If there’s one thing that parallels my interest in the Minnesota Vikings, it’s slowly and methodically sharpening this knife while flipping through my high school yearbook. Actually, though, I really love me some Marvel comics and basically all of their never ending movies, shows, and merchandise.
Both my obsessions came from the same place, my Dad. My Dad only really showed emotion on Sunday’s, which was what initially got me into the purple as a toddler (mainly so he wouldn’t take an angry nap and ruin my plans to do that version of learning to catch a football where you’re so afraid of the ball that you dislocate your shoulders to keep your torso as far from the potential pain as possible).
The other? He had (still has) an amazing collection of ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ comics from the ‘70’s (and now early ‘60’s) that he (thankfully) wouldn’t let me touch. It’s because of that I grew up loving Spider-Man, then like all kids in the early 1990’s the ‘X-Men’ and Wolverine to the point that I could easily identify someone I didn’t like if they liked Cyclops.
It’s a great rule to live by to this day.
As a lad my friends and I would fan-cast movies we never thought we’d see, like the X-Men. I always thought Patrick Stewart would be a great Professor X, a younger Jack Nicholson as Wolverine, Arnold Swarzenegger as Colossus, Jean Claude Van Damme as Gambit, Bonnie Raitt as Rogue, etc.
Then the actual movies happened, and it took me awhile to appreciate the X-Men or Spider-Man movies as I felt like they weren’t close enough to the source material. Then the heavens gave Kevin Feige control of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we’ve had over 20 masterpieces in what has been the best run of movies of all time.
I’ve thought a lot about which Minnesota Vikings players would be which Avenger, or comic book character period. So, since the off-season is officially here I thought I’d break out this completely worthless topic.
Kirk Cousins – Hawkeye
Love him or (wrongfully) hate him, Kirk Cousins is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history. He is also completely under-appreciated to the point of being a punchline a la Hawkeye and his … Bow and Arrow (when he’s fighting with and against gods).
Adam Thielen- Spider-Man
This was simple. Adam Thielen has an absolutely insane catch radius and you feel like when Cousins delivers him the ball he’s going to catch it.
Thielen also plays the game with a sort of wide-eyed glee (as a lifelong Vikings fan) a la Spider-Man.
Thielen also famously made it to the Vikings after paying for a tryout. Spider-Man (more so in the comics than movies) is similarly self-made and resourceful.
Mike Zimmer – Nick Fury
I went back-and-forth as to whether consider Nick Fury or Odin, for obvious and cheap-joke reasons at surface level but if you dig a bit deeper Zimmer does have a lot in common with both.
Fury has done things in ways that many don’t agree with, but for one sole purpose, to get embarrassed in the playoffs every odd year? Actually, Fury has rubbed people the wrong way in order to do what he considers to be right.
If you think about it, though, the Avengers especially have succeeded despite Fury and that could be said about the Vikings. Fury’s limited by the constructs around him and it’s the free thinking of the Avengers (ie Iron Man pushing that nuke through Loki’s portal) that end up winning the day.
Dalvin Cook – Black Panther/Night Crawler
To quote Stan Lee: ‘Nuff Said about Dalvin and Nightcrawler.
When it comes to Black Panther, as we saw in ‘Captain America- Civil War’ T’Challa was faster than even Cap or Bucky, which is saying something. T’Challa is also often the heart of the Avengers in the comics, which you easily could say that Cook is for the Vikings’ offense.
Rob Brzezinski – Iron Man
There’s a quote from ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ in which Maria Hill refers to Tony Stark as “Boss”, to which Stark replies “[Captain America]’s actually the boss, just pay for everything and design everything, make everyone look cooler.”
Brzezinski has been the silent MVP for the Vikings since back in the triangle of authority days and up until recently he pulled all sorts of strings to keep the Vikings stacked roster under the cap.
Harrison Smith – Daredevil
There isn’t a tougher character, physically, than the Netflix version of Matt Murdock aka Daredevil. Daredevil is a devoted catholic, coincidentally (as Smith went to Notre Dame) who while technically blind has his other senses magnified.
That allows him to predict human behavior (lies and fighting moves) as well as detect perfect angles for throwing his metal weapons (so they return to him a la Cap’s shield).
Murdock takes and dishes out a beating despite not being the biggest guy on the field.
Case in point:
Danielle Hunter – Luke Cage
Now, Hunter did miss the 2020 with a herniated disk in his neck and Luke Cage is mostly impervious to physical injury (with some notable exceptions). But Hunter is a physical specimen amongst physical specimens and is incredibly strong while looking like a superman among children.
Just watch this and replace the baddies with Green Bay offensive linemen:
Justin Jefferson – Quicksilver
There have been two versions of Quicksilver in the movies thanks to the (now no longer an issue) film rights between Fox/X-Men and Disney/Everyone else (except Spider-Man). Both are an apt comparison, but I am leaning toward the MCU version even if he isn’t as appreciated as the Fox version.
The reason for that is that we only got a very short amount of time with Aaron Taylor Johnson’s version, who was much more aligned with the comic book version. He was cocky but had a good heart and when Ultron killed him it felt like we had only begun to understand his potential.
Either way, this scene is so cool that I have to share it.
Roger Goodell – Thanos
Thanos is most famous for snapping his fingers and removing half of living things from existence. With the upcoming COVID cap and the completely avoidable disaster therein, Goodell is going to be cutting most NFL rosters in half by not snapping his fingers on a call with the owners and saying that the league should reward the players that risked their health and the health of their loved ones to have a season PERIOD.
Instead they’re punishing the players because of the loss of 15% of their revenue from ticket sales and not looking at the 85% they made because of those sacrifices. It’s misguided and tone deaf, not unlike Thanos’ choice for chin.
I mean, he had control over every aspect of the universe and reality and he didn’t at least grow a goatee?
Either way, many consider Goodell to be a villain, as well, so there’s that.