Anthony Mackie, the soldier, the Falcon, the wielder of MCU’s foremost and most iconic shield, was almost never going to portray Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Early in his formative years, a game happened to throw him so off-guard that it was a moment’s decision to throw in the towel and opt for acting as the safer career choice. However, looking back, the story tells itself more as a funny encounter than one that could have left him with a serious concussion.
Anthony Mackie Recalls Life-Altering Moment in D1 Football
Division I football is recognized as the highest level of college football in the United States consisting of the largest schools in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). Anthony Mackie, MCU’s resident Falcon and its current Captain America, was a part of that division during his college years when he suddenly dawned upon a life-altering epiphany while on the field. On a talk show, Mackie relives his days and talks about the incident which caused him to step back from the glory of an NFL career.
“I was recruited to D1… and I was a free safety — 275, 8 per cent body fat, pure chalk, all day — and the D Back coach comes up to me and he’s like, ‘The second hole’s gonna open. Running back’s gonna come through, and when he comes through you take his head off. Done. Go back 13 yards, snap the helmet, and wait for the ball.’
Ball comes, line shifts, I see the hole open up, I explode — 13 yards away, pow! Pure muscle. What I did not see was the Pulling Guard coming across the line. Never saw a white dude this big in my life. He hit me, knocked me back 5 yards, stepped on my chest, and kept going. I saw the Running Back go past me, unsnapped my helmet, and retired.”
The story ends with his decision of becoming an actor right there on the field on that fateful day after the eventful encounter. Although the name of the player was not disclosed, the industry certainly owes a debt to the Pulling Guard for knocking Mackie back just enough for him to be able to walk off the field and step into the Hollywood roster of A-listers.
Anthony Mackie’s Current Trajectory & Future in the MCU
The actor debuted in the best espionage action thriller Marvel movie of all time, i.e. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film not only resurrected Bucky but involved some of the best action sequences, engaged Nick Fury in full-covert operative mode, delivered a closure to the chapter of Peggy Carter, and witnessed one of the most iconic Captain America suits. The politics and sheer tortured brilliance of the film gave birth to an Avenger, the Falcon who rose to the occasion and aligned himself with the Captain without a second thought.
After spending years beside Steve Rogers, his loyalty to him and his righteous awareness made him the good man to Bucky’s perfect soldier and as such, fulfills Abraham Erskine’s envisioning of what America’s hope during the war should stand for — “stay who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man.” Now that Mackie’s Sam Wilson has come to terms with the absence of Steve Rogers from the battlefield, and has finally taken up the shield, the era of the new Captain America begins with a new world order (pun intended).