Today in Glendale, Arizona, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will do battle in the NFL's premier showcase, Super Bowl XLIX. Here at Bavarian Football Works, we starting thinking, "Where would Bayern Munich players play in American Football?"
Luckily for the public, we were able to put our brains together and figure out where Bayern players would fit best on the gridiron. Some of the decisions were difficult to make, but we hope you enjoy. For all of SB Nation's coverage of the Super Bowl, be sure to check out the fantastic story stream.
Xabi Alonso - Starting Quarterback
Was there any question about who the club's starting quarterback would be? Alonso has the ability to pick defenses apart with his impeccable passing ability. He's definitely more Peyton Manning than Cam Newton, but being a pocket passer in today's NFL isn't the worst thing. The Spaniard also has a beard that is very reminiscent of Tom Brady's beard.
Claudio Pizarro - Backup Quarterback
While he may not have the ability to start any longer, Pizarro can step in when needed and get the job done. He's also extremely beautiful and looks amazing standing on the sideline with his helmet in his hand as the wind blows through his hair.
Mario Götze - Running Back
A running back's most important feature is his ability to keep his legs constantly moving. Götze has proven over the years that he's full of little tricks with the ball at his feet and isn't afraid to take chances. He's not the biggest, the fastest, or the strongest, but Götze will figure out how to get the job done. He knows that players like the quarterback will be the star, but he'll show up late and steal the whole show.
Robert Lewandowski & Arjen Robben - Wide Receivers
Lewandowski and Robben give you the best of both worlds at the wide receiver position. The Polish international reminds us a lot of former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress (except for the whole shooting himself in the leg with his own gun) and should be able to hit the middle of the field for some nice receptions. Robben, on the other hand, gives you the deep threat that gives defenses fits, because they can't cover him.
Franck Ribery - Slot Receiver
The slot receiver's responsibilities are pretty basic. "Get open and catch the ball." are easy enough to understand. Who better than Ribery? He's shown in his time at FC Bayern that his speed and technical ability put him in rarefied air. On the NFL field, Ribery's speed and ability to shake defenders make him an easy target for Xabi Alonso to throw many first downs.
Bastian Schweinsteiger - Tight End
We're well aware about Schweinsteiger's love affair with basketball, so it makes sense that he finds himself at a position that gets played by a lot of former basketball players. Schweinsteiger would fit in quite well at the tight end position with players like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jimmy Graham. He's smart enough to block in the run game and set himself up for big catches in the passing game.
Manuel Neuer - Left Tackle & Dante - Right Tackle
You may be questioning Neuer's placement along the offensive line, but you won't when you know why he's there. The team's left tackle is responsible for protecting the quarterback's "blind side" when dropping back to pass. The LT is generally one of the smartest players on the entire team, and the entire offense relies on him to operate correctly. On the flip side, the team's right tackle is responsible for leading the running game and generally goes against the opposition's best run stoppers. Who better than a centerback?
Pepe Reina & Tom Starke - Guards
The responsibility of the two guards on the offensive line is to help protect the quarterback. Who better to do that than two goalkeepers whose regular job is to protect their goal? Reina and Starke are some of the biggest guys in the team, and they'll need to use all of their size to keep the opposition defense from getting past them.
Holger Badstuber - Center
He's missed nearly all of the previous two years due to various injuries, but Badstuber's connection with his teammates has never waned. Pep Guardiola has constantly voiced his complete trust his Badstuber's ability on the field when healthy. There's no more important relationship on the field than that between the center and his quarterback.
Jerome Boateng & Mehdi Benatia - Defensive End
Bayern does not have a lot of size for players designed to play these positions, but the two they have could be enough. Jérôme Boateng would be able to both bull-rush as a defensive tackle and go outside on a quarterback's blindside and create a fumble. Mehdi Benatia may not be blulky enough to rush the quarterback up the middle, but he is the defensive lineman you want to plug gaps and stop a big gain for a running back before it starts.
Sebastian Rode & David Alaba & Javi Martinez - Linebackers
Players that need to be both stout and quick, David Alaba, Javi Martínez, and Sebastian Rode are the perfect set of guys. Alaba and Rode would be able to rush the passer and drop back into coverage, and their high work rate would be able to keep up with an up-tempo offense. Javi Martínez would command the defense in the middle, primarily responsible for stopping the running game and big enough to knock down a tight end or two.
Thomas Müller & Juan Bernat & Mitchell Weiser - Cornerbacks
If Bayern were to have a plethora of anything, it would be cornerbacks. Thomas Müller is the perfect player to get under someone's skin, badmouthing and smack talking until the wide receiver will want to punch him in the face. Juan Bernat is the prototypical cover corner, remaining touch-tight and anticipating routs to make it hard for a receiver to get open. The work in progress is Weiser, but he would do well as a nickel corner covering the slot receiver and would have the ability to return an interception for a touchdown.
Philipp Lahm & Rafinha - Safeties
Some of the most instinctual players on the defense are the safeties. A defense can have a heavy hitter that instills fear in wide receivers and an instinctual commander that knows precisely when to cut under routs. That is the perfect dichotomy for Philipp Lahm and Rafinha. The two have worked together for three and a half seasons at Bayern, and the combination would make any quarterback think twice when throwing it over the middle.
Thiago Alcantara - Kicker
The decision was made to have Thiago be the team's kicker to help him avoid contact as much as possible. He's our delicate little flower, and we can not have him get hurt again. Plus, he showed against Stuttgart that he has a hell of a leg.
Gianluca Gaudino - Punter
Bayern's punter would be the least experienced player on the field, because their offense is so good. However, as he's shown with FC Bayern since he debuted, Gaudino can get the job done when needed.
Sinan Kurt - Kick Returner
The spot where every young player can show off his speed, Sinan Kurt is perfect for this role. He has north to south speed and has enough wiggle to make a few gunners miss on his way to the endzone.