Which Game of Thrones House Best Represents These NFL Teams?
It's hard to ignore the popularity of HBO's smash-hit television series Game of Thrones, based on the novels by George R. R. Martin, but have you imagined what the NFL would be like if it were more like the magical medieval world of Game of Thrones?
There are certainly similarities—loyalty to banners and sigils, epic battles, savage brutality—so it's not too far-fetched to compare the two.
If you follow both the NFL and Game of Thrones, this article will address the question that's surely been eating away at your mind: If NFL teams were houses from Game of Thrones, who would be whom?
Unfortunately, finding a house to fit each NFL team is unrealistic, as there aren't enough similarities, so this article will instead take the well-known houses and find a perfect match for each one.
Nerd Alert: This article is intended for fans of Game of Thrones. The average person will have a hard time appreciating the following slides without knowledge of the show or books. Also, while I tried to avoid spoilers at all costs, read with caution if you're not totally caught up.
New England Patriots: House Lannister
This is one of the more obvious choices. The Patriots so closely resemble House Lannister that it's surprising they're not the inspiration for the universally hated house.
Bill Belichick is a spot-on Tywin Lannister—the power-hungry head of the house who rarely cracks a smile, obsesses over his legacy and gets what he wants at all costs.
As for Tom Brady? Tell me he's not perfect for Jamie Lannister. He's a charming lady's man, a skilled warrior on the field and despised by all outside of New England. And that, of course, would make Gisele the real-life Queen Cersei (minus the incestuous aspect of the relationship).
Unfortunately, there's no member of the Patriots organization who's a clear match for the imp, Tyrion Lannister. We'll go with Shane Vereen, as he's the shortest player on the roster.
Dallas Cowboys: House Targaryen
In Game of Thrones, House Targaryen is the house of the recently dismantled dynasty. The impact of the house's past greatness can still be felt, and there are still those who remain loyal to the Targaryens, but the house's power has been relinquished.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is similar to Viserys Targaryen (the brother of Daenerys). He tries frantically to raise an army in order to reclaim his family's throne, but his efforts are simply pathetic and overly desperate. He lacks the respect and necessary leadership skills to get the job done.
Also, the media hypes up the Cowboys every single year. We constantly hear talking heads explain to viewers how the upcoming season could mark Dallas' return to greatness, but it simply never happens. This is eerily similar to Daenerys' constant promises to retake Westeros with her dragons; yet season after season, the invasion is put on hold.
Green Bay Packers: House Stark
Winter is coming...
It's the famous catch phrase for House Stark, and these words of warning frighten every NFL team faced with a December road trip to Green Bay. Few teams are cut out for rugged battles in the snow, but the Packers are certainly one of them.
Unless you're a fan of a rival NFC North team, it's hard to hate the Packers with their small-town charm and blue-collar mindset, which makes them strikingly similar to the Starks—the primary protagonists of Game of Thrones.
It's not a perfect match. Unless Aaron Rodgers happens to get beheaded in Week 1, it's hard to say a successful franchise such as the Packers can relate to the Stark's miserable luck. However, the Starks are the premier house of the north, just as the Packers are the dominant franchise of the north, so it's a decent fit.
Pittsburgh Steelers: House Baratheon
In Game of Thrones, House Baratheon is the house known for bringing down the Targaryen dynasty, just like the Pittsburgh Steelers ended the juggernaut Patriots dynasty.
The Baratheons are rugged and more than willing to fight, just as the Steelers are constantly competitive and are one of the grittiest teams in football year after year.
Also, like the Baratheons, the Steelers managed to establish their own recent dynasty, though their dynasty lacked the consistency and strength of past dynasties from this era.
Not to mention, a bearded Ben Roethlisberger looks very similar to Robert Baratheon. Go ahead...Google the character and see for yourself.
Denver Broncos: House Arryn
The Eyrie (the castle of House Arryn) sits safely atop a mountain, much like the high-altitude city of Denver and Mile High Stadium.
House Arryn is one of the more dominant houses of Westeros, which fits a Broncos team that is a constant threat in the AFC West.
Also, Lysa Arryn, the ruler of the Eyrie, insists on breastfeeding her 10-year-old son...which is basically what Peyton Manning does for the entire Denver offense.
Cleveland Browns: House Frey
Despite Walder Frey's status as a lord, he is very weak and elderly, and he has the appearance of a homeless person. His daughters are hideous (for the most part), while his sons are covered in warts and lack a true warrior's courage—they prefer to do battle with the vulnerable, or those who are unarmed.
It gets even worse. Frey's castle and dining room (now stained with blood) have the charm of a penitentiary, and House Frey lacks the respect of virtually every other house in the north.
Basically, Lord Frey presides over the saddest house is Westeros, making the Freys a flawless fit for the Factory of Sadness, also known as the Cleveland Browns (but in reality, Lord Frey is still slightly jollier than the average Browns fan).
