A comparison of SEC coaches and "Game of Thrones" characters
By Brandon Priddy
Written by: Brandon Priddy
As the father of two small children, quiet time is rare. One of those nuggets of tranquility I enjoy is when I’m mowing the lawn. After the drone of the motor fades into the rear of my consciousness, there’s really nothing to distract me from some deep thinking. And while I should probably be taking the time to discover the deeper meaning of my life and plan the future for my family……instead it’s normally stuff like this:
Which SEC coaches most closely match characters in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and who would they be?
On the surface it may seem a bit of an absurd exercise, but look closer and it makes a lot of sense. George R.R. Martin's fictitious world of Westeros, with its constant feuding, ancient rivalries and deep intrigue can often seem like a (very) old-world version of SEC football - albeit with a little less bloodshed but a LOT more skin (wait, I forgot about Bobby Petrino - maybe the same amount of skin). The same traits which serve characters so well - cunning, intelligence, wit and ruthlessness among others - also form the building blocks of a successful coaching tenure in America's most competitive league. To put it another way, the meek do NOT inherit this earth.
Yes Winter is Coming, but before that we get the FALL.
(Warning – a fair amount of profanity here – but I’m writing about “Game of Thrones” – if a ‘MFer’ here or there makes you blush, you probably dropped out long ago.)
Nick Saban – Tywin Lannister
This was by far the easiest of the group. Doesn’t smile, always wins, wears red. Heads a group of devotees that includes some flat out nut-jobs (Gregor Clegane – meet Harvey Updyke). You think he paid a traveling minstrel to stand outside of Jim Delaney’s room playing “Rains of Castamere” during the BCS commissioner’s meetings when the playoff format was decided and DIDN’T include a conference champion requirement? Yeah – me, too. Both are beloved sonafabitches who would happily strangle any one of their sycophants with the guts of another if it meant victory. Frequently speaks to subordinates while field-dressing wild game:
Steve Spurrier - Tyrion Lannister
Second easiest. The quickest-witted of the crew and always ready with a fast quip. You looked up one day and he was your favorite character, it wasn’t even close and you didn’t remember when it happened. A little over-matched but stays scrappy. Even ruled his corner of the kingdoms for a time but - much like the 2010 season – it wasn’t going to last. Bonus points for gratuitous use of the word “cock."
Gene Chizick – Robb Stark
Picked up a pile of wins through strategic genius and is revered in his corner of the world. Was “King” of his world for a time. But c’mon dude – you can only cross swords with Tywin so many times and survive to tell the tale. May or may not live to see Season 4.
Gary Pinkle – Theon Greyjoy
Who? This guy is easily forgettable – right up until the part where he shows up on your shores, sacks your castle and generally fucks up your world. Once felt up his sister on the back of a horse. True story. Do NOT take your eyes off Gary Greyjoy.
Kevin Sumlin – Daenerys Targaryan
Former leader of the horselords of Houston, he’s now somewhere out across the Red Waste doing whatever. People whisper about some sort of vaunted air attack – ‘Air Raid’ or dragons or some shit. Whatever, bro - folks are dealing with Tywin Freaking Lanister right now, pick a number. Will continue being next season’s problem until he shows up one day raining fire on your ass. May die, may wear a crown. The floor, ceiling and walls on this guy are just unknowns at this point.
Les Miles - Hodor
Will Muschamp – Joffrey Baratheon
One crazy sonafabitch. Too crazy to last much longer, really. That special kind of crazy that burns brightly, consuming everything in its path – quarterbacks, Hands – until it is suddenly and finally extinguished. Steve Spurrier would totally send a pair of hookers up to his room to calm him down and he would totally beat them half to death with gleeful sadism. Also quite possibly a half-wit (the Charlie Weis hire).
Derek Dooley – Cersei Lannister
Just because you come from royal blood doesn’t necessarily mean you’re fit to rule, amiright? Yes your old man was great and won some things 30 years ago but honestly – is there anybody who thinks Cersei here will be ruling the SEC kingdoms in two years? (no hands go up) Yeah – I didn’t think so. Be grateul for every minute you get to stick around. And wear something pretty. You’re not nearly as clever or charming as they think you are, but god you have fantastic hair.
Mark Richt – Jamie Lannister
The ladies love him, and he seems like he SHOULD be the guy, but there’s just something……..can’t quite put my finger on it…….he just doesn’t want to be the MAN. Just seems like the type of guy who would be captured by Robb friggin’ Stark in the World’s Largest Outdoor Whispering Wood, right? An enigmatic second banana who manages to stick around and keep it interesting. We feel like we should get more out of both of them……will we? That’s OK, I’m sure the next season will be his breakout performance…..
James Franklin – Jon Snow
Can get a little lippy but seems like a sharp guy. Clearly has a bright future – oh, did I mention that future is in a frozen wasteland where you can’t sleep with women OR bend the academic qualification rules? So yeah – enjoy being a rising star out in nowhere. Tell me how that works out. Will not sign an assistant wildling until he has seen that wildling’s wife. Folks spend most of their time watching him wondering when he’s going to wake up and realize he’s AT THE WALL!!!! WHY ARE YOU THERE!!! THAT’S where you’re going to find your potential? Its’ just a big WALL man – even if you win up there NOBODY CARES!!! You are so much better than this!!!
Joker Phillips – Eddard Stark
You’re a good and decent man – we like you. We’re pulling for you. We want you to win. But these motherfuckers are just on another level and we all know the only way this thing ends is with your head rolling off the chopping block. It sucks and folks will cry. We’re sorry, man. Maybe next time don’t live so damn far north.
John L. Smith - Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish
He’s just in this for the money, y’all. Stand up to the Lannisters or Starks? For WHAT? Sheeeeyat. I got myself a little Harrenhal castle in Fayetteville playing it my way – sure it’s a little bit of a dump, but hey – it’s a castle ain’t it? How about you just let me do my thing? Gonna get me a couple eight wins, keep my head down and get PAID, baby. Momma Littlefinger didn’t raise no dummy.
Dan Mullen – Arya Stark
Look at the way he fights! Such skill! Did I mentioned he trained under Urban of Bravos?! He’s destined for greatness! He’s gonna be SOOOO important!! Yeah, maybe one day, but for now hes’s a 12 year old girl who will do whatever he’s damn well told. Everybody tells you he’s a major character until you look up and realize he hasn’t DONE anything. But at least he’ll always be cooler than -
Hugh Freeze – Sansa Stark
He’ll pop his head up every couple weeks on the Lincoln Financial game of the week. Maybe he shows up at court once or twice on ESPN. His time on screen is characterized mostly by the audience wishing they were watching someone else. But he’s just trying to survive man. When you have the Lannisters with a figurative knife to your throat and an impending betrothal to a total nut-job who may or may not shoot you with a crossbow, you just want to make it to tomorrow. Then you’ll figure out a plan of action. But tomorrow – sometimes that seems pretty far away.