So, today, the nerdy side of the interwebz exploded as geek god James Gunn released the red band trailer for his latest superhero movie “The Suicide Squad.” Now, this is not to be confused with 2016’s movie “Suicide Squad,” even though it features a number of the same actors playing the same characters in a similar premise. In the business, they call this a soft reboot, rather than a sequel, so take that for what it’s worth.
Anyway, as I was watching this goofy-ass trailer about a bunch of criminals — including an anthropomorphized weasel and a literal giant shark who walks on two feet, rips human beings in half, and gnaws on human skulls — I thought about the Ohio State football team, naturally.
So, even though I’ve never seen the 2016 “Suicide Squad,” and only have a passing familiarity with most of the characters in Gunn’s movie, I decided to compare the members of the Suicide Squad to Ohio State football players.
But first, just in case you are one of those people that hasn’t seen it yet, check out the trailer, so you know what I’m talking about:
Ok, now that you’re caught up, using only that trailer, Wikipedia, and character posters that the cast tweeted out today, I am going to name... The Buckeye Squad™️.
Amanda Waller: Ryan Day
Look, there is no doubt that anytime Viola Davis — whom I have long maintained is the greatest actor in the world — is around that she is in charge. Hell, even Gunn said that he was afraid of her on set, so who else could be the OSU corollary for the mastermind behind the Suicide Squad than the HBIC (head Buckeye in charge), Ryan Day?
Now, Day is probably not going to implant explosives into the brains of his players so that he can threaten to kill them if they don’t follow his orders, but with the way technology is progressing, you never know what Mark Pantoni and company will come up with next.
Weasel: Jim Harbaugh
For a character that looks like that and is named Weasel, there was no way that I could find a Buckeye to match up with him, so who else could I go with other than the head coach of the Ann Arbor Weasels himself, Jim Harbaugh.
Fun fact, in the comics, Weasel — who was once the full-fledged human John Monroe — was a student at Stanford, where the younger of the coaching Harbaugh brothers once patrolled the sidelines.
If you’ve followed my articles here at LGHL, while I am willing to type the words “Michigan” and “Wolverines” when necessary, I prefer more colorful ways of describing Ohio State’s rivals, and one of my favorites is by calling them the Weasels; so again, it fits.
Jimbo has always been a bit squirrely, and I am guessing that squirrels and weasels are at least distantly related (don’t fact-check me on that zoologists). I mean, look at the picture below and compare it to the character poster above. Spitting image, right?
Ratcatcher 2: Chris Olave
I know it’s been a while since the football Buckeyes took to the field against the Corn and Blue, but if you think back to the last two times that OSU has embarrassed the Fighting Hugh Jackmans, you’ll recall that a lot of that had to do with the play of Chris Olave.
As I mentioned above, I have lots of nicknames for TTUN, and while I haven’t used “rats” yet (at least not in print), I think this makes sense. In two games against the Rats, Olave has three touchdowns and is averaging 29 yards per catch.
Therefore — follow me here — against the RATs, Olave is CATCHing everything, and he now wears number 2. So Ratcatcher 2 = Chris Olave. You can’t argue with science.
Bloodsport: Garrett Wilson
Let’s get this out of the way first; Bloodsport is nuts... canonically certifiable, in fact. And while I am comparing him to Garrett Wilson, the only connection to this part of Idris Elba’s character is that Wilson is insanely talented (see what I did there?).
But, the reason that the junior wide receiver came to mind for Bloodsport is the fact that in the comics, he employs a teleporter. And while he mainly uses that to keep himself continuously stocked with a full arsenal of weapons, Wilson is the type of player who can seemingly appear anywhere on the field. He has the ability to absolutely carve up a defense underneath from the slot, or to burn a hapless corner on a deep post route.
And, like with the Suicide Squad’s Bloodsport, you better not take your eye off of Wilson, because when he gets a chance to strike, he will not miss.
Peacemaker: C.J. Hicks
In the trailer, John Cena’s Peacemaker — known as being the douchey version of Captain America — says that he would be willing to do a certain unappetizing thing if it meant preserving liberty. And while I would never want to assign any of Peacemaker’s not-so-flattering attributes to anyone wearing the scarlet and gray, his willingness to do whatever it takes for the cause of OSU greatness does make me think of one future Buckeye, C.J. Hicks.