Oakland Raiders: The Dothraki
The Dothraki are a large tribe of horse-riding savage warriors. They are not a proper house, but the Dothraki are a fairly prominent group of people within the world of Game of Thrones and deserve a comparison.
The Dothraki paint their faces, ignore the rules and enjoy cutting the beating hearts out of dying horses and eating them raw as part of a sick ritual.
In other words...typical Oakland Raiders fan behavior.
In fact, if you glance into the stands at any Raiders home game, it looks identical to an army of Dothraki blood riders. The Raiders aren't as menacing as the Dothraki on the open field of battle, but they undoubtedly look the part.
Chicago Bears: House Bolton
If the Packers are the Starks, then it only makes sense that the Chicago Bears are House Bolton.
The Boltons are the Starks' archenemies, and the two houses have battled for ownership of the north for centuries. The Boltons are also descendants of the First Men, just as the Bears are one of the original NFL franchises.
Also, remember when Brienne of Tarth was a hostage of the Boltons? Which animal did they force her to fight? You guessed it...a bear.
Random Character Comparisons
Roger Goodell: King Joffrey
He's a blond-haired demon with an absurd amount of power. He takes far too much pleasure in being the judge, jury and executioner, and he gets booed every time he's in front of his subjects...and King Joffrey is pretty unpleasant too (see what I did there?).
Drew Rosenhaus: Lord Petyr Baelish
Sports agents (or talent agents in general) are typically stereotyped as conniving, greedy, backstabbing worms who test the rules and place their own needs ahead of the needs of the clients. They serve as key players in the negotiations of every single NFL contract, and therefore possess considerable power despite being disliked by most owners and general managers.
Lord Baelish, who fits that description, is not liked by the lords of Westeros or the other members of the small council—they simply tolerate him and surrender to the fact they must deal with him to get anything done.
Super agent Drew Rosenhaus does not appear to possess any of the aforementioned negative traits, at least based on his interviews and television appearances. However, any agent is a good fit as Lord Baelish, and Rosenhaus is the most powerful NFL agent around, so he gets the nod.
Adam Schefter: Lord Varys
Lord Varys is known in Kings Landing as the "master of whispers." He has sources all over Westeros—his "little birdies," as he refers to them—who feed him rumors and whispers, and he uses these rumors to advance his career and gain favor with the king.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, who frequently beats all reporters to the punch with his iPhone and lightening-fast Twitter fingers, is undoubtedly the NFL's version of the "master of whispers."
Eli Manning: Jon Snow
It's true, Jon Snow is far more awesome than Eli Manning could ever hope to be, but that doesn't mean the similarities aren't there.
Jon Snow spent his early years living under the shadow of his older brother, Robb Stark, and grew jealous of Robb's ability to excel in nearly every department. Snow was always exceptional in his own right, but he could never outdo his older brother. That is, until he traveled north to join the Night's Watch, where he established himself as the order's most skilled swordsman and helped them defeat the wildlings.
Manning spent his early years under big brother Peyton's shadow, but like Snow, he traveled north to play for the New York Giants and managed to establish his very own unique legacy.
Unfortunately, Eli doesn't own a direwolf named Ghost. He has his very own Jason Pierre-Paul, though, so that's probably close enough.
Dr. James Andrews: Grand Maester Pycelle
If a star player from your favorite NFL team sustains an injury that requires the immediate attention of an orthopedic surgeon, chances are his first phone call will be to the office of Dr. James Andrews, who is basically the Michael Jordan of sports injuries.
Likewise, when the knights of Kings Landing lose a limb or suffer a puncture wound from a Valyrian sword, their first stop is Grand Maester Pycelle's chambers.
It's unlikely that Dr. Andrews utilizes leeches or potions, and he certainly doesn't amputate the limb at the first sign of trouble, but overall, he and Maester Pycelle practically have the same profession—healing warriors—and that makes them a match.
Ndamukong Suh: Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane
Gregor Clegane, known by his nickname "The Mountain," is the largest, most ferocious warrior in all of Westeros. He has little to no class and has zero regard for the rules (he once stuck a joust through an opponent's throat during a friendly tournament, simply because he noticed the armor was loose and the opportunity was there).
To determine which player is the best fit for The Mountain, you have to ask yourself "which NFL lineman would frighten me the most in a back alley sword fight to the death?"
Ndamukong Suh is a very logical answer to that question. Not to mention, Suh has a well-known reputation as a dirty player who delivers questionable hits and takes shots after whistle—which fits The Mountain like a glove.
Ray Lewis: Sandor "The Hound" Clegane
Sandor "The Hound" Clegane is, perhaps, the most massive and ruthless knight in all of Westeros (other than his brother, The Mountain). He has the filthiest mouth in all the Seven Kingdoms, and few men dare stand in his way.
Ray Lewis retired from football following Baltimore's 2012 Super Bowl season, but Lewis consistently maintained his reputation as the baddest, meanest player in all of football throughout his 17-year career.
The intensity on Lewis' face alone is enough to frighten an opponent into submission, just as Hound's charred face sends children running for the hills.