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Published: July 25, 2013 at 08:46 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2014 at 09:21 p.m.

Football Superheroes

With X-Men: Days of Future Past opening this weekend, and with the football season still down the road, we wanted to have some fun assembling football rosters based on existing Marvel superheroes. This is our roster. Who is on yours?

15 Photos Total

  • Captain America 15

    Associated Press/Marvel

    Captain America

    Name: Steve Rogers
    Position: Quarterback
    Strengths: Enhanced strength, agility and durability; unparalleled leadership skills
    NFL Counterpart: Peyton Manning
    What he brings: Beyond his physical gifts, Captain America has proved time and again that he can lead anyone into (and out of) any situation. Should a game ever be in doubt, the mere presence of Cap makes victory pretty much guaranteed. And if there was any question as to his playing the quarterback position, let's not forget that he's been throwing that shield for decades.

  • Professor X 14

    Associated Press/Marvel

    Professor X

    Name: Charles Xavier
    Position: Head Coach
    Strength: Telepathy
    NFL Counterpart: Bill Belichick
    What he brings: While it would be easy for the world's most powerful telepath to read the minds of the opposing offensive and defensive coordinators, that's not Professor X's style. He can instantly know changes in his players' moods, the true depth of their injury statuses and more. Plus, his experience running a school full of angsty teenagers with superhuman powers makes him more than qualified to guide a team full of football players with superhuman powers.

  • Iron Man 13

    Associated Press/Marvel

    Iron Man

    Name: Anthony "Tony" Stark
    Position: Offensive Coordinator
    Strength: Scientific genius
    NFL Counterpart: Sean Payton
    What he brings: For this superhero football squad, Tony Stark is actually more effective without his trademark Iron Man armor. His genius intellect allows him to see five moves ahead, tying the opposition's defensive coordinator in knots. The patterns of the gridiron open themselves up him, and it isn't long before the team is running up the score.

  • Hawkeye 12

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Clint Barton
    Position: Wide Receiver
    Strength: Accuracy
    NFL Counterpart: Alshon Jeffery
    What he brings: At first glance, Hawkeye's inhuman accuracy sounds like a worthwhile trait for a quarterback, not a receiver. But as an archer, Hawkeye doesn't throw things, he shoots them. No, what makes Hawkeye a great wide receiver is that his understanding of targeting and timing means he always knows exactly where the ball is going to be, and he can get there to catch it. His knack for making incredible, heart-stopping catches is second to none.

  • Quicksilver 11

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Pietro Maximoff
    Position: Wide Receiver
    Strength: Super Speed
    NFL Counterpart: Antonio Brown
    What he brings: Speed, of course. And the perfect complement to Hawkeye on the other side of the field. Whether a quick out-route or a deep ball, Quicksilver can get in position before the DB's even know the ball has been snapped. His elusiveness allows him to rack nearly 1,500 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

  • Power Man 10

    Associated Press/Marvel

    Power Man

    Name: Luke Cage
    Position: Offensive Tackle
    Strength: Super strength, impenetrable skin
    NFL Counterpart: Louis Vasquez
    What he brings: Luke Cage isn't just strong, a necessary component in an offensive lineman, he also possesses impenetrable skin, meaning nothing gets through. Especially not anyone on the D-Line. He can keep even the most tenacious defenders at bay, giving quarterback Captain America plenty of time. Cap can order a pizza and have it delivered before he has to throw.

  • Wolverine 9

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: James "Logan" Howlett
    Position: Running Back
    Strengths: Metal skeleton, healing factor
    NFL Counterpart: Adrian Peterson
    What he brings: At 5'3" and built like a truck, Wolverine is already an ideal candidate for running back. When factoring in his skeleton bonded with the unbreakable metal adamantium, and his ability to heal nearly instantly from any wound, he can break the single-season carries record without breaking a sweat. Just imagine a workhorse who could suffer an ACL tear in the first quarter and be back on the field by the second.

