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UB Athletics in the Movies - Avengers: Age of Ultron

We're trying something new - casting members of UB Athletics into Hollywood Blockbusters, and what better movie to start with than Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Promotional Image
Avengers: Age of Ultron Promotional Image
Zennie Abraham

For anyone that knows me personally, the world's worst kept secret is that I'm a big movie guy - so, I thought it would be fun to look at popular upcoming movies and take a stab at who from around UB Athletics would play the major characters. The first movie we'll be taking a look at is the sequel to one of the most popular movies in recent memory - Avengers: Age of Ultron.

If you're unfamiliar with the plot, a quick synopsis: Age of Ultron sees the Avengers taking on the titular Ultron (voiced by James Spader), an AI that was originally supposed to help end the Avengers' fight, but became self-aware and decided that destroying humanity would be the only path to peace. Go figure. The movie also introduces important characters into the MCU from the comics, namely: Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision.

So, lets jump in and see who I picked to play the main characters, there may be some mild spoilers ahead, nothing that will ruin the plot, but will reveal the origins of characters if you aren't familiar with the comics. So, spoiler alert. Also, if there is a male character and I feel that a female in UB Athletics fits the persona of the character then I'll include them, same goes for the reverse, we don't have a gender bias here.

***WARNING, Mild Spoilers Ahead***

Iron Man - Danny White, Athletics Director

I'll start this off by presenting descriptions of Tony Stark from Iron Man 2, and descriptions of Director White from your friendly local newspaper, are there any similarities you notice?

"Displays compulsive behavior, has self-destructive tendencies, displays textbook narcissism"

"Brash, arrogant, inexperienced"

Okay, so the way Danny White is portrayed by the media may indicate that he's similar to Tony Stark in attitude, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The real reason I chose White, is because of the parallels between recent events and the storyline in the film of Tony Stark creating Ultron.

Stark creates Ultron as a means to ease the load on the Avengers and act as a flagship for worldwide peacekeeping, Ultron rebels and turns on Stark.

White hires Bobby Hurley as a means to elevate the UB Basketball program and act as a steward to raise UB's profile as the flagship of the SUNY system, Hurley leaves UB for Arizona State.

A little bit of a stretch, but the parallels can definitely be drawn.

Captain America - Joe Licata, Football

Captain America is the All-American patriotic face and leader of the Avengers. Joe Licata is the hometown kid leading the football team, how much more American can you get?

Like Cap to the Avengers, Licata has been the face of UB football since he took the reigns his redshirt-freshman season. You can see him on print advertisements, billboards, and just about anywhere where there is something UB Football related.

Just as Cap is inseparable from the Avengers, Joe is inseparable from UB football.

The Hulk - Jon Jones, Track and Field

A beast of a man that can pick up things and throw them really freakin' far. An apt description for both the Hulk and Jon Jones, UB Track and Field's first team All-American in the shot put.

While Jones doesn't have the Jekyll-and-Hyde relationship that Bruce Banner has with the Hulk, he does have the brute strength and hulking frame to launch the shot put ridiculous lengths that the puny human writing this could only hope to achieve.

Thor - Jonathan Hannestad, Men's Tennis

Scandanavian? Check.

A mean forehand swing? Check.

Dirty blonde hair? Check.

Jonathan Hannestad of the newly crowned MAC Champion Men's Tennis team is about as close as anyone at UB will get to being Thor without being the God of Thunder himself. Just as Thor has been a key cog throughout the Avengers' adventures in the Marvel Universe, Hannestad was one of the top players for UB this season with a rock solid 20-9 record in singles and 17-11 doubles record with Sergio Arevalillo at first doubles.

Black Widow - Kassidy Kidd, Women's Soccer

Natasha Romanoff, otherwise known as Black Widow, was an expert in espoionage that defected from Russia to join SHIELD and later be one of the founding member's of the Avengers. The Widow relies on her intelligence and training to take down the bad guys, and Women's Soccer's Kassidy Kidd has a few notable parallels.

She's quite intelligent - she was accepted into UB's Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (congrats Kassidy!).

She 'defected' - well, not really, but she came to UB from Niagara Falls, Canada. Not exactly a defection from Mother Russia, but close enough.

And finally, she shares the Black Widow's trademark fire red hair that's impossible to miss.

Hawkeye - Russell Cicerone, Men's Soccer

One of the more under-appreciated Avengers, Hawkeye has no real superpowers, but he's a master archer and the Avengers' sharpshooter.

I don't think I need to explain how Russell Cicerone is a sharpshooter for the men's soccer team, he scored 10 goals, including this snipe from 50 yards out:

Nick Fury - Vicki Mitchell, Track and Field Head Coach

Now, before you start chuckling at this choice - hear me out.

Nick Fury is the grizzled leader of SHIELD and the reason for the creation of the Avengers Initiative. He's been around since the start, and has had a hand in the majority of the events that has taken place throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Vicki Mitchell has been the head coach of the Track and Field and Cross Country teams at UB for 16 years, making her the longest tenured coach at UB, and she's been around through it all and she's had her hand in the development of UB Athletics from its early days in its infancy in the MAC era.

Quicksilver - Ryan Billian, Track and Field

Pietro Maximoff, otherwise known as Quicksilver, is one of the new Avengers that will be introduced in Age of Ultron; he was gifted with the ability of superhuman speed and the ability to move so fast that it's like the world around him slows down to a near stand still.

Ryan Billian is a former MAC Champion sprinter and holds multiple UB records in sprinting events, and if you're watching the sprints and you blink, you might just miss him.

Scarlet Witch - Stephanie Reid, Women's Basketball

Wanda Maximoff, the second new Avenger to be introduced in Age of Ultron, has the power of telekinesis and the ability to get into the minds of her opponents.

Stephanie Reid, the Women's Basketball team's starting point guard, has shown the cerebral ability to see things before they happen and get the basketball into places that you wouldn't think she would be able to without some supernatural ability.

Vision - Nate Oats, Men's Basketball Coach

The final Avenger to be introduced into Age of Ultron, is the Vision. For those unfamiliar with the comics, the Vision was created by Ultron as his 'Vision' for the perfection that he sought in the world. But, the Vision, was sympathetic towards humanity and believed that humans had the right to live and choose their own destiny, so, he betrayed Ultron and joined the Avengers and was a key part int he Avengers' fight against Ultron.

Nate Oats was hired by Bobby Hurley as his vision for what UB Basketball should become under his leadership, but, when Hurley 'defected' and left UB, Oats decided that he would remain at UB rather than following Hurley to Arizona State. Oats is now UB's version of the Vision, leaving the "bad guy" behind to join the good guys in fighting the good fight.

Ultron - Bobby Hurley, Former Men's Basketball Coach

As I mentioned above in the Iron Man entry, Bobby Hurley is the UB version of Ultron. Hurley spurned UB to go to Arizona State and among fans he was vilified by some of those who didn't believe Bucky Gleason's hit job on the department.

Ultron was largely considered to be one of the toughest foes that the Avengers ever faced in the comics and the reason he was so devastating was that he would never go away, even when they thought they were rid of him. And as we've seen in the past week, we haven't completely gotten out of Bobby Hurley's influence; he's already poached Shannon Evans, and may poach away Maurice O'Field as well.


Well, that was fun!

So how did I do? Was I spot on? Did it suck? Let me know in the comments below, and if this turns out to be popular I may run an entire series over the summer casting the members of UB Athletics into Hollywood Blockbusters.