I posted a Denarius Moore comparison to Daenerys Targaryen in my NFL Free Agent Signing Grades a couple of days ago. I showed it to my friend Body Burner, and this sparked a discussion where we compared a few Game of Thrones characters to players, coaches, general managers and owners in the NFL.
While we only did about a half dozen characters, I decided to dig deeper. I came up with 20 Game of Thrones comparisons. Some might be predictable - take a wild guess whom I likened Michael Sam to - while others may surprise. Let me know what you think in the comment board below, and if you haven't watched Game of Thrones yet, do yourself a favor and buy the DVDs so you can catch up on the best show on television right now.
Peyton Manning and Eli Manning: Jaime and Tyrion Lannister
Let's begin with the face of the NFL, Peyton Manning, who bears an uncanny resmeblance to Jaime Lannister. Perhaps not in appearance; when I told my girlfriend I compared these two, she quickly responded, "Eww, no, Jaime Lannister is actually attractive."
This comparison has nothing to do with looks, obviously. Like Jaime, Peyton is the older brother who carries the banner for the family. As with Jaime, he is seen as being more successful, but that really isn't the case. Eli has done more, much like Tyrion. Whereas Tyrion had a big part in winning the Battle of the Blackwater (penultimate episode of Season 2) and came up big when it mattered most - thinking of the wildfire ploy and rallying the troops upon Joffrey's cowardly departure - Eli has done the same; Peyton has choked in the playoffs, while Eli has thrived there, winning two Super Bowls.
Also, I'd have to think that if the Game of Thrones world had TVs and commercials, Jaime would be all over the place. Like Peyton, he would be peddling everything, from Gatorade to Buicks. Tyrion, meanwhile, wouldn't get any screen time, unless, of course, Jaime demanded it. I wonder if that's how Eli snuck onto those Oreo commercials with his older brother...
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady: Tywin and Cersei Lannister
I'll give Body Burner credit for the Bill Belichick-Tywin Lannister comparison. Tywin is (was) the head of the most powerful family in Westeros. He is (was) conniving and ruthless, and did anything to give his family an advantage. Belichick, meanwhile, pulls the strings for the most-successful franchise in the NFL over the past 14 years. Like Tywin, he'll do anything it takes to win. Whether it's cutting beloved players once they're too old, secretly videotaping other teams, or deflating footballs, Belichick will stop at nothing to put his team on top.
I think it's safe to compare the Red Wedding to Deflategate. Tywin orchestrated the mass murder to ensure his family's victory in the war. Belichick, meanwhile, had Jim McNally (Roose Bolton?) deflate the footballs prior to the two playoff games before the Super Bowl. Sure, it's not as extreme as slaughtering countless people, but I imagine Belichick doing something of that nature if he happened to be in a war.
Tom Brady, on the other hand, has to be Cersei Lannister. Cersei tries to emulate Twyin, but does so unsuccessfully for the most part because she's just not as smart as her father. Brady also had a hand in deflating the footballs, but appeared flustered in front of the media. He stuttered, shifted his eyes and contradicted himself, much like Cersei would do if she had to talk to the press following the Red Wedding. But like Brady, Cersei would at least look good while fielding questions from the Westeros Times reporters.
Johnny Manziel: Seasons 4-5 Tyrion Lannister (New April 2016)
Few play the game of thrones better than Tyrion - when sober. Though Tyrion was too concerned about Cersei when he was hand of the king, allowing Littlefinger and Varys to manipulate him, he did a good job otherwise. He even saved the city during Stannis' attempted siege. This mirrored Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, where, despite being undersized, he led the Aggies to some great victories. Tyrion was eventually married to Sansa (Manziel to the Browns), and that's when the drinking began. Tyrion, now unfocused, was framed for murder, which eventually led to his exile from Westeros. Manziel, like Tyrion, partied way too hard, and Cleveland cut him as a result.
Trent Baalke: Season 5 Cersei Lannister (New April 2016)
Here's another comparison for Cersei, though specifically the character that we saw in Season 5. This new Cersei, now without her father, is effectively in charge. This has prompted her to become even more paranoid than usual. She has gotten rid of smart people like Tyrion and Kevan Lannister, and instead put a**holes like the High Sparrow in positions of power. This is a good comparison to Trent Baalke, general manager of the 49ers. Baalke was put into power and lost great personnel around him, including Jim Harbaugh. Baalke has since hired horrible coaches and signed overpriced players. The High Sparrow himself probably would've been more effective than Torrey Smith.
Greg Hardy: Joffrey Baratheon
Do I have to explain this one? Greg Hardy beat his girlfriend, but got away with it because he had the money to pay her off. Joffrey Baratheon slaughtered a whore, but got away with it because he happened to be the king of Westeros. Ah, if only someone had the courage to slip poison into Greg's wine.
