Guest Post: The SEC as Game of Thrones

For regular readers of this site, you probably haven’t been very regular lately since we haven’t been posting that much. So we reached out for a little help, and for the first time in our almost three-year history we have a guest post – please welcome Layla to the blog.

We gave her no parameters except to make the blog post somewhat Gamecock relevant, and she came back to us with the SEC as Game of Thrones. What’s funny about that is none of the three members of TRC know ANYTHING about Game of Thrones, but we were impressed with her writing, so we rolled with it. Below is what we feel is outstanding work…or we’ve possibly been duped and Game of Thrones is actually a buddy cop show on FX starring John Stamos and George Lopez. (If we’ve been duped please don’t let us know, for we’ve learned in our old age that ignorance truly is bliss.)

Enjoy!

Saban

Nick Saban?

I can’t even begin to say how excited I was when I was asked to write a guest blog post. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I’m pretty sure “giggled like a school girl” would be an accurate way to describe it.

Of course, the joy quickly turned to fear when I realized I’d need to find something to write about. I mulled it over for a few days before researching current events related to South Carolina athletics. Eventually, I decided it was time to start writing so I sat down at the computer and… opened Pinterest, where I found a really funny picture of two small children dressed as hobbits in a little cage. I laughed at that for a little bit longer than I should have before deciding I should watch The Hobbit. Then I ended up watching Game of Thrones. And then I bought the books. I even contemplated going for a jog.

This is that awkward time between exciting sporting events for us. Football’s months away. Basketball’s over, as if it really ever started. Baseball’s still going, but just entering into the “exciting” part. There’s some small outrage at Clemson once again being in our regional, but we played this out last year. I’m sure there’s some other sports going on right now, but my interest in those is only enough to browse through the scores at the end of the weekend.

I think it was 700 pages into the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire that the idea hit me: If the big Game of Thrones houses were SEC teams, who would they be? (Note: Arkansas and Georgia are left out. Just because.)

House Lannister: Alabama Crimson Tide

It all makes sense. They’re powerful, wealthy, and have resources at their disposal that many other teams could only dream about. Where House Lannister owns most of the crown, Alabama is able to bench a running back that would be a talented starter in most other conference teams.

They have a proud history, and a prouder habit of telling everyone about it. They just neglect to mention the more shameful moments in their history, like the string of NCAA violations that follows them on the King’s Road. Or the Cersei-Jaime action going on.

Also led by a clever, but diminutive, man with notable hair.

House Greyjoy: Auburn Tigers

They see war as opportunity. When everything else around them is crumbling, they’ll knock it all down just to stand on the garbage heap and declare themselves king of the heap.  They’re certainly a force to be reckoned with, but we all still question the “iron price” they’ve paid in the past. Read: I think they’ve paid players as a way to boost their program. Cue “Son of a Preacher Man.”

House Baratheon: Florida Gators

Ever notice how “Florida Alligators” just sounds ridiculous? They recently had a good reign, though it was short-lived. They didn’t exactly build the house/program from the bottom up as they’ve always had some tie to the SEC Throne, but their quick rise to power was something to behold.

Even more entertaining was the rapid, downward spiral. Urban Meyer abandoned the burning city like King Joffrey leaving the Red Keep under siege because mummy called him over. It hurt their morale and left them floundering, until they learned to find a new leader and gather their wits about them. Florida has started to rebuild and recover the honor they once had, just as Stannis wants to take King’s Landing as what is rightfully his. Not to mention, he shares the same crazy-eyed stare as Will Muschamp. It scares me a little.

House Tyrell: South Carolina Gamecocks

Yes, I’m being a homer by doing this. Some recognize its beauty, and everyone else is wrong. House Tyrell has always been “so-so” when it comes to the big fight, winning when they need to but rarely getting any recognition for it. But now, after years of waiting for the right time and developing a formidable army, they’re ready to take center stage and prove something.

Plus, we’re pretty.

Wildlings: Missouri

Why are you here? You’re not even from this region. Go home.

House Baelish: Vanderbilt Commodores

Rarely taken seriously on the field, small in stature, and frequently feeling like the odd man out. But what they lack in battle prowess, they make up for in intelligence. Vandy may not be taking the football throne any time soon, but they’re not to be overlooked. They’ve had their victories (that we will never speak of again) and they can outsmart their opponents. You know, in the classroom. Step onto the field and it tends to end like Petyr’s duel with Brandon Stark: quickly, with the bigger guy running right over them and someone else begs for mercy.

House Stark: Texas A&M

They’re an old house, far out of everyone’s mind for the most part. Opinions about them vary, ranging from respected and honorable to treacherous and whiney. They’ve sought independence and a chance to prove themselves in their own region, just as Robb Stark was proclaimed King of the North. There were some battles won, but their future in the realm remains unclear. But I think we can at least agree they don’t suck.

House Frey: Those schools in Mississippi.

We really only care when you’re around.

House Tully: Kentucky Wildcats

I want to care, I really do. Now, I’m not saying they aren’t important! They’re quite formidable on the court and have certainly had their moments in history. There are even some people who are important to the overall narrative that are associated with House Tully. But I’m willing to bet that if you asked anyone about them, they’ll stare blankly into space for a few seconds before they even realize what you’re talking about.

House Arryn: Tennessee Volunteers

While never as big as Baratheon or Lannister, Tennessee was still formidable. Until they “married” a nutjob, produced a near worthless generation, and just died. Firing Fullmer and replacing him with Lane Kiffin may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the same could be said for the Ford Pinto or that late night trip to Taco Bell. Kiffin even had a successful season!

But when he left, it was clear that it would take Tennessee generations to undo the damage. They may have the tools needed, but it just seems like too much of a mess to even attempt to bring it all together. Instead, we’ve all enjoyed watching them flounder in their incompetencies in their mountain fortress.

House Targeryan: LSU Tigers

LSU has a long history of domination, often by completely decimating their opponents. It could be my imagination, but it seems the teams they play are suddenly struck by the “injury bug” each week. They certainly have a fearsome and troubled history, but none can deny the impact it’s had. Where House Targeryan has their own madman, LSU has a coach that eats turf like a grazing cow.

Then there’s that awkward backstabbing incident by the man sworn to protect the integrity of their program. Oddly enough, that same man is now with Alabama the same way the Kingslayer was with House Lannister.

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