Allllllllllllllrighty Autumn Thunder fans, I'm going for something different here. I don't know if this has been done before. If it has, here it is again, this time with crappier artwork. A-hem....
Gandalf: Lloyd Carr.
Like Gandalf, Lloyd is old, cranky, and venerable. He is wise, but not infallible. Lloyd and Gandalf are set in their ways and is unlikely to change. They have led the forces of good through many battles. Seemingly resurrected (Lloyd the White) with an 11-2 season after being left for dead after a 7-5 season (Lloyd the Grey), he is on a quest culminating with one last battle (2007 Championship) before he heads into the West (retirement.)
Aragorn: Chad Henne
Like Aragorn, Chad Henne was born destined to lead. However, they both are late bloomers and do not seem to fully develop their leadership skills until the end of their respective journeys. Aragorn takes command from Gandalf, but remains largely independent in battle. His closest compatriot is Legolas, with whom he forms one of the most effective duos to ever grace a battlefield. If Henne can overcome the opposition in his final battles as did Aragorn, he is destined to become King (of the quarterbacks in the 2008 NFL draft). On a side note, both Henne and Viggo Mortensen have ginormous butt-chins. Coincidence?
Legolas: Mario Manningham
Legolas and Mario Manningham both possess lightning-quick speed and uncanny grace while in battle. Manningham, like Legolas, is not a leader, but is near the top of the ranks and influences those who fight alongside him. Both Legolas and Manningham are feared warriors whose names are known throughout the land and whose tales are told in ballads and on SportsCenter, respectively.
Gimli: Justin Boren
Justin Boren is relatively new to the group in terms of playing time and has will eventually learn to function with Henne, just as Gimli met Aragorn and the two adapted to each other. While physical size is not a common factor between Gimli and Boren, they are both aggressive, fearless, and throw themselves in front of danger for their leader. This year, "we'll see what one center can do!"
Frodo: Mike Hart
Who else will carry the burden? As Frodo was the heart of the Fellowship, Hart is the heart (couldn't resist!) of the Michigan football team. He constantly takes the most difficult path to success (through linebackers!) and is on a seemingly never ending quest to get a small object (football) to a destination far away (the end zone). Success of the Fellowship's mission rests in Frodo's hands, and one would be hard-pressed to argue against the fact that the success of the 2007 Wolverines lie in Hart's.
Sam: Jake Long
Where would Frodo be without his Sam? Jake Long is a major key to Hart's success, just as Sam was Frodo's main support system. Would Hart be able to gain nearly 100 yards a game if Long weren't dominating the left side of the offensive line? Would Frodo have made it up Mount Doom if Sam wasn't there to carry him? In both cases, the answer is a resounding "no."
Merry and Pippin: Carlos Brown and Kevin Grady
Merry and Pippin are secondary characters to Frodo and Sam. Likewise, Brown and Grady are secondary characters to Hart and Long. These two are fun to watch at times - but let's face it. They don't really do too much and spend most of their time fumbling around.
Boromir: Adrian Arrington
Like Boromir, Adrian Arrington was known for his assertiveness, competency and led by example on the field. Unfortunately, while blessed with many physical gifts, both Arrington and Boromir were cursed a lack of self control and good judgement which led to their ultimate destruction.
Faramir: Greg Matthews
Faramir played second fiddle to Boromir, as Matthews played backup to Arrington last year. Now, with Arrington seemingly out of the picture, can Matthews step up and fulfill his destiny? Like Faramir, Matthews just needs opportunity to "show his quality."
Sauron: Ohio State
Like Sauron, Ohio State is the source of all evil, hatred, and decay in the world. A constant source of peril for all who encounter it, Ohio State is the scourge of the Midwest just as Sauron was the bane of Middle Earth.