Speaking of Littlefinger...
Ozzie Newsome: Littlefinger
Littlefinger is the smartest man in Westeros. He's the puppetmaster pulling all of the strings, and his ability to effectively make gold dragons appear out of thin air has put him in a position to be Master of Coin.
Ozzie Newsome, meanwhile, is the NFL's brightest general manager. Some panic or pronounce the Ravens dead when the team loses key players, but Newsome just laughs silently and goes about his business, constantly putting the Ravens in contention for the Super Bowl.
QB Dog Killer: Ramsay Snow
Back to the subject of deranged lunatics, the former quarterback of the Falcons, Eagles and Jets killed countless dogs, even drowning some with his bare hands and taking bets on how long they'd last underwater. Ramsay Snow, another sicko, sliced off poor Theon Greyjoy's wang and performed other inhumane actions. I imagine Ramsay would be great friends with the NFL's most psychotic quarterback if the two were to ever meet.
Ray Lewis and Aaron Hernandez: Gregor and Sandor Clegane
Unlike my other dual comparisons, Ray Lewis and Aaron Hernandez aren't related by blood, nor were they ever affiliated with the same NFL organization. What they share is much more serious.
Both Ray Lewis and Aaron Hernandez are considered murderers by the public. Many believe Lewis killed someone and got away with it, much like Gregor Clegane, who does (did) all of Tywin's dirty work. Hernandez, meanwhile, ended Odin Lloyd's life (allegedly), but wasn't as smooth. He got caught, and now he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison. Sandor Clegane similarly killed people and is now being persecuted for it. He's a wanted man, all because he didn't want to serve King Joffrey. Perhaps Hernandez should've stuck to videotaping and deflating footballs instead of murdering people.
Andy Dalton: Robb Stark
Let's move on to the protagonist family, shall we? I think the Andy Dalton-Robb Stark comparison is perfect. Robb never lost a battle during the majority of the war. Dalton, meanwhile, tends to thrive during the regular season. He and Robb are (were) great in the preliminary contests, but they lose (lost) everything when it matters most. Dalton flames out as soon as he gets to the playoffs every year, while Robb was foolishly deceived by Walder Frey, the Boltons and the Lannisters at the Red Wedding. It's a good thing for Dalton that unlike Game of Thrones, the NFL is not life or death.
Charlie Whitehurst: Sansa Stark
Charlie Whitehurst was voted the NFL's sexiest man by some magazine, as seen here:
Sansa, of course, is attractive, but like Whitehurst, she doesn't really do much. All she does (at least so far) is talk about how much her life sucks and how she wants to marry a handsome prince and have beautiful children. Whitehurst, meanwhile, just holds clipboards and barely plays. He even has flowing hair like his Game of Thrones counterpart.
Russell Wilson: Arya Stark
Arya is small and ignored by most, as they don't see her as a threat. Sound like an NFL quarterback you know? Russell Wilson was chosen in the third round because of his height, but like Arya, he has proven to be absolutely cutthroat and lethal. There's still some learning to do for both of them - Arya has to master swordsmanship, while Wilson threw that Super Bowl-losing interception - but the fact remains that many have lost to both Wilson and Arya because they underestimated them.
Jadeveon Clowney: Bran Stark
Bran Stark once had great dreams of becoming a knight. Now, all he has are dreams. Bran's life was derailed when Jaime Lannister pushed him out the window. Jadeveon Clowney, meanwhile, never had a chance in his rookie season; he tore up his knee and needed microfracture surgery as a consequence. Now, all Clowney can do is dream of playing in the NFL one day.
Now that I think about it, I wonder if Clowney shredded his knee because he caught two siblings having incest sex.
Daniel Snyder: Stannis Baratheon
Stannis Baratheon believes he is the rightful ruler of Westeros, and he actually is (unless you count Jon Snow). The problem is that no one likes him. That reminds me of Daniel Snyder, a "rightful" owner of an NFL team, but a guy no one is particularly fond of.
That's not the only similarity between Snyder and Stannis. Both come up with grand schemes that seldom pay off. Stannis tried to invade King's Landing via the Blackwater, but failed. He then went to the Wall, but that doesn't seem too promising either. Snyder, meanwhile, has signed countless high-priced free agents, most of whom have busted. To be fair, Snyder doesn't have a redheaded sorceress aiding him.
Norv Turner: Stannis Baratheon (New April 2016)
My podcast co-host Kenny Ortiz made this comparison in the Game of Thrones Season 6 Preview. Stannis believes he is the rightful king, but he's actually not a great candidate because no one wants to follow him. His brother, Renly, built up a much larger army despite not being the legitimate heir to replace Robert Baratheon.
