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Game of Touchdowns: "Football is coming..."

With the first part of the Chargers offseason program in the books, and the popular HBO show Game of Thrones done for the season, Garrett Sisti and myself thought now would be a good time to compare some of the characters from the show to people in the Chargers organization.

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With the Chargers and Game of Thrones both now entering a dead period, before training camp begins and until season 6 starts in the spring respectively, both Garrett and myself thought it would be fun to point out other similarities. Many of the characters from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, made into the TV show Game of Thrones by HBO, have similarities with people from the Chargers organization, so here are some of our favorites.

Casting by Garrett Sisti:

Philip Rivers – Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen goes by Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons and Philip Rivers is a team captain and one of the leaders of the Chargers locker room. Daenerys refers to everyone as her "children" and Philip Rivers has almost as many children in real life as people Daenerys has called her "children." Daenerys has three Dragons: Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal and Philip Rivers has three wide receivers with some firepower in Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, and Stevie Johnson. Rivers has recruited some new talent to his army in Orlando Franklin, Stevie Johnson, and Joe Barksdale, while Daenerys has been recruiting warriors for her own army to try to overtake the Iron Throne. Khaleesi has been trying to take her rightful spot upon the Iron Throne for five books/seasons but still hasn’t arrived in Westeros, much like Rivers has been chasing after a Super Bowl trophy and hasn’t quite got there yet either.

Eric Weddle – Jorah Mormont

Eric Weddle was a no show at Chargers OTA’s and Ser Jorah was a no show to his own execution by escaping Westeros after being captured for trading slaves. Both have beards, but Weddle would clearly win that battle. Jorah was such a brave warrior during the Greyjoy Rebellion he was knighted by Robert Baratheon and at one time was also Daenerys Targaryen’s right-hand man. Weddle also recognized for his accomplishments on the football field earning, not a knighthood, but 3 Pro Bowls, 2 First Team All-Pro, and 3 Second Team All-Pro honors. Jorah Mormont was once the most trusted ally to Daenerys and pledged his love to her but that love has never been reciprocated by the Mother of Dragons which isn’t all that different from Weddle wanting a new contract this offseason and the Chargers front office not quite feeling the same way.

King Dunlap - The Mountain

Ser Gregor Clegane and King Dunlap share one major quality in common and that is that they are both huge human beings. The Mountain is listed in the books as "close to eight feet in height" and while Dunlap isn’t quite that, he’s close at 6’9". As part of the Kingsguard, the Mountain’s sole purpose is to protect the king and same goes for Dunlap. His King is Philip Rivers and his job is to protect him on Sundays. They both go to battle. It may not be Castle Darry or Stone Hedge but King Dunlap goes to battle, in the trenches, against opposing pass rushers. Dunlap has the opposite of the Mountain’s past vile temper; he is much more subdued and soft spoken which now goes for the Mountain. Ser Gregor has been brought back to life by Maester Qyburn and while King Dunlap is quiet due to his personality, the Mountain is silenced because he has taken a "holy vow of silence"...and also because he is a zombie and likely can't.

Danny Woodhead – Tyrion Lannister

Obviously both are small in stature and often seem overmatched but both find a way to always prevail. Outside of their short comings Woodhead and Tyrion use their wits to their advantage; Woodhead uses his high football IQ and Tyrion uses his sharp tongue. Tyrion was the Hand of the King for Joffrey and with all the trials and tribulations during his reign, Tyrion played a major role in keeping the Iron Throne intact. When Woodhead went down with an injury last year the Chargers lost a key element in their offense that no other running back could fill proving what a vital role he plays as well. Tyrion Lannister and Danny Woodhead are both clear fan favorites. Plus Woodhead is a master at the dink-and-dunk offense…Tyrion is played by Peter DINKlage.

Casting by Matthew Stanley:

Antonio Gates - Jaime Lannister

Jaime Lannister was widely considered one of the best, if not the best, swordsmen in all of Westeros and had been that way since the beginning of this "career" as a knight. Antonio Gates was no different. From very early on in his career, he was one of the best receiving TE's in the NFL. They were also both very important during regime changes, although Gates didn't have to kill Drew Brees for Rivers to take power. Both men also had setbacks due to injury, Jaime lost his sword hand, Gates had plantar fascitiis, and are now on the road to regaining their status, though Jaime obviously faces a much harder road, especially when he is at the mercy of George R.R. Martin's keystrokes.

Brandon Flowers - Arya Stark

Lets get the obvious out of the way first, they are both small and quick. However it goes beyond that. Neither Flowers or Arya were appreciated with their first "family." Arya had to run away and eventually join the Faceless Men to find where she could excel and fit in. Similarly, Flowers was not being used well in Kansas City and found himself forced out in search of someplace he belonged, that place was San Diego. Flowers and Arya are also doing their best work when you don't even notice them. I wonder if Flowers whispers the names of a list wide receivers before he goes to bed? "Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Jeremy Maclin..."

Mike McCoy - Varys "the spider"

Much like Varys, McCoy relies on his "little birds" for much assistance, his "little birds" being John Pagano and Frank Reich. We all saw the dip after Ken Whisenhunt left, showing how much McCoy depends on his birds. McCoy also likes to play things "close to the chest," never revealing more than he is required to. "We're gonna do what's best for the team," oh, thank you, Mike, it has all become very clear now. There's also a joke in here somewhere about neither of them having any balls...

Tom Telesco - Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish

These are two smart and sneaky individuals. They personally aren't involved in much of the action, but both of them are pulling many strings, especially concerning who stays and who goes. Littlefinger and TT also play the game a little differently than most, made apparent by TT's draft classes. Speaking of the draft, TT treats his 4th round picks the way Littlefinger used the girls in his whorehouse...offer them to everyone else to get what you want, but never use them yourself.

Kendall Reyes - Samwell Tarly

Reyes and Sam are both "large" men. They also have both shown flashes of doing something really meaningful, Sam killing a White Walker and Reyes had a 3.5 sack game against the Jets in 2012.  However, both of them are mostly useless and wind up leaving everyone else to pick up the slack. I'm pretty sure Reyes wouldn't have sent the Ravens either...