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Published: May 17, 2013 at 04:09 p.m.
Updated: May 17, 2013 at 09:54 p.m.

Star Trek: The NFL Generation

With "Star Trek Into Darkness" hitting theaters this weekend, this seems like an appropriate time to match up the top characters from the film with their NFL counterparts. And since the NFL.com offices have a dearth of Trekkies, the onus falls on me. Send complaints or suggestions to @AlexGelhar to keep the conversation going.

9 Photos Total

  • Spock - Peyton Manning 9

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Spock - Peyton Manning

    Spock is the calm, collected and highly logical first officer of the Starship Enterprise, who uses his intelligence to guide the Enterprise to safety. Similarly, Manning has arguably the best football mind in the NFL, and he uses his knowledge to guide the Broncos to victory on Sundays. If only Manning could use his knowledge to cover Jacoby Jones, too. That would have been great.

  • Hikaru Sulu - Patrick Peterson 8

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Hikaru Sulu - Patrick Peterson

    It is well documented in Star Trek lore that Hikaru Sulu is a man of many talents and interests in addition to his duties serving on the Starship Enterprise. Peterson is arguably the most versatile player in the NFL today, as last season he dominated as a cornerback, was a dangerous return man, and even caught passes for the Arizona Cardinals offense -- when their quarterbacks could actually find a receiver, that is.

  • Pavel Chekov - Andrew Luck 7

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Pavel Chekov - Andrew Luck

    Pavel Chekov is the wiz-kid navigator of the Starship Enterprise, so who better to play his NFL counterpart than Andrew Luck, the wiz-kid navigating the future of the Indianapolis Colts. Plus, Luck's no slouch when it comes to academia either, as he graduated from Stanford with a degree in architectural design.

  • Nyota Uhura - Amy Trask 6

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Nyota Uhura - Amy Trask

    Like it or not, the NFL is a boys club, but that didn't prevent Amy Trask from rising through the ranks of the Oakland Raiders franchise all the way to CEO, a position she recently stepped down from. Uhura is the communications expert on the Enterprise, which draws a nice parallel to Trask, who was the person responsible for everything from representing the club at league meetings to negotiating TV contracts. Trask's ability to communicate allowed her to excel at her job for more than a decade.

  • Leonard 'Bones' McCoy - Aaron Rodgers 5

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Leonard 'Bones' McCoy - Aaron Rodgers

    Bones was a tough one to figure out, but Aaron Rodgers fits. Not only does he have a loose connection to this list's Captain Kirk (they're both from California), but Bones is a humanitarian at heart, as is Rodgers. Even though he doesn't publicize it a lot, Rodgers is very active with the MACC fund in Wisconsin (Midwest Athletes Against Child Cancer). So there, it kind of works, plus Rodgers sort of looks like Karl Urban as well.

  • Mysterious villain - Wes Welker 4

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Mysterious villain - Wes Welker

    While savvy fans of the series can probably already guess who this villain is, I will not spoil anything with my limited cyber ink. However, what we can glean from the trailers is that this deviously good-looking fellow was one of the Federation's "top agents" before turning against them. No one was more of a "top agent" for their team that jumped ship recently than Wes Welker. Granted, in this instance if the Patriots are the Federation they turned their back on Welker first. Just another juicy NFL storyline we can't wait to watch play out come September.

  • Captain Christopher Pike - Bill Belichick 3

    IMDB/Associated Press

    Captain Christopher Pike - Bill Belichick

    If you have seen J.J. Abrams' first Star Trek film, you know that Pike was the guy who first believed in a young James Tiberius Kirk and urged him to join Starfleet. So, if Belichick is Pike that means ...

  • Captain James T. Kirk - Tom Brady 2

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Captain James T. Kirk - Tom Brady

    Tom Brady is the NFL's Kirk. I really see more of Kirk in the young Tom Brady, but it still works today. You remember the good-looking, cocky kid out of Michigan who told Robert Kraft "I'm the best decision this organization has ever made," well, Kirk has the same swagger and bravado. Both Kirk and Brady can walk the walk and talk the talk. Kirk doesn't believe in "no-win scenarios," and neither does Brady, as he captained the Patriots to three Super Bowls in four years. Lastly, Brady and Belichick were Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine in Adam Rank's Star Wars-NFL connections, so it's only right to balance out the NFL nerd universe by showing them some love here.

  • Redshirt - The Cardinals QBs 1

    Paramount/Associated Press

    Redshirt - The Cardinals QBs

    Hooray a bonus selection! For those of you who don't know, "redshirt" became the affectionate moniker of the poor Enterprise crew member who would join Kirk, Spock and Bones when they ventured off on a mission, but never returned. Just Google it. Abrams even gave a subtle nod to this in his first Star Trek film -- remember the guy who dies in the base jumping scene? Yeah, he was wearing a red suit. So, with that in mind the Redshirt of the NFL would have to be the Cardinals quarterbacks from 2012. Those poor saps trotted out one after another on hopeless missions to lead the Cardinals to victory, only to be squashed by defensive lineman again and again and never return to the starting lineup. Good luck in 2013, Carson Palmer.

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