We have done it with the Justice League and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so with the release this weekend of the latest film in the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Apocalypse, it is time to find the mutant counterparts for a few CFL players.
Mike Reilly as Wolverine
Tough, strong and with the ability to heal at a superhuman rate, Wolverine is the perfect X-universe equivalent for Mike Reilly. If there is one player in the CFL who might legitimately have an adamantium skeleton, it’s Reilly.
John Hufnagel as Professor X
Age has not weakened the mind of the X-Men’s leader and neither has it done so with perhaps the best coach/GM in the league over the last 10 years. With the way Calgary has continued to stay at the top, you would think Huf has some type of Cerebro machine hidden in the basement of McMahon Stadium to help him find quality players to keep the Calgary machine humming.
Wally Buono as Magneto
The only front office person who has had the same type of long-term success that Hufnagel has enjoyed is Buono. And Wally has done it much longer, and with even greater success. Both are great minds who could do some great work together, but they are kept apart and will continue to battle, hopefully, for a few more years at least.
Bryan Hall as Beast
Big, strong and blue. Now that Bryan Hall is an Argo, this pairing makes a lot of sense.
Ricky Foley as Mystique
Another blue equals blue connection. But Mystique is also a little duplicitous and will change her allegiance at the drop of a hat. Remember when Foley said he’d re-sign with the Lions only to spurn them and sign with the Argos? I’m sure Magento (Wally Buono) does.
Henry Burris as Cyclops
Whiny is usually what people say when describing Scott Summers, and it also is a defining characteristic of Henry Burris. Both have some cool powers, but both are knocked down because of their petulant, child-like attitudes when faced with adversity.
Luke Tasker as Jean Grey
Jean Grey is one of the most powerful X-Men, but she rarely shows it, choosing instead to be a role player who supports the rest of the team. While Tasker is obviously a star in the CFL, he doesn’t create the headlines that many of the league’s other receivers do. Grey does some pretty cool stuff with her telekinetic powers and we all saw as Tasker made one of the coolest catches in league history last year:
(Yes, I pretty much made this pairing simply to post this GIF again.)
Shawn Lemon as Gambit
While Lemon may not be from Louisiana, he is from South Carolina, so he does have that southern swag much like Gambit. He, also like Gambit, has a flair for the dramatic and has been known to be quite entertaining when knocking around opposing players.
Brandon Banks as Quicksilver
It might be getting boring just putting Brandon Banks with whatever speedster the various universes have, but it doesn’t make the comparison any less apt.
Chris Rainey as Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler can teleport and if you have seen Rainey play, you would think he had the same superpower with the way he seemingly makes defenders miss in the open field.
Justin Medlock as Storm
Storm is very popular, and has some cool powers, which mostly revolve around being able to control the weather. While Medlock cannot dictate what the weather will be, he has proven that he is immune to the elements, seen mostly during his recent stint with the Ticats where he mastered the swirling winds of Tim Hortons Field.
Matt O’Donnell as Colossus
It may be the easy way out, but Colossus is the largest of the X-Men and Matt O’Donnell is the CFL’s largest player, both in height, at 6-foot-11, and weight, at around 350 lbs. In short, Matt O’Donnell is a colossus.
Andrew Harris as Iceman
Both Andrew Harris and Iceman are vastly underrated. When given a chance to shine, they both come through, but sometimes get lost behind more popular people (for Iceman, it’s Wolverine; for Harris, it was Jon Cornish). But both bring a lot to the table and can be counted on to deliver when called upon.
Solomon Eliminian as Sabretooth
Sabretooth is ferocious and deadly with a killer instinct many would love to have, but few possess. Yup, sounds just like Solomon Elimimian.
Andre Durie as Rogue
Rogue has the ability to absorb the powers of anyone she touches, while Durie is a jack-of-all-trades player who is dangerous as a receiver, returner or running back. Basically Durie absorbs the powers of any position he plays, so he’s Rogue.
Simoni Lawrence as Deadpool
The only person in the CFL who could go quip for quip with the “Merc with a Mouth” is Hamilton’s loquacious linebacker.
Nik Lewis as Juggernaut
The Juggernaut is unstoppable, running things over with ease. Unless his helmet is taken off, there is no bringing down Cain Marko. Similarly, anyone who dares try to take down Nik Lewis one-on-one will meet a disappointing end.
Edmonton’s defensive line as Sentinels
The Sentinels are amongst the most feared units in the X-Men canon, and are big, strong and versatile. Sure sounds a lot like Edmonton’s defensive front four to me.
Kevin Glenn as Morph
Morph can, well, morph into anything at any time. Considering all the teams Glenn has spent any time with — by my count, the only team to never have Kevin Glenn’s rights are the Edmonton Eskimos — he probably feels like he has morphing abilities.