He goes by many names. . . “Wall-Crawler”. . . “Web-Slinger”. . . But, he is most famously known as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
This guardian of New York City in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is famous for striking from a distance while subduing opponents with his agility and frustrating them with his escapability. Moreover, the Spider’s secret identity, nerdy A+ student Peter Parker, is known as an awkward youth with a heart of gold that understands “with great power comes great responsibility”. Of the installments of The Sports Fan’s Guide to Nerd Culture released by NGSC Sports and Hilarity by Default, this one is the most spot on comparisons so far in my opinion, as we explain why the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is like the one they call the “Web-Head”.
In order to get a visual comparison between the amazing Spider-Man and the Pro Bowl Game Manager, one merely needs Russell Wilson maneuvering his way out of danger in his backfield.
But when Wilson was an upstart third-round pick that shocked the NFL landscape becoming the starter over Tavares Jackson and Matt Flynn, he had moments where he looked less like the established superhero protector, and more like Peter Parker learning how to adjust to his newly-found powers.
Those powers of his were helpful later after that 2013 regular season as his Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl when he teamed up with the Legion of Boom much like Spidey did with some of The Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. Although, in that championship game, he, like the Wall-Crawler fighting with Iron Man and company, had a relatively small role (Technically speaking, Spider-Man’s team loses in the big fight, but Russell Wilson also lost a Super Bowl later in his career).
In addition to their grace and finesse in the field, the Spider and the Seahawk both are very similar in personality. Wilson comes off somewhat awkward, but it’s because of his tendency to not seek the spotlight much like his arachnid-themed counterpart. Both focus first and foremost, on those in the neighborhood they live in and the people they care about. Heck, what says “friendly neighborhood” more than the former Wisconsin Badger repeatedly hosting Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Awards?
That’s not to say these two aren’t without their critics. I myself, the Student of the Game, was critical of the young passer when he first hit the top of the depth chart as a rookie (which I predicted in the 2012 preseason) much like the head of the Daily Bugle newspaper, J. Jonah Jameson was in a young Parker. Yet, as time passed by, I warmed up to the fact that Russ improved his game to more than just some menace running around the turf waiting for an opportunity to save the day. The improvement of Wilson on the field was similar to how J.J. Jameson came around on to supporting Parker in certain circumstances where his best interests were to be served.
But at the end of the day, Russell Wilson and Spider-Man are both positive icons that often times get entirely too much flak, nothing proves that like the snubbing of the Seahawks team captain from winning the MVP for the 2017 season. With an injury-plagued offensive line that often failed to protect him, poor production from his running backs, a mediocre receiver corps and a defensive unit that had to medically sideline a handful of stars, the only thing keeping Seattle playoff competitive through that year can be summarized in this legendary scene from the second Sam Raimi movie.
Comparing these two is simple on and off the field. They both use speed, smarts, and tenacity to achieve victory while also being an everyday average Joe in an extraordinary situation. Their communities are enriched by their existence in print and in real life.