Thanks to winter’s arrival in the world of Game of Thrones, the show’s production schedule had to be pushed back. Season 7 premieres this Sunday with a shortened seven-episode run. From now until September 10th, there’s only one football-less Sunday not brightened (or more realistically, tragically darkened) by a new Thrones episode. In honor of the popular show’s return, here’s the best possible starting lineup for a gridiron all star team. *SPOILERS FOLLOW BELOW*
- Head Coach – Bran Stark
When you have a coach who can see into the past and future, how can you possibly lose? Bran won’t need the benefits of Spygate to know his opponents’ plans. He’s the ultimate play calling maestro.
- Offensive Coordinator – Tyrion Lannister
- Defensive Coordinator – Cersei Lannister
- Special Teams Coach – Tywin Lannister
Although they technically coach for the same team, competition and hatred will fuel Tyrion and Cersei to outdo each other. Their respective units should perform at peak level. At the brink of season seven, Tyrion is currently planning an offensive attack against the Seven Kingdoms. Cersei, atop the Iron Throne, must defend her seat.
All-Century Teams often include those who have passed, and this list is no different. Tywin plays chess when others play checkers. He can become a special teams mastermind. He’ll likely overstep his responsibilities and play a hand in his children’s offense and defense as well.
- Assistants – Varys and Littlefinger
Varys and Littlefinger round out the ultimate coaching staff. Their cunning and devious ways are exactly what a Westerosi football team needs. Keep an eye on these two as the most likely to create a scandal.
- Quarterback – Jon Snow
A proven leader, Jon Snow has shown the ability to come back from big hits – and stabs. He’s a battle-hardened veteran who has destroyed a white walker. Snow’s only limitation remains his height. He’s not a prototypical quarterback at 5’8″, but don’t count him out. He’s the King in the North for a reason.
- Running Back – Arya Stark
The Arya-Jon combination reunites the closest of the Stark siblings. If there are any doubts concerning Arya’s agility and quick-cut ability, rewatch the game tape from her face off with the waif. She was able to avoid the defender even with multiple stab wounds to the gut. She can needle her way through an opposing line with ease.
- Fullback – Jaqen H’ghar
It only makes sense to create a backfield tandem with Arya and her teacher from the Faceless Men. The fullback position seems to be dying out in the NFL, but Jaqen is no one. He can shift his skill set on a week-to-week basis. That’s Hall of Fame level versatility.
- Wide Receivers – Daenerys Targaryen, Yara Greyjoy, Ygritte, Podrick Payne, Rickon Stark
Dany takes the field as the unquestioned number one wide receiver. There are literally no bounds to her “Moss”ing ability thanks to her dragons. Yara’s grit and body type makes her an ideal red zone threat, while Ygritte enjoys sizzling chemistry with Snow. Place Pod in the slot, and you have yourself an unstoppable corps of wideouts. Rickon Stark isn’t quite NFL-ready. As evidenced by his untimely death, the youngest Stark’s route tree is completely bare. He lacks the ability to master anything other than a go route. Seriously… why didn’t he try a little zigging and zagging? Tywin Lannister can find a place for him as a special teams gunner.
- Tight Ends – Jorah Mormont and Samwell Tarly
Jorah Mormont is the older, Game of Thrones equivalent of Jason Witten. Both are tough as hell and loyal beyond reproach. Now that it’s in your head, there’s no unseeing it. Jorah’s going to catch some touchdowns. Samwell Tarly’s body type makes sense for a blocking tight end to complement Mormont.
- The Entire Offensive Line – Wun Wun
Wun Wun, the last of the giants, can do the job of all five men. He won’t allow a sack all season. There may be unintentional carnage.
- Defensive Ends – Gregor and Sandor Clegane
The Mountain and the Hound have the potential to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. It’ll be like having Reggie White and Deacon Jones on the same team – if White and Jones were psychopaths with insatiable blood lust.
- Nose Tackle – Hodor
Someone has to stand in-between the brothers to diffuse the animosity. Hodor fits the bill. He’s a gentle giant. Bran will need to warg into him during crunch time.
- OLBs – Davos Seaworth and Melisandre
Another pairing with icy relations. Davos won’t be much help in coverage and has fewer fingers than Jason Pierre-Paul, but the Onion Knight can make up for his shortcomings with awareness. He brings an old school determination to the table that few others possess. Melisandre’s shadow babies are enough to shock opponents into submission. Just imagine the amazing MNF game promos with Melisandre and her go-to, “The night is dark and full of terrors.”
- ILBs – Tormund Giantsbane and Brienne of Tarth
The couple that everyone needs to happen will at least come to fruition as a linebacking tandem. Tormund literally bit Smalljon Umber’s neck off in battle. He’s a slam dunk option at weak side linebacker while Brienne takes on hopeless blockers. Her inclusion adds another layer of distrust to the group of four linebackers. Davos and Melisandre killed her king. What’s a football team without some drama?
- Cornerbacks – Grey Worm and Oberyn Martell
Grey Worm may have to work on his stiff hips to improve in man-to-man, but his speed cannot be taught. Oberyn’s overconfidence leads to getting burned in coverage occasionally. He more than makes up for that with his pursuit and his potential to rack up interceptions.
- Safeties – Robb Stark and Ghost
If you think Earl Thomas has unmatched ballhawking skills, wait until you see Ghost roaming centerfield. Robb Stark partners well with Jon Snow’s direwolf. The Falcons’ Super Bowl embarrassment was the NFL version of the Red Wedding. You won’t see a collapse like that happening again on Robb’s watch.
- Kicker – Jaime Lannister
- Punter – Bronn
Tom Dempsey was born without a right hand or toes on his right foot. He famously kicked a 63-yard field goal with his modified boot. Let’s see what Jaime can do with one hand. Also, I just want to watch Bronn punt things. It feels right.
If you have a better idea for certain positions, feel free to comment below. Make sure to subscribe or follow us on social media @factfictfant (Twitter) / @factfictionfantasyblog (Instagram)
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