Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Oct 2005

Batman vs. The Patriots

As we all know, Batman is a master strategist who can defeat any challenge. Therefore, IGN Comics has a regular feature asking readers to explain how Batman would defeat a series of opponents: the sun, the IRS, menopause, Jessica Alba's no-nudity clause, and so forth. Anyway, how would the ultimate loner superhero defeat the ultimate ego-free football team? Check out the surreal diagram from reader number three.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 15 Oct 2005

30 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2005, 8:53pm by Björn


by Shadow (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 7:07pm

He's obviously not giving that strong safety enough RESPECT.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 7:40pm

Obviously, LaDainian Tomlinson is Batman.

by matt (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 8:30pm

Sorta like that old snickers commercial where the qb gets sacked, and is lying on the ground with the coaches and training staff huddled over him.

Coach: "Son, do you know where you are?!"
QB: "At the game."
C: "And who am I?"
QB: "You're the coach."
C: "And who are you?"
QB: "Me? ...I'm Batman!"

by the K (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 9:14pm

Haha, thanks for this Aaron. As a Batman and football fan I really enjoyed reading that.

"Scores like 90 points because today's game is brought to you by Wayne Enterprises, and Bruce Wayne likes Batman for some reason."

by Lumpy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 10:37pm

First, Belicheck would unleash a barrage of praise for Batman the week prior to the game. Clearly Batman would be an asset on any team.

But Belicheck would exploit Batman's weakness (ie: no superpowers). It would probably be a 1pm game, fueling all the Anti-Patriot rhetoric about how games are fixed and how the only reason why they'll win is because Batman couldn't perform at his best time slot - - Sunday or Monday Night Football.

Final score: Pats 27, Batman 25. (Thanks to a last minute Vinateri field goal).

Batman gets cut in February.

Batman signs with the Patriots for the 2006 season where he'll bring some intensity back into the Secondary.

by Harris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/15/2005 - 11:11pm

Batman has synthesized kryptonite, so I'm sure he could create a device to turn Belichick into Mike Tice and Brady into Kyle Boller. Likely he wouldn't need such tricks; he'd just deploy a squadron of Bat Knight robots (see Kingdom Come) and with him designing game plans, the Patriots would be lucky to escape with all their organs intact.

by Jason (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 12:52am

I see 2 ways for Batman to win. 1 way would be to just buy the Patriots and disband their team. The other way would be by intimidating the Competition committee to abolish the Tuck Rule. Without that rule out of the way, Batman could destroy Brady without having to worry about the officials bailing him out

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 2:06am

Yeah..it was the Tuck Rule that won three SB's...0_o :p

by kleph (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 12:15pm

this isn't any weirder than superman vs muhammed ali (click my name)

by DMP (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 1:40pm

This is hilarious, just the concept of Batman against anything imaginable. This is funny for the football nerd AND the comic book nerd, in different ways. Great for me, I'm more the latter than the former.

There was a time when I was thinking Ahman Green would be one of my new favorite players, solely because he gave an interview where he said he had a Bat-Emblem tatoo because he thought Batman was cool in that he had no superpowers and had to get everything done on the strength of his training and smarts. This was back when he was a fantasy stud and the Packers had an offensive line, and Mike Sherman wasn't determined to ruin Brett Favre's twilight years. Now...

And yes, I'm 28.

by tom (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 6:52pm

I feel I should share at this juncture that I once read a wholly serious discussion on a messageboard about the likely outcome of a Gandalf vs TIE Fighter confrontation, that then progressed to an discussion of whether or not Gandalf could punch out Mike Ditka.

by Harris (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 9:04pm

Phoenix vs. a tornado?

by Vash (not verified) :: Sun, 10/16/2005 - 11:43pm

And this seems like the perfect time to shamelessly advertise the great tourist town of Batman (link)

by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 12:26am

Sheesh, just throw it deep over the middle, to whomever Starks is covering. An assignment hardly worthy of Robin.

A resigned Pats fan.

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 10:43am

I seem to recall a Simpsons episode from a while back featuring the comic book "Joe Louis vs. She-Hulk." At least I think it was Joe Louis.

Wasn't Seinfeld doing this sort of thing ten years ago?

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 11:02am

Supergirl Vs. the glass ceiling?

by tom (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 12:34pm

of course, ninjas vs pirates is the real deal when it comes to classic match-ups. if carolina had only been called the ninjas, rather than the panthers, well, what a divisional rivalry they'd have with the Bucs...

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 1:40pm

Is there any way you can see the other ones in the series?

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 1:55pm

I just remembered that Gene Weingarten, a writer for the Washington Post, asked a similar question in one of his recent online chats. Namely: how would a baseball team do if they had the Flash?

In this case, Batman would lose because he would have to be the quarterback AND the receivers AND the running back AND the O-line AND the entire defense. As I recall, Batman gets tackled, too.

Now Superman, that's another story.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 2:19pm

#19, this brings up a very good point which I have never seen addressed by comic book writers in general: Wouldn't the existance of superpowers render professional sports moot? How could we argue the merits of Barry Sanders vs. Emmit Smith when everyone knows that the Flash would run for about 10,000 yards and 200 TDs a game? Who would care about mere human athletes anymore?

