We’re in the Endgame now… Thursday marks one of the greatest days of the year with the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft AND the premiere of Avengers: Endgame. To celebrate these momentous occasions, I couldn’t resist comparing our beloved heroes (and villains) on the big screen to the ones on the gridiron. SPOILER ALERT: I mention all MCU films from Iron Man to Captain Marvel, so if there’s one or two you haven’t seen, you’ve been warned.
The Original Six
Captain America – Drew Brees
Despite their old ages, there’s no doubt that they can “do this all day”. Once considered relatively average, they were reborn after concerning operations. Both are personable, compassionate leaders; it’s hard to dislike them. Are they nearing the end of the line, though?
The Background: Steve Rogers was born in 1918 and was a skinny afterthought until he underwent a new, risky procedure to become Captain America. After that, he became an almost superhuman-like figure of patriotism and freedom, winning over the hearts of many. There’s rumors though that Cap could be making his final appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… Drew Brees was born in 1979 and after five average years in San Diego, he signed with the Saints in 2006. Before he joined the Saints, Brees had surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, a risky procedure that Brees has since claimed could have negatively affected his career. At 40 years old, some wonder just how many seasons Brees has left in the tank…
Iron Man – Aaron Rodgers
These two have been around awhile and are incredibly gifted, there’s no denying it. However, they always seems to get hurt, whether it’s the left arm or the collarbone again. Their divisive personalities are always talking points. They seem to be at low points right now and it doesn’t help that they lost almost every important person around them. Despite their immense talent, they just can’t seem to catch a break. Oh, and they both rock awesome facial hair.
The Background: Tony Stark has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since the beginning in 2008. Stark’s father, Howard, passed the torch down to his son and Tony has not disappointed. He’s a rich, innovative, polarizing genius with the talent to build, well, almost anything. Whether it’s getting glass stuck in his chest, constantly hurting his left arm, or getting stabbed, Stark has been through a lot. It seems like being stranded in space might be the worst scenario of them all, especially since half of his friends just got dusted… Aaron Rodgers has been in the NFL since 2005 but didn’t make his big debut until 2008, like Stark. Also widely regarded as one of the most talented QBs ever, Rodgers has had his fair share of injuries. After losing his coaching staff and favorite players such as Jordy Nelson, Rodgers has a steep hill to climb if he is return to football glory…
Hulk – J.J. Watt
Both have two sides to them. During the action, they’re an absolute terror to deal with and can plow through anything in their paths. Their strength and tenacious demeanor is a huge part as to why they’re so vital. Away from the action, they’re smart, kind people. They have been limited lately but I feel like the time for rebounding is coming soon.
The Background: Bruce Banner is one of the smartest people alive and is, obviously, a hero. The Hulk, Banner’s split-persona, is a muscular menace with enhanced strength and speed. He disappointed recently in Avengers: Infinity War but all signs point to him being a huge factor in Endgame… Off the field, J.J. Watt is a fantastic role model and has shown his kindness and generosity in numerous ways. On the field, Watt is a beast. One of the most dominant defenders in football, Watt’s play has been limited by injuries but all signs are pointing towards his return among the NFL’s elite…
Thor – Andrew Luck
Both were set to get the keys to the kingdom and looked as if their potential was unlimited. Unfortunately, they both experienced some down years, largely through no faults of their own. Now, their power seems to be at their highest peak, especially with the new weapons around them. Not to mention, both don some iconic facial hair and still don’t seem to fully understand how to fit into today’s society.
The Background: Thor was all set to become Asgard’s newest king after his father, Odin, was prepared to step down for Thor. The coronation was cut short when the Frost Giants invaded Asgard, postponing Thor’s ascension to the throne. Despite his power, Thor largely seemed like an afterthought as his third movie wasn’t released until four years after his second movie. After suffering a major eye injury, Thor got a new weapon in Stormbreaker, rediscovered his true power and now looks nearly unstoppable. It’s funny seeing Thor try to understand common references or learn how to act on Earth… Andrew Luck was all set become the NFL’s next best thing after his predecessor, Peyton Manning, left Indianapolis. Luck’s rise looked promising but it was cut short due to various injuries. Despite his sky-high ceiling, Luck largely seemed forgotten about as injuries plagued his career from 2015-2017. Having suffered multiple injuries, Luck finally got some complimentary weapons on offense and on defense and looks ready to lead the Colts back to the playoffs. It’s funny seeing Luck try to use a smartphone or learn how to dance like a normal person…
Hawkeye – Philip Rivers
With a little bit of countryside in their veins, neither has gotten enough credit for their long-standing work. Both are exceptionally accurate, yet it seems like people only prefer to talk about their families and how underrated the two of them are.
