Last week was Marvel Week for SB Nation, with a lot of fun discussions over on SBNation.com about the comic book heroes. We were going to get in on the fun, but the passing of Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula took precedence here on The Phinsider and we did not get back to the Marvel discussions. I did, however, at the end of the week ask for ideas of which Miami Dolphins player/coach/executive could be tied to a Marvel character. After getting responses, I have collected some of my favorites - and some I made - into this list of Dolphins as Marvel characters:
I started off the list with Shula being Nick Fury. I think it works perfectly.
Another one I would add is, Joe Robbie should be Stan Lee. Don’t you think that is fitting?
As for Captain America, well, there really is one right choice here, as Chris Delahunty pointed out:
Marino as Captain America? The way he could sling that football like that shield.— Chris Delahunty (@CDelahunty) May 8, 2020
Since we started with the Avengers, we will keep going, building out the roster with them. There was a lot of discussion about several of the members of the group - especially as people tried to decide who should be Hulk. I think the right answer for the Hulk is as Austin Farrell suggested:
Cam Wake was the Hulk— Austin Farrell (@AustinFarrell7) May 8, 2020
But, what about Iron Man? He needs to be someone who just never stops, maybe is a little older, but it smart enough to keep playing even when it is rough out there. Well, Quentin Kinsey probably nailed the suggestion - and it is fitting in multiple ways.
John Denney as Iron Man— Quentin Kinsey (@cqkinsey) May 8, 2020
Thor may have been the character with the most nominations for different Dolphins members. He had options such as Marino, Wake, Jason Taylor, and Ricky Williams. However, I will go with Raist’s suggestion:
Jason Taylor as Black Widow.— Raist (@RaistliniltsiaR) May 8, 2020
Mark Duper as the Winter Soldier(if Marino is Cap)
Bill Belichick as Thanos.
Csonka as Thor.
Larry Csonka as Thor seems to make sense. There are some other options where I would like to slot him, but Thor does work nicely.
If you are sticking with the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Avengers, we still need a Black Widow and a Hawkeye. I go back to Raist for Black Widow - Jason Taylor would crush it in that kind of role. And, hey, we have women as Thor in the comic books (and rumored in the next version of the Thor movie), so why not? Plus, Raist explained it well:
Nope, Black Widow. Do-everything character you can count on, does things that probably shouldn't be physically possible with that body, easy on the eyes(objectively speaking).— Raist (@RaistliniltsiaR) May 8, 2020
I thought we might struggle to find a Hawkeye answer, but Raist again came through with another suggestion.
Shula as the Stan Lee cameo, I'll hear nothing else of it.— Raist (@RaistliniltsiaR) May 8, 2020
Bobby McCain as StarLord.
Bob Keuchenberg as Iron Man.
Bob Greise as Hawkeye. Not much without his team, but could be counted on to deliver a precise strike at the right moment.
Zach Thomas as War Machine.
I really like Griese as Hawkeye.
That rounds out the “Phase 1” Avengers. Phase 2 added in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Jumping to Ant-Man, there were a few here that made sense (I really liked the Zach Thomas suggestion here, because it does fit well, but I want to use him somewhere else), but one that surprised me was from Brian Fortner. I honestly had not thought about this one, but it is really good:
Marino=Iron-man(bit of a checked past and sacrificed his career in Miami)— Brian Fortner (@briancf86) May 8, 2020
Taylor=Thor(big tall with an mvp season like end game and infinity war)
Ricky=Hulk(misunderstood and smashed)
Thomas=Captain American(always there and dependable)
Jake Scott=Ant-man(was a theft 31 ints)
I nearly went Brent Grimes as Ant-Man, but Jake Scott works nicely in that role.
The Guardians of the Galaxy means we need a Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket.
Jumping back to Raist’s previous tweet, he recommended Bobby McCain as Star-Lord. I can see it, so we will go with that.
I did not receive a recommendation for Gamora or Drax, so I get to pick those two myself. Gamora is an assassin who escapes the evil ways of the rest of the AFC East - I mean Thanos - to fight as one of the Guardians. I want to make this Kyle Van Noy here, but since he has not actually played for the Dolphins yet, I will move this over to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
That brings us to Drax, an incredibly strong Guardian, who simply wants revenge and gets himself into trouble sometimes for rushing too quickly into a bad situation. One name immediately popped into my head: Richie Incognito.
Miasmi has what may be my favorite recommendation of any of the Twitter submissions. For Groot, he selected Dwight Stephenson.
Dwight Stephenson as Groot— Miasmi (@miasmiami) May 8, 2020
And the smallest member of the Guardians (not counting Baby Groot), but one who brings a ton of firepower, is Rocket, with J giving us a perfect option here:
Grant is definitely Rocket— J (@JBxyz123) May 8, 2020
Moving towards Infinity War and Endgame, some more characters were introduced to the MCU. Now we have Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel jumping into the discussion.
For Dr. Strange, I feel like we need some one magical, some one who made people look foolish with his ability to contort himself - and seemingly reality. Maybe someone who is literally super. Mark Duper fits this role.
Raist came back to give us two more recommendations that make sense, filling the Spider-Man and Black Panther positions:
Patrick Surtain as Black Panther.— Raist (@RaistliniltsiaR) May 8, 2020
Chris Chambers as Spider-Man.
Jakeem Grant as Rocket.
Now, we need someone who can fly but also hit hard to fill the Wasp spot on our roster. That feels very tight end. I think that leads me to Randy McMichael.
As for Captain Marvel, I was trying to find the right person to fill the role. I asked Twitter, and immediately received the right answer. Well done Vin Doggo and The Captain.