In addition to being Ohio’s second ranked player and the 41st rated prospect in the entire 2022 class, Hicks has been dubbed Captain Buckeye by his fellow commits. The linebacker out of Dayton’s Archbishop Alter has done everything that anyone could ask of him to help get the best possible class of prospects to Columbus in 2022.
Currently, OSU has the nation’s top-rated class by a considerable margin, and hopefully Hicks won’t have to lower himself to Peacemaker levels in order to keep that title come National Signing Day.
Imma get it by any means.. Luke 1:37 pic.twitter.com/HMvs35mfOt— CJ Hicks (@imcjhicks) March 12, 2021
Savant: Antwuan Jackson
In DC comics, Brian Durlin, also known as Savant, is a computer genius with an incredible memory... but, he doesn’t remember things in chronological order. So, he often recalls things in a messed up timeline.
So, when we’re talking about an incredibly talented Buckeye whose timeline has been all out of whack, Antwuan Jackson fits the bill perfectly. Ohio State first recruited the defensive lineman in 2016, when he was the No. 49 player in the country. Despite then-coach Urban Meyer wanting to bring Jackson to Columbus five years ago, he initially enrolled at Auburn instead.
Things didn’t work out with the Tigers, so in 2018, he was again on the market as the No. 3 JUCO prospect in the country, and this time, he finally chose OSU. Having already graduated from Ohio State with a degree in human development and family science, he averaged a career high 23.6 snaps per game in 2020, and had a career-high 47 in the National Championship Game against Alabama, the most of any defensive tackle other than Haskell Garrett (more on him later).
To recap: two years after he was originally recruited by the Buckeyes, Jackson finally came to Columbus. Then, five years after being one of the top prospects in the country, he is now in line to finally have a career-year on the OSU defensive line. Time is a flat circle, and hopefully Jackson deduce a way to hack this algorithm.
Captain Boomerang: Jesse Mirco
Jai Courtney is a truly great actor who I always wanted to work with since we met years ago, and an amazing choice @DavidAyerMovies made for Captain Boomerang. #TheSuicideSquad pic.twitter.com/RO8B0YtHmn— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 26, 2021
When you’re talking about an Australian whose greatest skill is controlling the trajectory of projectiles, there’s only one Buckeye who could take the title of Captain Boomerang: incoming 23-year-old punter Jesse Mirco. One obvious difference between the Suicide Squad’s Captain Boomerang and OSU’s is that the character portrayed by Jai Courtney is one of the few returning from the 2016 film, while Mirco is not only new to Ohio State, but new to the states in general.
Hopefully Mirco adapts to his new home and is able to bring some of his Aussie magic to make the football do some funky things this fall.
Polka Dot Man: Demario McCall
Look, no one called Polka Dot Man is ever going to be the most intimidating person on any team. They won’t be the one to draw headlines or attention from opposing teams — they might even draw laughs or disdain from onlookers — but if you don’t pay attention, they can jump out and get you.
What you might not know is that those little dots on Polka Dot Man’s costume in the poster above house various tiny gadgets, and you never know which one he might deploy to knock you out. Much like my one true love, Demario McCall (#FreeDemario).
Nearly five years ago, when McCall was just a freshman, I compared him to Spider-Man, but things have changed for the
running back h-back wide receiver return specialist. For whatever reason, McCall has struggled to get onto the field enough to make much of an impact during his OSU career. Whether that has been because of his penchant for coughing up the ball, or perpetually being in the coaches’ doghouse, a guy who seemingly is bursting with athletic weapons has been mostly turned into a joke — like a guy named Polka Dot Man would be.
However, until the day I die, I will never stop believing in the power and potential of OSU’s Polka Dot Man, Demario McCall. Underestimate him at your own peril.
King Shark: Dawand Jones
In the trailer, King Shark’s height appears to fluctuate between six feet and eight feet tall; at some points, he looks to be the same size as many of his Suicide Squad comrades, but at others, he seems to tower over every other living creature around him. I don’t know exactly how that works, but if that is one of his special, humanoid-shark hybrid skills, then he knows how to “shark up” at the perfect times, as evidenced in the trailer when he literally rips a bad guy in half.
So, while I am unaware of him being able to change his size based solely on the situation in which he finds himself, there really is only one person on the Buckeye roster that could match up with the sheer enormity of King Shark, and that’s 6-foot-8, 360 pound mountain of a man, offensive lineman Dawand Jones.
