‘Game of Thrones’ in sports

It has been a long wait, but “Game of Thrones” is finally back. The beloved HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s famous book series returned for its fifth season Sunday night.

Why not have a little fun with it?

As a nerd, it is fun to watch sports and make connections to shows like “Game of Thrones.” There are certain athletes and events that seem familiar when watching a game after a few hours – er, days – binge-watching the best series of all time.

In honor of the return of the series, here is a comparison of athletes to their “Game of Thrones” counterparts.

John Calipari, Kentucky head coach (Tywin Lannister) — Rich, powerful and smart, there are few people in sports hated on the same level as Calipari. He is the kind of guy who will do anything to get ahead. Once there, he will do anything to keep himself and his team on top.

“The family name is what survives,” Tywin Lannister once said. Kentucky announced last week that seven players from a team that went 38-0 before losing in the Final Four are going to the NBA. The Wildcats will reload and still be a top-five team next season. Many fans hope to ponder the idea of more NCAA violations for the Hall of Fame-elect. That would be as crippling to Calipari as, say, a couple crossbow bolts to the chest.

Breanna Stewart, UConn forward (Daenerys Targaryen) — Stewart is better than the girls and she is better than the boys. She is dominant, unstoppable and lovable. One Breanna Stewart is worth 8,000 Unsullied. It is fair to assume that Daenerys will one day sit on the Iron Throne and likewise, Stewart will one day be the best women’s basketball player of all time. Honestly, if Stewart walked into a fire and stood there all night, she would walk out the next morning without a scratch, carrying three dragons.

Stephen Curry, Warriors guard (Arya Stark) — He is short, but also smart, deceptive and talented. And he is a killer. If someone stands in Curry’s way, a nasty crossover and a 3-pointer will put them in their place, which, in fairness, is better than a “needle” through the neck.

Brek Shea, Orlando City winger (Brienne of Tarth) — Seriously, look up “Brek Shea Brienne of Tarth” on Google. The resemblance is uncanny.

J.J. Watt, Texans defensive end (Ser Gregor Clegane) — Is there a more terrifying man in football than J.J. Watt? The former Wisconsin star puts quarterbacks on the ground within seconds of the snap. He deflects every pass that comes in his direction. He is unstoppable. The only man who could outdo him at defensive end is Hafthor Bjornsson, the 6-foot-9-inch, 419-pound mountain who plays Gregor Clegane, also known as “The Mountain,” on “Game of Thrones.” Who would win that fight? Could Watt deflect every blow from Bjornsson, or would we be in for a mind-blowing affair?


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