Stannis probably would've been better off supporting Renly and being a strong No. 2. Meanwhile, guys like Norv Turner and Wade Phillips are amazing coordinators, but don't seem to realize that they just weren't meant to be head coaches. Like Stannis, they are much better right-hand men than No. 1s. I've chosen Turner as a comparison because he sort of looks like Stannis.
Michael Sam: Renly Baratheon
Did you guess that I likened Michael Sam to Renly Baratheon? I told my girlfriend I was making this comparison, and she snapped back, "You can't just do that because they're both gay!" She's right; I have other reasons.
Renly and Sam are (were) both likable individuals. This was evidenced when Missouri's football team kept Sam's sexual preference a secret for an entire season, while Renly was able to assemble a giant host to join him. However, both were royally screwed over. Renly's brother went against him and used dark magic to kill him. Sam, meanwhile, was blackballed from the league because he was deemed a "distraction," which is complete and utter B.S. Sam is good enough to at least be on a practice squad, yet no one is willing to give him a shot. If he were straight, he would be in the league right now.
Chip Kelly: Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Targaryen and Denarius Moore have a lot in common, but perhaps Chip Kelly is a better comparison. Body Burner came up with this one, and he offered this explanation:
"New, young leader. Shows some talent, but refuses to take advice from more experienced people and ultimately gets rid of them."
Kelly has also dismissed some talented players like LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Does that remind you of Dany? Her greatest asset is her dragons, yet she foolishly locked them away in some tomb in the Season 4 finale. This comparison would be so much better if Dany replaced her dragons with ducks.
Brett Favre: Daenerys Targaryen (New April 2016)
I made this comparison in the Game of Thrones Season 6 Preview. Brett Favre is beloved by all - at least ESPN tells us this - despite all of the mistakes he's made throughout his career. He was addicted to pain killers; he threw countless dumb interceptions; and he sent pictures of his wang to some chick. All of these were dumb errors Favre shouldn't have made, yet he was still everyone's favorite player (according to ESPN).
Like Favre, Daenerys Targaryen is a fan favorite despite countless blunders. She has remained in Slavers' Bay for far too long; she senselessly locked away her dragons; and she banished Jorah, when he knew all of her secrets and could've informed all of her enemies on how to defeat her. Daenerys is utterly clueless, yet most Game of Thrones fans adore her. I've lost all interest, despite her looks.
Josh Gordon: Jorah Mormont (New April 2016)
Jorah was once a trusted adviser to Daenerys, but was caught doing something stupid and was sent into exile. Josh Gordon, meanwhile, had a brilliant start to his NFL career, but was caught doing something stupid and was sent into exile. Like Jorah, Gordon tried to come back, but was turned away by the ruler. If Roger Goodell were the Queen of Dragons, he would've re-banished Jorah as well.
Matt Ryan: Jon Snow
Like many of the other Starks, Jon Snow is extremely honorable to a fault. He joined the Night's Watch not because he was a thief or a rapist; but because he was honorable. Jon Snow is a goody two-shoes, much like Matt Ryan. Jon's scenes tend to be boring, just like Ryan's press conferences. Despite this "honorable" attitude, Ryan has yet to win a Super Bowl. Jon managed to win the Battle at the Wall, but failed to save the love of his life. It's like he got to the NFC Championship, but couldn't completely get the job done.
Jay Cutler: Hot Pie
While everyone is concerned with which family is going to win the war and who is going to sit on the Iron Throne, Hot Pie is more than content to live his life out at some inn, baking bread every single day. This reminds me of Jay Cutler, who doesn't seem to give a crap whether he wins football games or not. Cutler is perfectly fine with sitting on his couch and staring at the wall for the rest of his existence.
Darrelle Revis: Bronn
No one has played the NFL free agent system as well as Darrelle Revis. He has made so much money over the past few years. In fact, you could compare him to a sellsword, taking money to play for the highest bidder. Bronn has done this, working his way from Tyrion to the other members of the Lannister family. You can never fully trust a sellsword, so don't be surprised if Revis catches an interception, begins running the wrong way and scores a touchdown for the other team.
"What can I say, they paid me more!" Revis would exclaim to the befuddled coaching staff.
Marshawn Lynch: Hodor
"You know why I'm here ... You know why I'm here ... You know why I'm here ... You know why I'm here."
"Hodor ... Hodor ... Hodor ... Hodor."
It's almost like Marshawn Lynch and Hodor are long-lost brothers. I wonder if Hodor has a Web site where he's peddling cool baseball caps.