  • Iceman 8

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Bobby Drake
    Position: Tight End
    Strengths: Ice creation and manipulation; Nearly impervious to damage
    NFL Counterpart: Jimmy Graham
    What he brings: Though his touchdown celebrations make him seem like a big kid, as if he doesn't have a care in the world, Bobby Drake often shows that he has ice in his veins. In fact, his veins are ice. His seemingly reckless manner can be seen as a detriment to his team, but those that see him play know that there are few better at his position in the league.

  • Black Panther 7

    Associated Press/Marvel

    Black Panther

    Name: T'Challa
    Position: Defensive Coordinator
    Strength: Tactical genius
    NFL Counterpart: Dick LeBeau
    What he brings: Much like offensive coordinator Tony Stark, Black Panther's true value comes on the sideline. As the king of Wakanda, one of the most technologically advanced nations on Earth, his specialty is defense. In fact, his home nation has never been successfully invaded, a testament to T'Challa's defensive capabilities. He's also a certified genius with skills in counterintelligence, as well as politics, all of which give him an almost superhuman knack for subterfuge. Few are as adept as he at disguising coverages or devising complex schemes to confuse and frustrate opposing OC's.

  • Hulk 6

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Dr. Bruce Banner
    Position: Defensive Tackle
    Strengths: Superhuman strength
    NFL Counterpart: DeMarcus Ware
    What he brings: Hulk does one thing and one thing well: Smash. Offensive linemen will have their work cut out for them trying to stop him, and opposing quarterbacks are likely to spend more time on their backs than upright. Of course, there is a downside to all that raw power: Hulk must inevitably return to his human Bruce Banner form, meaning he can't play every down.

  • The Thing 5

    Associated Press/Marvel

    The Thing

    Name: Ben Grimm
    Position: Defensive End
    Strengths: Super strength, rocky skin
    NFL Counterpart: J. J. Watt
    What he brings: The ever-loving, blue-eyed Thing has been one of the most passionate, hard-fighting, hard-hitting heroes since forever. His rocky exterior ensures that he doesn't take much damage but loves dishing it out to whomever gets in his way. And as he blitzes the competition he takes great pleasure in shouting his catch phrase: "It's clobberin' time!"

  • Thor 4

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Thor Odinson
    Position: Outside Linebacker
    Strengths: Superhuman strength; flight; control over thunder and lightning
    NFL Counterpart: Clay Matthews
    What he brings: In a nutshell? Thor is an outside linebacker who excels at bringing the thunder to opposing quarterbacks. His (literal) god-like strength gives him the edge, and with his hammer Mjolnir, a weapon few in the universe can even lift, he's proven he's one of the most powerful in the league. And when in doubt, he can simply call lightning down on his enemies... though that might be a little too unfair.

  • Beast 3

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Dr. Henry McCoy
    Position: Inside Linebacker
    Strength: Enhanced strength, reflexes, agility; genius intellect
    NFL Counterpart: Patrick Willis. (Sorry, Marshawn Lynch)
    What he brings: The inside linebacker from the X-Men is often considered the quarterback of the defense, and with Beast's strength, speed and intelligence one would be hard pressed to find a better player holding down the middle of the field. He's more than capable recognizing offensive sets and changing formations on the fly to match them as needed.

  • Spider-Man 2

    Associated Press/Marvel


    Name: Peter Parker
    Position: Cornerback
    Strengths: Superhuman agility, reflexes, spider sense, intelligence, perseverance
    NFL Counterpart: Richard Sherman
    What he brings: Just like he sticks to walls and buildings while fighting crime, Spider-Man's equally adept at sticking to receivers, leaving them no chance of catching any passes. His spider sense tells him when the ball is near, allowing him to put his hands up just in the nick of time. And with his penchant for banter, he's more than skilled at the trash talking expected of a defensive back.

  • Nightcrawler 1



    Name: Kurt Wagner
    Position: Safety
    Strengths: Agility, teleportation
    NFL Counterpart: Earl Thomas
    What he brings: No matter how far down the field an opposing receiver might get, Kurt has no trouble catching up to him with his teleportation ability. He seems to come out of nowhere sometimes, and makes the big plays happen. In fact, there's nothing he loves more than waiting until a wide receiver starts high-stepping toward the end zone and then teleporting right next to him and knocking the ball out at the last second.

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