This is happening, right now…
Somewhere. In a comic book shop, on an internet forum, I don’t know, somewhere… two comic book fans are arguing. The source of their debate: “Who would win in a fight: Batman or Captain America?” Or maybe it’s: “Superman vs. The Hulk?”
It’s an age old comics geek cliché. And trust me, they can get very passionate about their opinions. It’ll get heated. Yelling will ensue. (Or at least typing IN ALL CAPS!)
And at the end of the day, no one will end up with a solid answer. It’s just one of those unanswerable questions. Sure, the comics companies have tried to dangle the carrot in front of fans in the past, with promises of some type of answer. A company crossover between DC Comics and Marvel Comics! But the story usually ends up being the same old thing: The two heroes meet, for some reason they think the other is a villain, they trade a few blows, each gets a decent hit or two in, but then they realize… waitaminute… we’re both heroes. We’ve been duped! Let’s team up to fight the REAL bad guy. The end. Each company ultimately wants to protect their property. Why would DC let anyone whup Batman’s ass?
And the fans are not really left with an answer. The debates rage on.
But in sports, and more specifically in soccer, you can sometimes get a real opportunity to see two teams from different leagues clash in a battle royale. Your Batman vs. Captain America, if you will.
Just recently I saw my beloved LA Galaxy take on Manchester City. See, that’s kind of cool because the Galaxy play in the U.S. soccer league (MLS) while Manchester City play in the English Premiere League (EPL). It’s like a real life crossover event!
I’m proud to say that my LA Galaxy fought Man City to a draw until the game had to be decided on penalty kicks. Grr. Then Manchester City won. BUT Manchester City was expected to crush us, just as easily as Superman could squish Spider-Man’s head like a grape. Take that Soccer-Eurosnobs! We held our own! (And yeah, I say “we” even though I was just sitting in the stands drinking a beer, but it’s MY home team and they can’t win without my supportive chants and various superstitious gameday rituals, so “nyeh!”)
Okay, granted, it was just a “friendly” match, nothing really at stake. And each team had like a billion substitutions they were allowed to make so that “everyone plays” like in some Under-7 AYSO game. And yeah, yeah, Manchester City was just on a pre-season tour and not in 100% gameday form and fitness so the Galaxy were expected to have a somewhat of an edge being that they were in mid-season, match fit, etc. etc. blah blah.
BUT, the Galaxy had just come off of a VERY congested schedule, playing games every 3 days with little rest for the past month and we were also missing Landon Donovan, “the greatest American soccer player ever (TM)” and our super badass goalkeeper Donovan Rickets is out injured with a broken arm. So, we both had our disadvantages. Okay?!?!
Oh man, I’m doing it. The geek debate:
“But can Batman use his utility belt? Will Cap have his shield?”
HEY! At least it happened! At least we got some sort of answer. On top of that we also recently got to see the LA Galaxy take on Spanish League giants Real Madrid (and got our asses handed to us).
But you know what? In the middle of the game, the two teams didn’t “come to their senses” and team up to take on the referees. Like athletes, each team had some sense of pride at stake, and their competitive natures drove them on. When these guys put on their colorful costumes, they go out with a desire to win, not make friends or try and find out “Who is REALLY behind this?”
Say what you will about friendly competitions between club teams in separate leagues. At least in soccer, you get to watch real life mega crossover events take place right before your eyes and get the satisfaction of gloating to your soccer friends afterward that: the Red Bulls just beat Paris Saint-Germaine (yeah, this happened this morning)! Or, have to humbly slink away knowing that, yeah Manchester United just made fools out of the MLS All-Star team.
Sure, the fans will debate. “We were just playing our reserve squad”, “This game doesn’t mean anything anyway”.
But it actually happens. It’s not a hoax. Not an imaginary story.
It’s something you can REALLY watch. We can really find out:
Who would win if…?
That’s something that is so rad about soccer.
Tomorrow the New York Red Bulls (MLS- USA) are taking on Arsenal (EPL- England) in a friendly inter-league tournament in London. I’ll be pulling for the Red Bulls for the sake of American soccer pride, while my buddy Cody will be cheering for Arsenal ‘cause that’s HIS team. Monday we can argue all we want about the game, but in the end, the two teams will have faced off and one will walk away a winner.
Um… unless it’s a tie, I guess.
Oh, and for the record. I love Captain America, but I think Batman would totally win if they ever had to duke it out.