The Background: Clint Barton is one of the original six Avengers, therefore he has been in the MCU for a long time (seven years). He is nowhere near as powerful nor as accomplished as the other Avengers, but he is extremely accurate with a bow and arrow. When it comes down to it, Barton gets the job done, nothing more, nothing less. Barton’s secret family stole the show in Avengers: Age of Ultron and a lot of people have been talking about his family again with Endgame looming… Philip Rivers joined the league with Super Bowl winning QBs Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, therefore he has been in the NFL for a long time (15 years). He hasn’t won as many titles nor has as many passing yards as Roethlisberger and Manning, but he is extremely accurate. When it comes down to it, Rivers is a good QB, not a great one, but not a bad one either. Rivers’ large family is a massive talking point, especially with the birth of his ninth child…
Black Widow – Earl Thomas
You can count on both as sneaky, skillfully assassins who hunt down their opponents. If you need someone to spy on an opponent, either of them will do perfectly. Both also demonstrate leadership and versatility. Sure, they have each been overshadowed by bigger names, but they are arguably a keystone for their respective teams. Just wait, I have a feeling they’ll become a part of something bigger soon..
The Background: Natasha Romanoff is an elite spy and assassin. Like Hawkeye, she’s also one of the original six Avengers yet has never gotten as much recognition as her fellow heroes. Nonetheless, her role across multiple movies has been the glue of the bunch; she tries to keep them united and in-check. It’s about time Romanoff gets her own movie, which should be announced soon… Earl Thomas is an elite safety. He’s spent time with Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman yet never got as much recognition as them. Nonetheless, his role in the Seattle defense has been one of leadership; he always tried to set an example while making sure the rest of the team stayed united. Now that he’s with Baltimore, I expect big things from him…
The Next Generation
Black Panther – Patrick Mahomes
Relatively new to the world stage, both are young, extremely skilled up-and-comers. They were waiting in the wings for their own shot at success, and when they got their chance, they smashed records. Not to mention that they successfully captivated scores of people. Their athleticism and talent is undeniable as is their vast resourcefulness. One day, they might each be the most important person in their respective worlds but for now, they’re hoping for a different outcome of their previous fight.
The Background: T’Challa was the heir to the throne of Wakanda and we saw a glimpse of him in Captain America: Civil War. Since becoming the King, T’Challa has taken the world by storm. Black Panther was the highest-grossing solo superhero film and the second-fastest grossing film ever at the time of its release, among other records. He’s an extraordinarily-skilled warrior with a wide, advanced kingdom at his disposal. T’Challa could easily become the new face of the MCU soon though he’ll need to bounce back from, you know, dying in Infinity War last year… Patrick Mahomes was the heir to the starting job in Kansas City and we saw a glimpse of him in his rookie season. Since becoming the starter, Mahomes has taken the NFL by storm. Mahomes led the league in passing touchdowns and earned MVP honors. Mahomes could easily become the new face of the NFL soon, though he’ll need to bounce back from losing a close game in the AFC Conference Championship last year…
Ant-Man – Aaron Donald
Size is all the talk with these two. People only talked about their sizes but have since proven they can do so, so much more. Their surprising agility is a major advantage as well. The impact these two have in action can be huge. Don’t forget that both were underrated to begin with and now could hold the most power out of anyone.
