Imagining Athletes as Superheroes
Dwight Howard and Shaq both claim the nickname Superman.
Dwayne Wade is the Flash.
Some pro athletes liken themselves to superheroes, and fans can't get enough of the comparisons.
Summer is a time for superhero movies and sports stars making news.
Some of today's athletes look like they came straight out of a comic book.
Why not see how the comic book heroes and heroes of the field match up?
Derek Jeter as Captain America
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Derek Jeter recently completed an act of super-heroic abilities by achieving 3,000 hits.
Sports Illustrated believes he's capable of achieving the impossible: a unanimous vote into the baseball Hall of Fame.
Captain America stands for everything that is right with America.
Derek Jeter, with his relentless work ethic, good attitude and amazing achievements, stands for everything that is right with baseball.
Kevin Garnett as the Hulk
If we've learned anything from KG's career, it's that we don't want to see him angry.
The veteran power forward emanates raw emotion, just like the Hulk.
It may not be the best comparison physically, but both these guys are downright scary.
They also both look good in green.
Jose Bautista as the Thing
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"It's clobberin' time!"
The Thing's signature phrase describes just about every time Jose Bautista comes to the plate.
The Toronto Blue Jays outfielder is the post-steroids poster-boy of the long ball.
LeBron James as Batman
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Talk about complicated.
Both Batman and LeBron James have seen their stature as heroes plummet.
The public cannot decide whether both men are saviors or egotistical maniacs out to destroy the NBA/Gotham.
The livelihood of both Commissioners, Stern and Gordon, are tied up in their respective protagonists.
As much as the NBA hates to admit it, James may not be the hero they want, but he may be the best hope for the league in the post-lockout era.
Michael Jordan as Superman
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Dwight Howard and Shaq both have claimed the nickname Superman during the course of their careers.
The comparison doesn't quite fit.
Neither Shaq nor Dwight Howard really ever flew as much as Michael "Air" Jordan (Dwight Howard's Dunk contest dunk was falling gracefully).
Jordan has been the golden boy of professional sports for the last 25 years.
Much like the Man of Steel, he is known globally and possesses an immediately recognizable logo.
However, I don't think Clark Kent would have drafted Kwame Brown.
Usain Bolt as the Flash
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Dwyane Wade may have already copped the nickname, but here's a guy that actually possesses superpowers.
Bolt ran a 9.58 and 19.30 in the 100-meter and 200-meter races respectively during the 2009 World Championships
Wally West and his alter ego may be fictional, but put Bolt in red Spandex and throw a lightning-bolt helmet on him. I don't think anyone could tell the difference.
Chad Ochocinco as Spiderman
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Spiderman is a beloved, mutated hero that always has something to say.
Ochocinco is an eccentric wide receiver that always has something to say.
Spidey always spouts campy banter when battling super-villains. Ochocinco usually saves it for Twitter.
Both may be a little crazy, but we love 'em anyway.
Hope Solo as Wonder Woman
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Hope Solo seemingly flew through the air during the 2011 World Cup.
The USWNT goalie is fearless with a killer instinct.
There's been discussion that she could likely accomplish the super-heroic feat of playing in the MLS.
Clay Matthews as Wolverine
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Clay Matthews has recorded double-digit sack seasons every year of his pro career.
Matthews and Wolverine both fall in the "people I really don't want to make angry" category.
He also just sort of looks like Wolverine, doesn't he?
Phil Jackson as Professor Charles Xavier
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Intellectual. Cool. Understated. Brilliant.
The Zen Master and Professor X share many of the same qualities.
Both of them also possess the extraordinary ability to harness multiple super-sized egos and transform them into a winning organization.
The question remains, however, could Charles Xavier master the Triangle Offense?
Ryan Miller as the Green Lantern
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The Green Lantern was chosen to be the guardian of Earth by an alien who gave him a ring.
Ryan Miller was chosen to be the guardian of the net during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
With the NHL just now starting to rebound from the lockout, Miller has made a name for himself as one of the premier faces of U.S. hockey.
"It's Miller Time!" would be a great superhero catch phrase as well.
Shaq as Iron Man
Shaq already carries a surplus of nicknames: the Man of Steel, the Big Diesel, the Big AARP.
Iron Man would fit him best.
Shaq is the biggest, most eccentric extrovert in professional sports.
Tony Stark is about the only comic-book persona who could match him.
Shaq has been known to favor steel, but iron suits him far better.