TALE OF THE TAPE

NFL Players Vs. Nintendo Characters, Who Has The More Ridiculous Talents?

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers suffered a bit of a blowback when he compared Ndamukong Suh to a video game character. To me it was all in good fun, but if you dig deep enough into anything, someone will be offended.

We got it, Cam. Suh can decimate the game plan of an offense even without throwing wooden barrels, which he would obviously be fined for. In an effort to back up Cam, here are some other NFL players compared to video game characters. Who has the more ridiculous talent? Let’s go to the tape!

NFL Players
Nintendo Characters
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 27: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos runs out onto the field as flames ignite during player introductions before a game against the Washington Redskins at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on October 27, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
This picture taken on April 26, 2014 shows Japanese videogame giant Nintendo's characters Super Mario and Luigi (L) performing in Chiba, suburban Tokyo. Nintendo booked a 229 million USD annual loss on May 7, reversing a year-earlier profit as dismal sales of its Wii U console during the crucial Christmas holiday period dented results.
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
Jimmy Graham Vs. Mario
When it comes to vertical leaps, few players do it better than New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. Chalk it up to Graham being a 6'7" former college basketball star who Drew Brees can heave the ball up to. The NFL even created a rule about dunking the ball over the uprights as a touchdown celebration and call it "The Jimmy Graham Rule."
Winner When it comes to jumping, no character does it better than Mario. If you try to compare his jumps in "Super Mario Bros" to real life, Mario's vertical leap is about 15 feet. With a running start, it about 30 feet, and that's without a star.
Jay Cutler Vs. Link
Winner There's no question that Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears is a talented quarterback. After being leveled in Week 3 only to bring his team back for the win, Cutler has showed he has heart, too. He doesn't complain every time he hurts his pinky finger. But Cutler's heart can recede the more hits he takes, causing him to scramble and fight between being overly cautious and pushing through to the next level.
When it comes to hearts, nobody in the video game universe is more powerful than Link from "The Legend of Zelda" when he's at full heart. Seriously, he shoots a sword across the screen when that happens. But when Link takes hits, he usually finds himself creeping up on gels, slashing at them, and running away.
Seattle Seahawks Secondary Vs. Contra Commandos
The Seattle Seahawks secondary continues to decimate some of the most prolific passing games in the NFL: Aaron Rodgers and the Packers; Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The bodies of receivers littered on the field has been astounding.
Winner In "Contra," it only takes two commandos to run through seven levels of mayhem, gunning down lines of soldiers running at you kamikaze style in order to take down giant cyborg aliens bent on taking over the world. The pressure of the two-minute warning really doesn't come close.
Troy Polamalu Vs. King Koopa
Winner It feels like Troy Polamalu has been the strong safety of the Pittsburgh Steelers for two football lifetimes, but he's only been around for 10 years. When you defend against an offense scoring with everything short of throwing fireballs, you are usually considered a timeless player.
When it comes to defending the success of koopas everywhere, King Koopa will do anything, including throw fireballs at you. And try to crush you with a wrecking ball from his floating platform. And send a platoon of Koopa Kids at you on pirate ships. Unfortunately, none of that has led to the sort of success that Troy Polamalu has had.
Peyton Manning Vs. Solid Snake
When it comes to managing a game from the field on his own, Peyton Manning is one of the best. It's to the point that he might as well be labelled offensive coordinator, because offensive coordinators merely suggest things to Peyton. Unfortunately, this lone wolf general mentality has only gotten him one Super Bowl so far.
Winner In the Metal Gear series, Solid Snake has constantly thrived under pressure. Or merely survived long enough for you to restart the next level. Take down a mechanized nuclear bomb-thrower? No problem. Take down his former mentor, who happens to be his petri dish father due to genetic cloning? Check. Cyborg ninjas? Already done. Solid Snake is like every action hero rolled into one, ridiculous warrior that always wins... no mater how many hours of gameplay it takes.

The Winner Is

This picture taken on April 26, 2014 shows Japanese videogame giant Nintendo's characters Super Mario and Luigi (L) performing in Chiba, suburban Tokyo. Nintendo booked a 229 million USD annual loss on May 7, reversing a year-earlier profit as dismal sales of its Wii U console during the crucial Christmas holiday period dented results.
Winner Nintendo Characters
3 out of 5

With all of the powers that the imagination of a video game designer can muster, NFL players lose, but it was close. If you consider that these athletes are doing things usually left to video game imaginations, like Tecmo Bowl, then you may be inclined to forgo the tape analysis and go with your gut. No wonder sportscasters have resorted to the term "video game numbers" when discussing the talents of some players.

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