The Background: When Scott Lang was first introduced into the MCU in 2015, people wrote him off as someone who isn’t as important as the other heroes. They just viewed him as someone who could get really small. Multiple big-screen appearances later, Lang has shown off his unique abilities, namely his versatility and agility. Lang’s vast skill-set is a game-changer, too. Once overlooked, it looks like Lang will have a prominent role in Endgame and in the MCU’s future… When Aaron Donald was first drafted into the NFL in 2014, people wrote him off as someone who isn’t as good as the other draft picks. They just viewed him as someone who was too small. Multiple award-winning seasons later, Donald has shown off his unique abilities, namely his versatility and agility. Donald’s vast skill-set is a game-changer, too. Once overlooked, it looks like Donald will have a prominent role in the NFL for the foreseeable future…
Spider-Man – Jared Goff
Like Black Panther/Patrick Mahomes, these two are also more recent additions to the world stage. Their entries were very similar as well; both were trashed initially yet have since proven their doubters wrong. They not only have strong connections to one of the main figures but also could take take the reins from them someday. While they’ve showcased their talents in action often, it’s their knowledge that is underrated. In addition, the tools they have to use are among the best around. Both are young with immense potential, though their last experiences didn’t go so hot.
The Background: When Peter Parker was officially introduced to the MCU in 2016, there was much criticism about how young and small Parker was. Needless to say, Parker has been a hit in the MCU and has already saved New York City. Parker has an interesting relationship with one of the faces of the MCU: Tony Stark, who is a mentor and friend to Parker. With Stark’s presence looming over Parker, many expect Parker to eventually become one of the faces of the MCU himself. Parker is very talented and smart while having some awesome gadgets and suits to work with. Unfortunately for Parker, his last attempt to save the world didn’t end like he planned… When Jared Goff was drafted into the NFL in 2016, there was much criticism about how thin Goff was and how poorly he played his first season. Needless to say, Goff has been a success in the NFL and has already led the Rams to the Super Bowl. Goff has an interesting relationship with one of the faces of the NFL: Aaron Rodgers, who shares the same college and background with Goff, among other things. Goff is very accurate and smart with some great weapons to throw to on offense. Unfortunately for Goff, his trip to the Super Bowl didn’t end so well…
Dr. Strange – Ben Roethlisberger
A little bit on the older side, these two have accomplished a whole lot. However, they don’t seem to be considered among the best. Maybe it’s because of their divisive personalities or maybe it’s because they haven’t met recent expectations. Whatever your stance is on them, it’s impossible to deny that they have made some magical things happen. They’ve always had ample resources to work with, but now they’ll be forced to make the best of what they have. Oh, and pain is an old friend to them.
The Background: The 37-year-old Doctor Stephen Strange (according to MCU lore) has already saved the world once. In fact, his ascension as a sorcerer was relatively rapid, even with his brutal hand injuries and countless “deaths”. Despite his achievements, he hasn’t been in the MCU as long as heroes like Thor and Iron Man have and doesn’t seem to be considered among them. Dr. Strange’s personality certainly isn’t perfect as he has rubbed people the wrong way. Also, some people have wondered if Dr. Strange could have done more in the fight against Thanos. Either way, his power transcends most heroes in the MCU, even if he no longer has the Ancient One to guide him… The 37-year-old Ben Roethlisberger has already won two Super Bowls. In fact, his ascension as a top quarterback was relatively rapid, even with his injury problems over the years. Despite his statistics, he hasn’t been in the NFL as long as top quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Drew Brees have and doesn’t seem to be considered among them. Roethlisberger’s personality certainly isn’t perfect as he has rubbed people the wrong way. Also, some people have wondered if Roethlisberger could have done more in recent seasons. Either way, his throwing ability transcends most quarterbacks in the NFL, even if he no longer has the Antonio Brown nor Le’Veon Bell to throw to…
Captain Marvel – Baker Mayfield
In their limited time in the spotlight, these rookies with murky pasts have absolutely dominated the competition. Considering how good they have been with chips on their shoulders, it’s not far off to say they could become true superstars. Some people have even said they could be the key to taking down the toughest opponents. While their potential is evident, their polarizing personalities are also at the forefront of conversation. What some may view as confidence, others might view as over-confidence. This past year has been kind to them and if it’s any indication, the future is bright for these two.
