Which 32 GoT characters would be NFL teams?
With the series finale of Game of Thrones airing this Sunday, there are numerous "what if" articles about this groundbreaking moment in television history. Even CNN has a piece on the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate field as characters from the show.
So if CNN can merge this show with something as serious as aspirants for our next commander-in-chief, I can explore a more frivolous topic like NFL teams. Here's who I think would be the Game of Thrones character for every NFL team. (WARNING: minor spoilers ahead.)
Buffalo Bills – Tormund Giantsbane
Like the blue-collar Bills, Tormund is a force to be reckoned with on his home turf in the north in the winter.
Miami Dolphins – Catelyn Stark
Things were never the same for the matriarch of the Stark family after she lost her son and husband; kind of like the Dolphins after Don Shula and Dan Marino retired.
New England Patriots – The Night King
Every NFL team at some point has had the same feeling playing New England that Jon Snow did when he watched the Night King raise the dead. However, the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Arya Stark all proved that neither is invincible.
New York Jets – Jaime Lannister
As New York did in Super Bowl III, Jaime Lannister slayed a king in his early days, but his life since then has been quite checkered.
Baltimore Ravens – Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane
When the Ravens and The Mountain beat you, they're both pretty mean about it and neither are gentle.
Cincinnati Bengals – Theon Greyjoy
The Bengals were founded by legendary coach Paul Brown so they and Theon have both come from royalty and have not lived up to expectations. At least Cincinnati never made a half-cocked invasion of Winterfell.
Cleveland Browns – Viserys Targeryen
After years in exile, both Cleveland and Viserys got a new chance at greatness and both failed thanks to poor decisions.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Jon Snow
Like Jon Snow, the Steelers were the bastard child of the NFL before becoming the best franchise in the league.
Houston Texans – Davos Seaworth
Davos has emerged to become one of the most relevant characters on the show but is by no means considered king material. The Texans have followed the same path.
Indianapolis Colts – Ned Stark
The Colts were beloved in their hometown of Baltimore. Then, like Ned, they moved and things got really bad. Unfortunately for Ned, there was no Peyton Manning to save the day.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Bronn
The cunning sellsword and Jaguars have emerged from obscurity, but both have yet to attain any sort of elite status.
Tennessee Titans – Samwell Tarley
Samwell and the Houston Oilers toiled in their hometowns for years. Then both went north and reinvented themselves.
Denver Broncos – Euron Greyjoy
Teams are at a disadvantage when they play Denver in the Mile High City and armies are in trouble if they face Euron at sea.
Kansas City Chiefs – Jorah Mormont
Like the Chiefs in the AFL, Mormont started out as a member of an elite family, but fell on hard times and has been trying to bounce back ever since.
Los Angeles Chargers – Bran Stark
Bran and the Chargers started out as wide-open and rambunctious, but we're all pretty perplexed with both are doing these days.
Oakland Raiders – Khal Drogo
For decades, the Raiders had a reputation for attacking the opponents head-on, much like Khal Drogo and the Dothrakis.
Dallas Cowboys – Robert Baratheon
As with the Cowboys in the '90s, Robert seized a kingdom and then collapsed under his own excess.
New York Giants – Lord Varys
For nearly 100 years, the Giants have survived in the toughest city in America. Varys has accomplished a similar feat in Westeros.
Philadelphia Eagles – Ramsay Bolton
The Eagles are associated with the nastiest character on Game of Thrones because they bring out the worst behavior in their fans.
Washington Redskins – Cersei Lannister
The Lannisters and the Redskins are two of the most storied families/franchises in their respective worlds. And both were run into the ground by terrible leaders.
Chicago Bears – Daenerys Targeryen
Daenerys comes from one of the oldest families in Westeros and like the '85 Bears, her army is unstoppable when it is at its best.
Detroit Lions – Robb Stark
Both Robb and Detroit were Kings of the North... for about five minutes.
Green Bay Packers – Arya Stark
Over the course of the show, Arya has proven to be the biggest force to be reckoned with in the North. The Packers have done the same throughout their history.
Minnesota Vikings – Hodor
The Vikings have never won an NFL title, but the rest of the division has. I guess you could say Minnesota has "held the door" for them.
Atlanta Falcons – Oberyn Martell
Like the Falcons in Super Bowl, Oberyn was on the verge of killing The Mountain. All he had to do was deliver the final deathblow, but he got cocky.
Carolina Panthers – Brienne of Tarth
Cam Newton may be the most physically gifted quarterback to ever play the game. No one looks forward to playing the Panthers right now. No one wants to fight Brienne either.
New Orleans Saints – Sansa Stark
Sansa suffered greatly for most of the show but has since emerged as one of the most formidable forces in Westeros. The Saints have followed a similar path.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sandor "The Hound" Clegane
The Bucs kicked off its franchise with an 0-26 start and The Hound had his face nearly burned off in childhood. Both went on to throttle many of their opponents.
Arizona Cardinals – Walder Frey
Founded in 1920, the Cardinals are the second-oldest franchise in NFL history and also one of the least respected, much like the Freys. Both also have been known for very bad behavior. For the Freys, it was The Red Wedding. For the Cardinals, it was stealing the 1925 NFL title from the Pottsville Maroons and refusing to give it back.
Los Angeles Rams – Melisandre
Every time the Rams and Melisandre seem done for, they show up in a different city with new magic.
San Francisco 49ers – Tyrion Lannister
San Francisco’s West Coast attack is the most revolutionary offense in NFL history and Tyrion is the most innovative character on Game of Thrones.
Seattle Seahawks – Renley Baratheon
Both Renley and Seattle were kings, but their crowns were taken in shocking, abrupt fashion.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.