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.
TRICK PLAY SPECIALISTS
“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!?!
SPECIAL TEAMS ACES
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.