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Every sports reference in Black Panther

“He is a monster of our own making.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 30: Actors Chadwick Boseman (L) and Angela Bassett attend the Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER Global Junket Press Conference on January 30, 2018 at Montage Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California. Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

It’s Marvel Cinematic Universe Week at SB Nation and across our team brands! We’re using the superior superhero franchise to guide our coverage for this week, as we pass the two-month mark without sports.

Here at Fear the Fin, I’m going to take on a very stupid mission: to watch every film in the MCU and document every reference made to sports throughout. I’m playing a little fast and loose with my definition of “sports reference,” but I’m going to try to avoid making the same jokes more than once in this series. You’ll see what I mean.

That’s 23 films, totaling 50 hours, by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 10.

(I’m aware the week starts on Sunday, but the next theme week doesn’t start until Monday and I got a late start on this, okay? I’m cutting myself some slack to make this ridiculous thing a complete project.)

I’ll be watching in a chronological order (some films take place around the same time, so it doesn’t matter too much) that is dubbed the “spoiler” version, as post-credit scenes will contain spoilers for movies further along in the timeline, as opposed to release order.

I’ve set up a storystream to help you keep track of each post as they go up — which won’t be on any kind of set schedule, since I’m gonna be putting some weird hours into this thing in order to pull it off. No worries, though — that’s the whole point of having a centralized location. I’d suggest reading them in order, but hey, I’m not your mom.

Reminder that time stamps are approximate, not exact, and may vary based on streaming services.

You wanna talk about game-changers, this is one of ‘em.


Black Panther (2018)

Director: Ryan Coogler, Written by Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole

00:01:50: 1992, Oakland, CA. We see a basketball hoop made with a sheet of wood and a plastic crate with the bottom busted out, hung up on a chain link fence in a parking lot. A group of young boys are playing 3-on-3 basketball.

Black Panther (2018)

00:04:14: On a shelf in N’Jobo’s apartment, we see a football resting on top of some books.

Black Panther (2018)

00:06:13: One of the kids playing basketball outside is wearing an Oakland Athletics jersey:

Black Panther (2018)

00:27:36: M’Baku taps out from his wrestling match with T’Challa.

00:42:27: Black Panther and company enter an underground casino and we’re shown six different game tables.

01:45:39: Shuri says “It’s just like riding a hoverbike,” to which Agent Ross says, “What? You guys have hoverbikes?”

02:00:39: We return to that basketball hoop in Oakland, since replaced with a real basketball hoop, and a group of kids playing.

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