In This Corner: Captain America versus Indiana Jones
Captain America is the current site champion, standing for truth, justice, and the American ideal. Indiana Jones has a mixed record of success here, but is becoming one of the most frequent contenders in the Contest of Champions. He stands for bull whips, unprotected sex, and terrible archaeology. But they both fought lots of Nazis, which makes this a worthwhile matchup in my book.
As several of my friends have reminded me on numerous occasions, Indiana Jones is a terrible archaeologist. He and his university assume that archaeology equates with treasure hunting, where stealing an idol out of some Egyptian tomb is more valuable to the study of history than keeping it where it is and studying the context around it. However, Dr. Jones has tenure, so nobody can stop him. Nobody but…Captain America.
Captain America shows up to teach Indiana Jones a thing or two about archaeology. But, upon seeing Cap, Indy realizes that he is looking at a living relic. So while Cap is giving him a stern talking to, Indy clocks him over the head with a sock full of nickels, throws him into a trunk, and delivers him to the Dean’s office, where he is hailed once again as a terrific archaeologist. Round One goes to Indiana Jones.
Captain America wakes up, wipes the blood out of his ears, and returns to confront Indiana Jones again. He blocks Indy’s sock of nickels with his shield, then shoves the good doctor into a sitting position at his desk. He then goes on a long lecture about the importance of archaeology, about how it teaches humanity their place in history and gives us as Americans a greater appreciation for what came before. He explains that archaeology is not the equivalent of grave-robbing, and that only through long hours of meticulous study can one truly learn about the people of the ancient past. Doing so increases the strength of an American education, which makes the country safer from the threats of the ignorant.
“I think I see what you’re saying,” says Indy. In actuality, he takes the time to reach for his bull whip, then lashes out, entangling Cap’s shield arm. Then he lunges forward, decking Captain America in the face. He steals Cap’s shield and delivers it to the Dean’s Office, who thought they already had this particular relic but decide to give Dr. Jones the benefit of the doubt because he is just so damned good at what he does. Round Two goes to Indiana Jones.
Cap comes to again, more pissed off than ever. He needs to do something about Indiana Jones, and long-winded speeches don’t seem to be working. Unfortunately, he can’t actually deliver a physical beating, due to the fact that Indy has tenure.
Or can he?
Cap goes to the University President and, after hours of negotiating, is given the title of Professor and is granted tenure. That is quite unusual, but this university labors under the delusion that Indiana Jones knows what he’s doing, so they’re obviously screwed up enough to grant what normally takes somebody years to accomplish after mere hours of negotiation. Besides, who is going to deny tenure to Captain America?
Cap then breaks into the Dean’s Office, takes back his shield, and proceeds to beat the tar out of Indiana Jones. Sure, Indy is a decent fighter and lands a shot or two, but Captain America happens to be a living weapon. Beating up Indiana Jones doesn’t make him a good archaeologist, but it does make Cap feel better. And the university can’t do anything about it because Cap has tenure. Round Three and the fight go to Captain America.