We might be agonizing through the closest thing the NFL has to a real off-season; that time every year between mini-camp and training camp when football news slows to a trickle, and every update of new news comes tinged with apprehension.
But it's also time for things like cook outs, trips to the beach (don't forget your sunscreen and sunglasses), and, of course, summer blockbusters – which currently means superhero movies.
We've already been treated to Guardians of The Galaxy 2 and Wonder Woman (both of which were excellent, in my humble opinion), and soon we'll have a third attempt at a Spider-Man franchise. And since I happen to have my Deadpool shirt on, let's get in on the fun and cast some New York Giants as superheros.
Eli Manning: Superman
I have to start with the captain of the offense and the Giants' most important player, and who better than Superman?
Both the last son of Archie and the last son of Krypton have reputation as big blue boy scouts and have been derided for their perceived milquetoast personalities. They also share a neigh-invulnerability to damage, though Eli doesn't have Supe's super-human physique and probably should avoid skin-tight spandex. But really, with two minutes to save the world and stop Lex Luthor/Tom Brady, who would you rather put your money on?
Odell Beckham: Spider-Man
This one is obvious, and actually the comparison that spawned this whole thing. Beckham certainly share's the web-slinger's sticky hands, penchant for mid-air acrobatics, and super-human speed and agility.
But the connection goes much deeper.
No matter how much either does for the city of New York, there always seems to be somebody in the media (like J. Jonah Jameson) ready to launch slings and arrows at the young superstar, even when he doesn't deserve it. Both are young and just love to have fun – Spider-Man is well known for quipping through his battles, and OBJ's exuberance is plain to see. They both have had some embarrassing moments
But both are basically good, well-intentioned young men, and arguably the biggest names of their respective franchises.
Note: This does not make Josh Norman Odell’s Venom. I'd say he's more Mysterio – no super-human abilities, but instead uses misdirection, illusion, and psychological attacks to try to get in the head of his foe.
Landon Collins: Shazam (Captain Marvel)
A year ago, after a disappointing rookie season, Landon Collins was on the verge of being declared a bust. But in a relative flash he transformed into one of the very best defensive players in the league. Shazam, otherwise known as “Captain Marvel” (Marvel comics also has a “Captain Marvel”). Shazam isn't always a superhero, normally he is Billy Batson, a 10- or 12-year-old boy, but in a flash he becomes Shazam, “Earth's Mightiest Mortal”.
- The Wisdom of Solomon (Collins has demonstrated tremendous football IQ)
- The Strength of Hercules (Le'Veon Bell has testified to Collins' hitting power)
- The Stamina of Atlas (Collins played nearly every single defensive snap for the Giants, 1,105 snaps, or 99.55%)
- The Power of Zeus (Okay, Collins can't control lightning, but the power of Zeus is also said to to fuel and enhance Shazam's other abilities, and Collins' work ethic certainly fuels and enhances his play)
- The Courage of Atlas (Collins shows absolutely no fear coming down in to the box to defend the run, even against much bigger blockers)
- The Speed of Mercurey (Collins showed surprising speed at the Scouting Combine, and has come from nowhere to make plays in coverage, run defense, and as a blitzer)
Weston Richburg: The Martian Manhunter
I wanted to give some love to the Giants' center, and to one of my favorite characters. Like the Martian Manhunter, who is one of the most powerful heroes, Richburg is quietly one of the best at his position in the league. Also, the Martian Manhunter is frequently the glue that holds the Justice League together, using his telepathy to coordinate between members, while Richburg's intelligence and communication skills let him make the protection calls along the line of scrimmage.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Quicksilver
DRC might not be THE fastest guy out there, and neither is Quicksilver, but he is still pretty darn fast – as evidenced by him running down more than a few plays which he just should not have been able to (such as when he ran down Detroit’s Golden Tate to save a touchdown).
Also, Quicksilver was formerly a member of Magneto's “Brotherhood” (sometimes called the “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants”, but that's JUST a bit on the nose. Who would call themselves explicitly evil anyway?), and DRC was formerly a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. Both have since reformed, with Quicksilver joining the Avengers and DRC coming to the Giants in free agency.
Damon Harrison: The Incredible Hulk
Is there any question that Big Snacks would be the Hulk? Mild mannered and humble off the field, Harrison becomes a wrecking ball on the field. When you make him angry, the Hulk is nothing so much as a force of nature, a walking nuclear explosion, and when it comes to defending the run Harrison is a force of nature as well. He single-handedly has more run stops than any other defensive tackle DUO in the NFL. And when he gets his hands on a quarterback, he bears an incredible resemblance to the Hulk:
Oops, wrong clip. HERE's the right one. You can see how I could make the mistake, though.
Paul Perkins: Nightcrawler
This comparison dates back to my studying Perkins in advance of the 2016 draft. The UCLA running back used to amaze me with his ability to get from “here” to “there” when there was apparently no hole at the offensive line. Perkins made it look as thought he was simply teleporting past the line of scrimmage.
Nightcrawler is a “B” character in the X-Men movies, but he has been popular since his introduction back in the 70's. Nightcrawler doesn't just have the ability to teleport at will with a **BAMPF**, but he also has superhuman flexibility, coordination, balance, and dexterity all of which are strengths of Perkins' game.
I know I left more than a few off the list, so that leaves it up to you: Which superheroes fit what Giants?