Leonidas
SS: Dr. Octopus
Kicker: Jean Claude Van-Damme
Kick Returner: The Flash

Carmel said...

This is great info to know.

Anonymous said...

I must say, The Human Torch would be the best wide reciever.

First, he burns all the cornerbacks, and second, that kid can flat out fly!

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