Dawn Aponte— Vin Doggo ☭ ️ (@RunBklyn) May 11, 2020
Dawn Aponte— The Captain (@Cpt_Handsome) May 11, 2020
That gets us through most of the main characters in the MCU, but we do have some other noteworthy characters, like Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier and Falcon. Raist had Mark Duper as the Winter Soldier, and I like that suggestion - it could have worked well to have him in that role then Mark Clayton as Falcon, but I already used Duper. Plus, I like Gabriel Sanchez’ idea:
Chad Pennington as the Winter Soldier— Gabriel Sanchez (@gsanchez1985) May 8, 2020
If only Miami would have been able to get the arm from Barnes, maybe CP10 could have had a few more stellar years in South Florida.
For Falcon, I am looking for a do-everything type of guy who just wants to help the team win. To me, Michael Thomas is that guy - and I wish he were still wearing aqua.
You also have to have some villains, or maybe anti-hero, types to have a true representation of the Marvel characters. Someone like Loki has to make an appearance. Miasmi has the answer for Loki:
Adam Gase as Loki— Miasmi (@miasmiami) May 8, 2020
And since we are on the antagonists, we will continue with Red Skull:
Nick Sabin as Red Skull— Miasmi (@miasmiami) May 8, 2020
Earlier, we saw the Thanos suggestion from Raist, giving a non-Dolphins member a spot in our universe as Bill Belichick takes the role as the Mad Titan.
Since we are on coaches in this section, this one made me laugh. Howard the Duck is only in the MCU via end credit scenes/cameo-style appearances, but this is funny:
Joe Philbin as Howard the Duck— Miasmi (@miasmiami) May 8, 2020
That will complete our look at the MCU - there are more options out there (Vision? Scarlet Witch? Mantis? War Machine? Nebula? Heimdall? Hela?) but I think we pretty well covered most of the major characters. We will now turn to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. We did not get a lot of recommendations for these teams, but a few did get submitted.
With the X-Men, we are going to stick to the core team most people know. There are obviously members who were in the original teamup, as well as members who have come and gone - just like in the Avengers - but we will go with Wolverine, Cyclops, Phoenix, Beast, Storm, and Professor X. Wolverine comes from a suggestion that multiple people provided, and one that makes a lot of sense:
Zach Thomas: Wolverine.— FinFanny (@Fin_Fanny) May 9, 2020
Jason Taylor as Vision.— MLB Senior VP of Bubble Construction (@_DP487) May 8, 2020
Ricky Williams as Quicksilver.
Zach Thomas as Wolverine.
Dan Marino as Captain America.
Cam Wake as Hulk.
That Zach Thomas as Wolverine one works on so many levels... perfect!— Ken Wright (@KenWrig8675309) May 11, 2020
I really like the image of Thomas as Wolverine.
The rest of the team, I get to assign. For Cyclops, a guy who leads the team, but often gets into a battle with Wolverine for just who is in control, He is not an impulsive character, as is Wolverine who just attacks, but instead considers the situation and makes the right choice to put himself in position to succeed - then when needed, he just blasts people out of the way. He feels very running back, or maybe a pulling guard type of player. I’ll go with the patient running back, looking for his hole before blasting through it.
I’ll take Ricky Williams as cyclops. (Especially with the helmet visor.)
Phoenix is a psychic who does not know her own power until she has moved from being Jean Grey into Phoenix. I am going to go with the rise back up after a fall. Marino and Wake both had major injuries and could fill that role, but they have both been used. I am going to give it to Ryan Tannehill, whose knee injury seemed to ruin his career, but he has now risen from the ashes to find success - albeit with another team.
Beast is a brilliant doctor who is also incredibly athletic. I’m going to look toward the defensive line here, nominating a player who maybe does not get the recognition as a major part of the team, but one without whom, no one else could do their job. I will give the Beast role to Manny Fernandez.
For Storm, I need someone who is powerful, but maybe only gets unleashed at certain times. Someone who can make things fall out of the sky like rain and lightning, and who does not seem to let weather impact him. I like Reggie Roby here.
Professor X is the leader of the X-Men, but he is often on the sideline as a coach/mentor more than actually in the fight. When he does enter a battle, he takes control of the situation and he often finds a way to turn around a bad situation. The Dolphins added quarterback Earl Morrall to provide that mentorship and to be a force if he became needed - which he absolutely was during the Dolphins’ Perfect Season.
The Fantastic Four provide us with Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and Thing as roles. There are a lot of options here, especially for offensive linemen. There are a lot of aspects of the team that is protective, which plays well for the offensive line. Mister Fantastic can stretch himself into a wall, which could be used to protect the quarterback - and it could also allow him to go up and snatch high passes as a receiver or cornerback, but I am going to go offensive line. Since we already have Dwight Stephenson as Groot, I will give the Mister Fantastic role to Jim Langer.
Invisible Woman can use her powers to, well, turn invisible, but she can also project an invisible force field. I will slide Jake Long into that force-field producing type of role.
Human Torch ignites into flames and can fly. We need someone who is brash, disruptive, and can use his speed and flying ability to disrupt the opponents. We already added Patrick Surtain to the roster, but we do not have Sam Madison as of yet. Now we do.
And finally, I will go with a suggestion from Twitter for Thing’s role.
Richmond Webb as the ever lovin Thing.— Vin Doggo ☭ ️ (@RunBklyn) May 12, 2020
Below you will find the full roster. What do you think? Who would you change? Who would you add?
Miami Dolphins as Marvel Characters:
Howard the Duck