Dragonstone, Westeros – Fasten your swords into the sheaths, it’s time for Part II of my series, Game of Thrones Character Parallels in the Sporting World. Here’s Part I if you missed it. This one is limited to New York athletes and events because I love a challenge and I might be able to milk another week out of it this way. Let’s do it.
The Mountain/Roger Clemens
The Mountain is/was a nearly unbeatable warrior and battering ram for the Lannisters. He was nearly bested in the Trial by Combat until Oberyn Martell got cocky with a premature celebration. (Think Desean Jackson dropping the ball on the one yard line, more on this later.) He nearly died or he did die, it wasn’t really clear, but was brought back to life by Qyburn and his magic. The Mountain is now as fierce as ever, having been reborn as a monstrous zombie.
Roger Clemens had a stellar start to his career with the Red Sox, dominating the AL from 1984 to 1992. But he mostly struggled in his last four years with the team and was allowed to move on to Toronto. Clemens came back from the dead to thrive again as well, but with steroids, not black magic.
Tyrion Lannister/Yogi Berra
The Imp is a clever, disfigured dwarf, who gets by with his brains (and a whole lot of wine). The moment I knew GoT was going to be a good show was in the pilot, when Tyrion imparted this sage advice to Jon Snow.
Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.
Yogi Berra was also a pint sized guy, who like Tyrion, usually found himself on the winning team. Yogi was known to impart some sage wisdom of his own now and again, including the infamous;
50% of baseball is half mental
Yogi gets made fun of for this and other yogiisms, but this one actually makes perfect sense. The large majority of baseball is half mental and half physical. The other ten percent is all physical. How does that not make sense?
Robb Snow/Kevin Maas
When GoT shockingly lopped off the head of the main and most noble character in Season One, Eddard Stark, we all assumed his son Robb would avenge him and make things right. The young upstart general had plenty of early success with major victories over the Lannister army. He even captured the great Jamie Lannister. But it all went South (get it?) for the Young Wolf when he fell in love with a nurse, which eventually lead to him getting pelted with arrows while watching his pregnant wife get stabbed in the stomach.
Anytime a Baby Bomber gets off to a hot start in his career, quicker than Pavlov can ring the dinner bell, some rabid, unpotty trained Mets fan will bring up Kevin Maas. Maas notoriously hit 21 dingers in 79 games for the Yankees in his rookie year in 1990. But he floundered after that and was released by the Yankees in 1994. He’s now a financial consultant for Charles Schwab, which may be a worse fate than getting pelted with arrows.
Sorry to break it you guys, but Aaron Judge is no Maas.
Oberyn Martell/The 1986 Red Sox
As mentioned, Oberyn soundly defeated the highly favored Mountain in single combat. But he got busy gloating too early and the Mountain recovered to gouge out his eyes and then squash his head like a grape in a vice. A wise man once said, it ain’t over ’til it’s over, Martell.
The ’86 Red Sox had a two run lead with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the tenth in Game 6. They were twice within one strike of winning the series. Their normal practice was to Bill Buckner for defense in those situations, but they opted to leave him in so he could be on the field for the celebration. Whoops.
Come back next week for Part III, I promise to include the Mother of Dragons in that one. And come back for tomorrow for Angry Ward, a guy who doesn’t watch GoT, but highly recommends the new sit com with Joey from Friends. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.