Summer is about to get a little cooler because “Winter is here!” The critically acclaimed show, Game of Thrones has returned this Summer to provide fans another season of war, murder, and mayhem (and oh yea dragons). Who will survive? Who will die? Who will disappoint? Who is the next war with? In fact, Game of Thrones sounds a lot like an LA Chargers season...
It seems like it has been many moons ago since fans witnessed the epic collapse of an incompetent leader that was hated by his own (no not Ramsay Bolton, Mike McCoy). The similarities between the Chargers and Game of Thrones are limitless. So this got me thinking, why not do a piece where I compare Game of Thrones characters to current Chargers. Some BFTB loyalist might say, “Hey wait a minute! Hasn’t this been done before!??” And the answer is, yes it was done 2 years ago by my fellow colleagues Garrett Sisti and Matthew Stanley (here).
That being said, a lot has changed over the last 2 years in both GOT and for the Chargers. So I decided to present a sequel to their masterful work where I will use different players and characters in a brand new set of comparisons.
MATT SLAUSON - HODOR
Even though he wasn’t a main character, Hodor was a fan favorite. The gentle giant’s sole purpose was to protect Bran Stark throughout their long, arduous journey. He used his massive size and brute strength to physically carry Bran from location to location while also fighting off threats (such as some white walkers). Bran and Hodor also shared a symbiotic relationship last season where Bran was able to transport his consciousness into Hodor’s body to flee a tree under attack.
Matt Slauson was an immediate fan favorite last season from the moment he started his long journey where he drove 31 hours from Nebraska to San Diego to sign with the Chargers. However, the buzz this offseason for the LA Chargers have been about the rookie interior offensive linemen (Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney). So like Hodor, it is easy to see how Matt Slauson can be overlooked this season. But Slauson will still provide some much-needed leadership a long the line. Let’s not all forget how well Slauson performed last year as he was the highest graded offensive lineman for LA. The 9-year vet received a grade of 81.2 grade last year for the stellar protection he was able to provide for Philip Rivers. And even though it was their first year playing together, Rivers and Slauson had a fantastic QB-Center relationship and were always on the same page together (somewhat like Hodor and Bran). Unfortunately, Slauson shares another similarity with Hodor, as this could be his last year with the team. Slauson is in the last year of his contract and the Chargers have an abundance of interior linemen that could replace the vet. So sadly, this could be the last year where Slauson “Holds the Door!”
DEAN SPANOS - THEON GREYJOY AKA REEK
Ahh how the mighty have fallen. Theon Greyjoy was once a respected character in Game of Thrones. He was taken in by the powerful Starks family where he thrived in Winterfell. But got a little too ambitious and bit the hand that fed him. In an effort to win his fathers’ (Balon Greyjoy) respect; Theon decided to take over a weakened Winterfell. Theon was somewhat successful in taking over Winterfell and was the ruler of the North for about 10 minutes. Theon’s men did not respect him and decided to turn him into the Bolton’s in return for protection. Theon was a prisoner of Ramsey Bolton where he was tortured and later on castrated. It looked like Theon was sure to be a goner but was able to escape Ramsey’s imprisonment.
Dean Spanos inherited the Chargers from his father and was once a respected owner. However, the whole stadium ordeal has made Spanos look more like a joke than a respected owner in the NFL. In an attempt to garner respect, the over ambitious Spanos created a plan to relocate with Oakland Raiders owner, Mark Davis, only to have the rest of the NFL turn down the proposal overwhelmingly. They did not think t Spanos could spearhead and execute a plan to take over Los Angeles. Like Theon’s men, the NFL owners knew Spanos didn't have the intelligence (or financial backing) to hold Los Angeles. So they voted against him and allowed Stan Kroenke to be the true ruler of the west. So with his back against the wall, Spanos was “forced” to be Kroenke’s prisoner. And while Kroenke didn't literally castrate Spanos, it sure felt like it after the terms of the deal came out (playing at Stub Hub Center, nothing more than renters in the Rams stadium, and no fan base).
MELVIN INGRAM - THE VIPER
The Viper was an extremely charismatic figure in Game of Thrones. He was a flamboyant fighter that relied on his superior speed to defeat his enemies. The former Prince of Dorne was an extremely gifted fighter but often let distractions (such as women and wine) get the best of him. What the Viper is most known for is his battle against The Mountain. The Viper went up against a combatant that was 3 times his size but was able to defeat the hulking Mountain; well almost. The Mountain was down on the ground and all the Viper had to do was put his spear through the torso of the injured fighter. However, his love for the theatrics allowed the Mountain to recoup and trip him. And I think we all know what happened next. Spoiler Alert: The Mountain crushed the Vipers head with his bare hands.
Melvin Ingram, like the Viper, relies heavily on his speed and athleticism to defeat his much bigger opponents. Ingram does a fantastic job applying pressure on opposing QBs, but it is widely known that Melvin Ingram is the “almost sack guy.” Quarterbacks always seem to get away or wiggle out of Ingram’s grasp only to deliver the kill shot to the Chargers defense. Some even argue that if it wasn't for Ingram’s off field distractions (his rap career); he would be able to finally finish the job and complete the sack.
JOEY BOSA - BRONN
Bronn is a skilled and dangerous mercenary that is motivated by money. He is a skilled technician that specializes in hand to hand combat like Chargers edge rusher, Joey Bosa. Game of Thrones fans were first introduced to Bronn when Tyrion Lannister selected the sarcastic swordsman for his trial by combat in the Eyrie. Thankfully, Bronn bailed out Tyrion, just like how Joey Bosa’s rookie performance probably saved GM Tom Telesco his job.
Bronn gives off a vibe that he only cares about gold and silver. However, Bronn feels extremely confident in his abilities and feels as if he should be compensated for his line of work. Sounds like a certain rookie contract dispute right Chargers fans? As Bronn continues to provide his services throughout each season, he continues to receive more accolades. Tyrion appoints Bronn as Commander of the City Watch in King’s Landing when he becomes the Hand of the King. And later on, he is awarded a knighthood for his assistance in the Battle of the Blackwater.
Like Bronn, Joey Bosa continued to receive more praise and rewards as his rookie season went on (Defensive Rookie of the Year). Bosa went from an overrated, selfish draft prospect that was playing out of scheme, to a valuable edge rusher that is now the cornerstone of the Chargers defense.
Lastly, the only thing sharper than Bronn’s sword is his tongue. Sir Bronn has said some memorable and hilarious quotes throughout his interactions with Tyrion and Jamie. Bosa, like Bronn, has also displayed some great one liners, whether it was throwing former coach Mike McCoy under the bus after he got fired, or saying how he was going to win the defensive rookie of the year award again in his second year...