If you were wondering what gets me through this job, it’s shoehorning something I want to write about into a sports story. So, seeing as I can’t get Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse out of my head a couple of days after watching it, I’m going to talk about Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Spider-Gwen in the movie, and whether we should ship new Madden cover athlete Josh Allen’s alleged romance with the sky-rocketing star.
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The hardest part of any celebrity power couple is being and staying on the same level of fame. If the notoriety balance falls out of whack, then you have a Gwen Stefani-Gavin Rossdale, or a Chris Pratt-Anna Faris situation where one person becomes more known for being married to their spouse than for their own work. (Or a guy’s ego becomes so big that he feels entitled to an “upgrade.”)
If this was two offseasons ago, when the Buffalo Bills came 13 seconds away from going to the AFC title game, I could be talked into Allen’s rise coinciding with the meteoric path Steinfeld is currently on. While Allen will don the cover of Madden, he likely would’ve earned the honor a season ago if not for the death of the game’s namesake. EA Sports’ choice to feature the Bills’ QB feels like they’re fulfilling a belated promise rather than capitalizing on a moment because Buffalo’s playoff exit to Cincinnati in January was ugly.
If Beyond the Spider-Verse was a contemporary masterpiece on its way to being looped in the Guggenheim, Bills-Bengals was Spider-Man 3, and Allen was jazz-lounge Peter Parker. (I don’t know who Joe Burrow is in this analogy. Honestly, he probably abstains.)
Yes, there’s an undertone of envy in what I’m saying because I’m one more trip to the theater away from starting the Hailee hive, but be careful what you wish for, Josh. The only person good enough for Steinfeld is Miles Morales, and even though he’s 15 and fictional, it’s still a high bar.
Allen will be holding the handbag Forgetting Sarah Marshall-style if he keeps gagging in the playoffs and rifling red zone interceptions to the Jets. Maybe woo someone with a little less talent? Aaron Rodgers would never date Hailee because his inferiority complex won’t allow it, she wouldn’t go for him, and also he’s gross, old, and probably talks about his crystal collection ad nauseam.
I know the Hawkeye Disney+ show got mixed reviews, but did you see Steinfeld’s performance? She oozes charisma and charm. It’s so effortless that fans root for her the same way they pulled for the Bills after Damar Hamlin’s near-death incident — only Steinfeld stans’ faith was rewarded.
So, congratulations to Josh Allen for overthrowing his coverage, and all the flowers to Hailee and everyone involved in Beyond the Spider-Verse. It’s already a seminal film, and ideally, there’s an attractive athlete (if that’s your thing) waiting with a bouquet behind the millions of doors the movie has opened for its stars.