At midnight tonight, Marvel comics' Avengers finally hits the big screen. In reality, athletes are considered role models in society but in comics superheroes occupy that role. So how do New York's top athletes compare to Marvel and DC Comics superheroes?
Eli Manning - Billy Batson/Captain Marvel-
Billy Batson was a scrawny kid who was bestowed with the ability to transform into an adult superhero with amazing superpowers by uttering a single phrase. Likewise, Eli Manning has been perceived for 90% of his NFL career as the dorky, underachieving kid brother to Peyton. However, when the Giants need him most, Eli somehow manages to summon supernatural abilities that have allowed him to overcome all obstacles and win two Super Bowls in shocking fashion.
Thor is the God of Thunder that is banished to Earth. His weapon of choice is Thor's hammer, which he can wield and toss like no one else. Conversely, Jets fans wish Sanchez would throw the football with more precision. Loki is his adopted brother that eventually attempts to have Thor killed in an attempt to take his place. Sanchez is a Southern California kid that was drafted to be the New York Jets starting quarterback. Tebow is the newly signed Jets backup quarterback who seeks to usurp Sanchez as the starting quarterback.
Jeremy Lin- Spiderman
Peter Parker is the nerdy high school kid that was bitten by a radioactive spider. After gaining superhuman strength, agility, quickness and web slinging abilities, Parker becomes the most famous superhero in New York City. Jeremy Lin is the Ivy League product that began 2011 as a no-name benchwarmer on the Knicks bench. However, over the course of the season, Lin began putting up historic numbers while becoming the most popular player in the NBA.
Carmelo Anthony - Batman
Like Bruce Wayne, Carmelo Anthony is a native son of the city but instead of cleaning up the crime-riddled streets of Gotham City, Anthony brought championship aspirations back to the real-life Gotham's once great franchise. Batman doesn't want sidekicks and Anthony doesn't work well with Amare Stoudemire. Unlike the majority of heroes, Batman is not endowed with super powers but compensates with unrivaled detective skills. While Anthony lacks elite athleticism he makes up for it with a superior basketball IQ.
Steve Novak - Hawkeye
Hawkeye stands out among Marvel's Avengers because he doesn't have any other discernible skills besides his pinpoint accuracy with a bow and arrow. As the Avengers master archer, Hawkeye never misses a target. Conversely, Novak is a pinpoint shooter from behind the arc. In fact, this season he had one of the best three point shooting seasons in league history. On the negative side, spot up shooting was also his only discernible skill. Despite standing tall at 6'10, Novak didn't score a point inside the paint all season.
Jim Boeheim - Professor Xavier
Professor Xavier is the founder Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. While Boeheim doesn't have much influence of academics at Syracuse, he is the most well known figure at the Syracuse University. Instead of recruiting mutant through Cerebro, Boeheim finds talented athletes for his perennially ranked college basketball powerhouse and convinces them to play for him without the use of telepathy. The falling out between Fine and Boeheim last year is also reminiscent of the end of Xavier and Eric Lensherr/Magneto's friendship.
Derek Jeter - Captain America
Captain America isn't the strongest or fastest member of the Avengers and he can't fly. However, he is the undisputed leader. Jeter doesn't have warning track power in his bat but for 17 years he's put out clubhouse fires and made game-saving plays as the Yankees leader for five World Series championships. Jeter isn't nearly old enough to have fought in World War II but the ageless Jeter has defied time by remaining a consistent hitter at an advanced age.
Brian Cashman - Nick Fury
Nick Fury is the brainchild responsible for assembling the superheroes that would become known as the Avengers. Cashman is the man responsible for the Yankees infinite payroll.
Rex Ryan - Booster Gold
Michael Jon Carter aka Booster Gold is the egotistical football star from the future portrayed in DC Comics for the first time in February of 1986. A few weeks earlier Buddy Ryan's Bears defense, earned a world championship in Super Bowl XX. Although Buddy's son, Rex isn't from the future he has made it a habit of boisterously predicting Super Bowls for the Gang Green.
Amare Stoudemire - Human Torch
Too soon? Originally, Stoudemire reminded me of the X-Men's Rogue because of their shared ability to steal energy from those around them (Rogue steals abilities, Stoudemire turns Carmelo Anthony into a mere mortal). However, the news of him attacking a fire extinguisher like it was his mortal enemy makes a ton of sense now.