The Background: Carol Danvers is new to the MCU and has already shown massive potential. Even with no recollection of her past, she showed the world just how powerful she can be. Not only did she alter the Kree-Skrull War, but she also unleashed her full power by going binary. Marvel President Kevin Feige has even said Carol Danvers is stronger than Thanos and will one day be the face of the MCU. This is huge considering Danvers has always felt overlooked and has had to prove her worth. Unfortunately, not everyone is as big a believer in Danvers. Critics have deemed her as too ‘arrogant’ and ‘over-confident’. We’ll see if her attitude will be her Achilles’ Heel in the future of the MCU, because Danvers looks almost unbeatable… Baker Mayfield is new to the NFL and has already shown massive potential. Even with a controversial past, he showed the league just how good he can be. Not only did he lead the Browns to their best season since 2007, but he was also second in Rookie of the Year voting. Future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees has even said Mayfield can be better than himself while others have said Mayfield can one day be the face of the NFL. This is huge considering Mayfield has always felt overlooked and has had to prove his worth. Unfortunately, not everyone is as big a believer in Mayfield. Critics have deemed him as too ‘arrogant’ and ‘over-confident’. We’ll see if his attitude will be his Achilles’ Heel in the future, because Mayfield looks almost unbeatable…
Guardians of the Galaxy – Cleveland Browns
Once a band of lovable losers, these two groups have turned around their fortunes and have become fan favorites. Led by a divisive leader with a controversial past, these teams really should not be able to function. They have very skilled members, though some members have shown character concerns. The teams’ newest additions should prove successful in the future. It’s not always pretty, but they get the job done. (I know Baker Mayfield was just compared Captain Marvel, but this is a group comparison that I couldn’t ignore.)
The Background: The Guardians of the Galaxy consist of self-proclaimed losers who had not accomplished anything until they joined forces. Once they teamed up, they shocked the world by saving it, twice. Their captain, Peter Quill, is a divisive, outspoken leader who has had run-ins with the law. Between the talents of Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Rocket Raccoon, to name a few, this team can do a whole lot more than people initially expected. The addition of Mantis should help as well; she has already put the strongest MCU villain ever to sleep. They may be a team with various personalities, but they are too powerful to ignore… The Cleveland Browns consist of self-proclaimed losers who had not accomplished anything until they joined the Browns. Once they teamed up, they shocked the NFL by winning seven games. Their starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield, is a divisive, outspoken leader who has had run-ins with the law. Between the talents of Jarvis Landry, Myles Garrett and Nick Chubb, to name a few, this team can do a whole lot more than people initially expected. The addition of Odell Beckham should help as well; he has already become one of the best wide receivers in the entire league. They may be a team with various personalities, but they are too talented to ignore…
Thanos – Tom Brady
Too easy, right? These guys are more powerful and more accomplished than any being around. Once ridiculed, both have worked hard to become the one to defeat. All the planning to overtake them has largely failed. Opponents dread them, but ultimately their victory still arrives. The interesting part is some people support them while a vast majority considers them to be a villain. The thing that everyone agrees upon? They both got some serious hardware on their hand.
The Background: Thanos is the biggest, baddest villain in the MCU. When he was younger, he was laughed at for proposing an idea to save his home planet and was ignored by his family. Now, all the MCU heroes left are hellbent on taking Thanos down. The last plan to defeat Thanos ended with another victory by Thanos. Other victories came on Xandar and Knowhere, to name a few. A loyal group of servants, the Black Order, helped him with his conquests. There are times when it’s hard not to feel bad for Thanos and all he’s gone through, such as the death of his entire planet and his beloved daughter, Gamora. Alas, Thanos also wiped out half the universe and killed thousands more by hand. With six infinity stones on his Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos might be the Greatest Villain of All-Time… Tom Brady is the best, most famous quarterback in the NFL. When he was younger, he was laughed at for his skinny physique and was ignored in the draft until the sixth-round. Now, all the NFL teams are hellbent on defeating Brady. The last plan to defeat Brady ended with another victory by Brady. Other victories came in Houston and Glendale, to name a few. A loyal group of teammates, the New England Patriots, helped him with his games. There are times when it’s hard not to feel bad for Brady and all he’s gone through, such as his underdog story. Alas, Brady also allegedly helped the Patriots cheat and has been caught yelling at his teammates. With six Super Bowl rings on his hand, Brady might be the Greatest Quarterback of All-Time…
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