Superhero summertime has arrived for the cinema world. Part of the fun of the NFL off-season is making player comparisons of all kinds. So in keeping with the growing tradition of movie heroes, who are their quarterback counterparts on the fabled gridiron?
Tom Brady – The Punisher
Frank Castle was a good, hard-working cop until he was horribly wronged when his entire family died during a shootout with the Mob. Following that tragic day, he became a stoic vigilante dishing out cold justice not just to those who ruined his life but also any criminal dumb enough to make the mistake of doing misdeeds in his presence. In a way this describes Tom Brady so well. A good but rather ordinary looking player out of college, his life changed when every team of the NFL watched him fall all the way to the sixth round of the 2000 draft. This put a chip on his shoulder of epic proportions, and he vowed quiet vengeance on the rest of the league for that slight when the New England Patriots finally took him. Since that day, every time another team has dared to make a mistake in his presence, Brady punishes them, often severely.
Peyton Manning – Iron Man
Tony Stark is a billionaire executive in charge of his own company, displaying the charm and wit to go along with a level of brilliance that is matched by very few. Then a debilitating accident leaves him with a special device implanted in his chest that keeps his heart from failing. This device soon becomes his power source, which he uses to activate a specially designed suit to take the fight to the type of criminals and terrorists who tried to kidnap and kill him in the first place. Is that not the epitome of Peyton Manning? Few understand and think out the game of football like him. His level of intelligence is scarcely matched and it shows in almost herculean performances on the field. On top of that he has endured four neck surgeries which many thought should’ve left him in retirement. Instead he came back better than ever.
Drew Brees – Batman
Unlike certain other superheroes, Batman has tied the source of his greatness to the rescuing of an entire city. One can only imagine what Gotham would be like without the Dark Knight patrolling rooftops and bringing fear and order to the masses. On the surface he is a charming billionaire playboy, but underneath he is a brilliant, agile and powerful force that can take on any opponent regardless of size, strength, speed or smarts. In many ways this embodies who Drew Brees is. The quarterback arrived in the city of New Orleans at its worst, washed out by Hurricane Katrina. Through tireless effort on and off the field he brought them something no other pro sports athlete has before or since: a championship. Much like the Caped Crusader, Brees is a charitable wonder among the people but when it’s time to go to work a different personality comes out, one that strikes fear into those who dare to oppose him.
Andrew Luck – Captain America
One thing that is clear about soldiers is the best ones have to be absolutely calm when the bullets are flying. None had a lower pulse when the stakes were highest than Captain America. The inspiration for a country was not only big and muscular but remarkably agile for his size. He always seemed to get tougher and more determined as the deck was stacked higher against him, throwing his trademark shield with precision accuracy and timing. At the same time he is afraid of not living up to the ideal image his fans and supporters have of him. That is Andrew Luck in a nutshell. Despite making his share of mistakes, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback is a big, strong and athletic hybrid who can struggle early in games but when his teammates need him most always seems to make the play, be it with his arm or his legs. Also like the Captain he is struggling to live up to a seemingly impossible image left behind by Peyton Manning, making it very difficult to silence doubters.
Aaron Rodgers – Green Lantern
Hal Jordan was a fearless jet pilot in the U.S. Air Force before his life changed forever. Chosen by an alien race, he was bestowed incredible power through the use of special batteries, or lanterns and a power ring that allowed him to construct energy into various forms which he uses to battle the forces of evil. The man is only limited by his own imagination and is blessed with a relentlessness in pursuit of victory that few other heroes have in such abundance. That is why he is often overlooked despite a strong argument that he may very well be the most powerful superhero of them all. Indeed Aaron Rodgers is somehow lost in the shuffle at times. His array of talents from the athleticism and arm strength to his uncanny accuracy and NFL instincts boast strong connections to the Lantern. It’s almost as if his passes were guided through the air by a power ring and placed effortlessly in the hands of receivers. Yet at the same time his abilities sometime lead to recklessness, often resulting in sacks or big hits that have taken their toll. Not that Rodgers has any plans to let that stop him.
Part Two of the list will continue soon. In the meantime feel free to voice your opinions about the selections!