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.
Now it’s time for the best film in the MCU.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Director: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
00:00:50: The film opens with both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson out for a nice morning jog. Steve laps Sam three times.
00:01:30: Sam says Steve ran 13 miles in 30 minutes. Possibly an exaggeration, although Sam probably knows how long his route is and how many times Cap lapped him, so he might not be too far off. Assuming he keeps pace, that’s actually slow for Cap to only hit 26 miles an hour. In the 40s, he was out-running motor vehicles.
But hey, he’s just keeping himself in shape, no reason to max out right now.
00:02:42: We see Steve’s “catch up on pop culture” list. The only sports thing listed is the film Rocky, followed by “(Rocky II?)” Given how many times we’ve seen Steve boxing, I can only assume that Tony once called him Rocky and he wants to know why.
00:19:20: “Captain America and his Howling Commandos” sounds like a great nickname for a Joe Pavelski-led line, I’m just saying.
00:37:10: Some good old fashioned parkour for Cap here, launching himself off of walls. I’ve missed this.
01:09:03: There’s a lot of running in this movie, but this time it’s specifically for exercise purposes, as we see another one of Sam Wilson’s morning runs. The man has a routine.
01:22:48: Both Steve and Bucky had to learn hand-to-hand combat at some point after the 1940s. Can you imagine being the person to teach Captain America how to fight up close? Unreal. Where’s that guy, what’s he doing? Is he HYDRA now?
01:40:35: Alexander Pierce asks, “What if Pakistan marched into Mumbai tomorrow and you knew that they were going to drag your daughters into a soccer stadium for execution, and you could just stop it, with a flick of the switch — wouldn’t you?”
Bold claim from a guy who then says he’d sacrifice 20 million people for the good of 7 billion. Where’s the concern for people’s daughters now, Pierce?
Anyway, my apologies to soccer, a sport that doesn’t deserve to be used in gross Nazi hypotheticals.