This absolute behemoth has shown up in some key moments for the Buckeyes over the years, especially when OSU is down an o-line starter or two. So, since King Shark wasn’t in the first Suicide Squad film, I think it would be fair to call him a backup... right? (please don’t rip me in half Mr. King Shark, sir. I mean no disrespect. I’m just trying to make the bit work.)
The thing is, in the trailer, King Shark — voiced by the legendary Sylvester Stallone — shows a fun, playful side as well; and look at the joy on Dawand’s face after Ohio State won their fourth-straight Big Ten Championship. While I’m not sure that his pearly whites are sharp enough to cut through human flesh and bone, you do gotta appreciate the smile.
The Thinker: Thayer Munford
It’s often been said that offensive linemen are the most intelligent players on any football team. They have to be able to diagnose a multitude of defensive fronts and schemes in a matter of seconds to protect the quarterback as well as mastering dozens of variations to countless offensive protections. So, if I’ve got to find a Thinker on the Buckeye roster, there’s no one better than Thayer Munford.
Like a good student of the game, Munford has climbed up the Big Ten postseason awards in each of the last three years, because he’s learned thanks to the experience that he’s encountered. Munford was honorable mention following the 2018 season, then he was named to the conference’s second team in 2019, and then finally to the first team following last year’s abbreviated season.
Munford is a smart man, and the fact that he has returned for a fifth season, instead of going pro, proves that he thinks that there is more that he can learn; which is a good thing for the Buckeyes, and bad news for opposing d-lines.
Rick Flag, Mr. All American: Haskell Garrett
Rick Flag: Mr. All American with a dark streak, played by my pal @joelkinnaman. As Joel was shooting a TV series we had to bend time & space to get him in the hefty role I had written for him. It was worth it. #TheSuicideSquad PS Thanks @forallmankind_ for helping us work it out. pic.twitter.com/0T5zO3dQ1H— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 26, 2021
There was a lot of shitty stuff that went on during the 2020 college football season, but one of the bright spots — for Ohio State and all of CFB — was the return and emergence of Haskell Garrett as a nearly unstoppable force on the interior of the Buckeye defensive line.
Following his well-documented gunshot wound to the face, Garrett added stability to an unproven line, much like Flag — the non-criminal leader of the Suicide Squad — did for his team of reforming villains. And since Flag is known as Mr. All American, it’s only fitting that Garrett — an All American in his own right — picks up the mantle amongst the Buckeyes.
Flag is certainly one of the “good guys,” as is Garrett, who put himself in harm’s way to break up a domestic violence situation last summer. But, Flag has a temper and can get angry; and anyone who watched Garrett play last season knows that he’s capable of doing significant damage to offensive lines and ball-carriers. So, be careful not to piss off Mr. All American... or do, I kind of like to watch Haskell when he’s angry.
Harley Quinn: Whomever wins the quarterback battle
I have loved the character of Harley Quinn since she debuted as an animated character. It was my privilege bringing her to life in all her nutso glory. @MargotRobbie #TheSuicideSquad pic.twitter.com/Hgb6UaWHYL— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) March 26, 2021
Make no mistake about it, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is the star of the Suicide Squad (and “Suicide Squad” and “The Suicide Squad”). This is the third film in which Robbie has played batshit crazy super genius/super villain (in addition to last year’s “Birds of Prey”). So, in honor of those three films, I am going with three different players for the Buckeyes’ version of Harley Quinn: Kyle McCord, Jack Miller, and C.J. Stroud.
As Ohio State can attest, football is a quarterback-driven sport. Four Buckeye QBs have combined to win eight of the last nine Big Ten QB of the Year awards. As we look towards the 2021 season, OSU currently does not have a quarterback on the roster who has ever even attempted a collegiate pass; not the most confidence-inducing thing in the world.
But, no matter which of the unproven signal-callers ends up winning the job, he will be the star of this team. He will have the spotlight, he will have all of the expectations, he will be the one most responsible for Ohio State’s success this fall.
Harley Quinn has gone from being a love-interest for the Joker to being one of DC’s most popular characters on comic pages, on TV (Kaley Cuoco voices her on an animated HBO Max series), and on the big screen. If one of the three young QBs can have that kind of glow-up for the Buckeyes this season, they just might find themselves back in national title contention sooner than many people expect.
So, what do you think? Who did I get right? Who could have been a different Buckeye? Let me know in the comments below.