The only time I saw anyone addressing this important issue was in the old Marvel world (before they made Spiderman a clone and killed the franchise) where they had "Unlimited Class Wrestling" in which people with superpowers actually duked it out for money. Not bad, but what about traditional sports?

And what about the motivation of most supervillians? Isn't it to make money? Heck, if I had the strenght of the average supervillian, I'd forgo the crooked life and become a fullback, making about 10 million a year working just one day a week for 16 weeks. I wouldn't even have to practice. Imagine if you were the Sandman? Why bother with a life of crime?

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:21pm

RE: #20

I don't think superpowers per se would rend sports moot. When I went to lunch, I sat and thought about what positions various superheroes would be best suited for (slow day at work). I don't think that the Flash could play just any position, for instance, but would instead be best suited for running back given his particular skill set. (Side discussion: how would a team prepare to play against another team with the Flash? I think they would try to grind it out as much as possible and keep the Flash's team's defense on the field. They would have to be able to score, of course, and I suppose he would make a good but extremely small defensive end, but I think the best case scenario is to limit the damage.)

I never was a big comics guy (although it's probably hard to tell), but here's my approximation for a few superheroes. Any additions, corrections, etc., accepted.

Flash: Running back, for obvious reasons.
Superman: Also running back, not just because of his speed but also because he's "more powerful than a locomotive."
The Hulk: Defensive tackle. He doesn't have the speed to be an end, but he would get about ten sacks a game.
Batman: Safety. He can use his smarts to set up the defense and almost always guess correctly whether to play the run or the pass. Not quite big enough for a linebacker, not quite fast enough for corner.
Aquaman: Waterboy. It writes itself.
Spiderman: Assistant waterboy? His biggest asset, his webbing, is useless on a football field because there's nothing to attach the webbing to, except maybe the goalpost. It might be different if he played in a dome.
The Thing: See Hulk, The.
Mr. Fantastic: I could make a "stretch the field" joke here, but instead I'll say cornerback. He's not fast, but he's also not big enough to play safety, and he can just stretch his arm to pull down interceptions. Perhaps the most underrated superhero/football player of them all.

As a(nother) side note, I think the X-Men's powers are the most ill-suited for football. Sure Wolverine can heal quickly, but what else can he do of value on the field? Cyclops is also pretty useless.

by Björn (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:24pm

The best athlete in the world of comics is easily the nightcrawler. Think of it... in baseball, he would get 4 stolen bases per game. In football, he could throw himself a 50 yard touchdown pass.

Also, could you imagine Yoda as a manager in baseball? He could just stop the ball over the plate, giving poor Vladimir Guererro half a chance of hitting the ball out of the infield.

How about Obi Wan Kenobi arguing a strike?

by pawnking (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 3:37pm

Björn, that might be the funniest mental image I've had for weeks.

JonL, I want your job.

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:02pm

I forgot about Nightcrawler. Also, I should note that Rogue would make a good defensive player, because anyone she tackles would be out for the rest of the game, and possibly the season. Linebacker? Safety?

I still can't come up with a decent quarterback. Superman maybe, but I have him slotted at RB. Is there any superhero whose power involves throwing things? Maybe this is where Spiderman should go. His spider-sense would help him avoid the pass rush.

by zach (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:42pm

well bullseye is a villain for daredevil, but he has perfect aim with everything.

i think the hulk would make a better QB, actually. he would never be sacked and could throw a football 100 yards with ease. imagine a Hulk/Flash QB/WR combo! snap, touchdown. snap, touchdown. the Hulk doesn't even have to aim it anywhere but down the field, since the flash will get to it regardless.

as Wolverine is brian dawkins' idol, i am sure he would make a fantastic safety. also, jean grey be fantastic at any defensive position, as she could not only read the QB/RB's mind before the snap, but use her telekinetic powers to bring the ball to her, or stop the RB from 20 yards away!

by zach (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:44pm

would be, of course.

also, Professor X is the obvious choice for head coach. when reading the minds of the other coach and players fails him, he could simply "mind-freeze" them, a la X-Men 2.

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 5:53pm

RE: #25

The problem as I see it with the Hulk as a QB, and with other superheroes for that matter, is what kind of a passer he would be. Can he even throw a spiral? Can he make reads quickly? Can he throw with touch? I think the Hulk is better as a DT because HULK SMASH!

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 6:53pm

I think it's obvious who should be QB on the all super-hero team...Wonder Woman! Any one who can stop bullets with her wrists, fly an invisible jet, and get bad guys to tell the truth with her magic lasso has all the qualities necessary in a good QB.

by JonL (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 7:09pm

I think Wonder Woman would be the perfect sports reporter. She could use her golden lasso to get truthful answers out of everyone, and so we wouldn't have to listen to quotes like "we just have to execute." Plus, we'd finally learn which Patriots are really injured.

Of course, we'd also get quotes like "I really have to go to the bathroom" and "I wonder what Fred Smoot's doing this weekend."

by Björn (not verified) :: Mon, 10/17/2005 - 8:53pm

Could you imagine Wonder Woman's sideline interview with Joe Namath?

That was probably Namath holding back some, too.