You’ve been thinking about it, and so have I. You might even be watching the movies or shows while you’ve social distanced at home. I am, of course, talking about contagions, zombies, and the apocalypse. Now, I don’t believe in the latter two because science is a thing, but there’s no reason not to imagine which zombie movie or show character matches up with your favorite Orlando City or Orlando Pride player.
I’m including characters from The Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and Zombieland. I’m also not limiting the players to the current rosters, since we’re already talking about former players in the Bracketology: The Search for Orlando City Fans’ Favorite Player. Since we can’t go to The Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over, we might as well have a little fun.
Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead) — Kaká
Rick Grimes arrived to the group a little late. While he was there from the beginning for the viewers, he wasn’t as far as the other characters were concerned. Despite this, he became the leader and gave everyone some hope. Kaká wasn’t around for the USL days, but when he did arrive in Orlando he became the undisputed captain and brought acclaim and hope to the new MLS side. Just as Rick left the cast, Kaká has left the Lions, though his impact remains substantial.
Columbus (Zombieland) — Chris Mueller
When we first meet Columbus he provides the audience with advice necessary to stay alive in the zombie apocalypse. He’s young, he still has much to learn, but you are still rooting for him. Eventually, he becomes a hero in his own way, while caring for those around him. Chris Mueller is known for his inspirational messages on Twitter. He’s young, he’s still learning, and we’ve definitely been rooting for his success. Will he ultimately be the hero? There have been plenty of matches where that’s already happened.
Shaun (Shaun of the Dead) — Adam Grinwis
Shaun is the average guy who doesn’t have everything work out for him. He’s not top dog at his job, his relationship with his stepdad is complicated, and he’s overlooked by society. But when the apocalypse happens, he steps up and becomes the hero. He even looks kind of cool doing it, despite being a ginger. The Grinch was not the regular starting keeper for Orlando City, but when the U.S. Open Cup called and the match was on the line, he stepped up and became a legend after the Running of the Wall.
Michonne (The Walking Dead) — Marta
Michonne is iconic. Her arrival to the show and her formidable presence wowed everyone, as she sliced through the zombies and into our hearts. Marta is the greatest to play the game and she is often surgical in her strikes. Her talent and determination show on her face, as it does on Michonne’s. She inspires others to greatness, and I can’t think of a more apt pairing than these two.
Tallahassee (Zombieland) — Scott Sutter
Tallahassee is the balding, bad to the bone, Twinkie-loving, zombie killer with a wicked sense of humor. He befriends the younger Columbus, but continues to give him grief the entire movie despite the respect he feels for the lad. Now, before Scott gets upset, he isn’t bald and I don’t know if he likes Twinkies, but he can be formidable on the pitch. Most importantly, his now legendary Tweets giving Mueller good-natured grief sealed the deal.
Ed (Shaun of the Dead) — Robin Jansson
Ed is a big, beefy guy. He’s unerringly loyal, and in the end gives up everything to save his mates. Jansson has proven his love of this club. Our own Michael Citro refers to him as “the Beefy Swede,” and he gives everything he has on the field. The perfect example was Orlando City’s 2-0 win at Columbus last season. The man took a free kick to the face, practically broke his leg, and he still was diving around, protecting the goal. I really hope he doesn’t become a zombie like Ed.
Carol (The Walking Dead) — Ali Krieger
Carol and Ali don’t start out having too much in common on the surface. Carol is a bit meek and has been through quite a bit of trauma even before the zombies showed up. Ali is stronger initially, though she’s also had challenges in her life due to her gender and sexual orientation. It’s only when eventually Carol grows into the tough-as-nails leader that the similarities to Ali become obvious. The leadership, the knowledge of what has to be done, and the willingness to play more than one role made this an easy pairing to make.
Bill Murray (ZombieLand) — Bill Murray
Yeah, I know he’s not a former Orlando City player, but don’t you wish he was?
This is not a comprehensive list. There are way too many players and characters for that, but hopefully it was fun. There are still a lot of good characters like Shane or Glenn from The Walking Dead, or Liz and Pete from Shaun of the Dead. There are even more players we didn’t mention. Which character is Dom Dwyer? How about Alex Morgan, or Sydney Leroux Dwyer? Let’s see what we can come up with in the comments below.