Game of Thrones has kept it’s fans at the edge of their seats over the years with the shows countless twists and turns that often revolve around surprising and untimely deaths of main characters. Much like the dramatic Red Wedding in Game of Thrones, the NFL season ends with a massacre of it’s own – Black Monday. The first Monday after the regular season usually ends with several coaches being fired at the conclusion of a lackluster season. While the coaching departures aren’t necessarily as shocking as George R. R. Martin’s chapters, there are still some surprising similarities between the two.
*Warning: Game of Thrones Spoilers Ahead*
Ben McAdoo / Stannis Baratheon
Ben McAdoo entered the 2016-2017 season proclaiming himself as the rightful heir to the NFC following the Giants 11-5 season that ended with a loss to the Packers in a Wild Card Game. But much like Stannis, McAdoo and the Giants campaign never got off on the right foot (literally) with an Odell Beckham Jr. ankle injury that left the star sidelined. But both would be kings really went off the rails with a beyond questionable decision that eventually lead to their eventual demise. For Stannis it was burning his daughter at the stake before rushing into a battle where his army was outnumbered and outmatched. For McAdoo it was benching Eli Manning. In retrospect I’m still not sure which decision was more foolish.
Jack Del Rio / Khal Drogo
Why do the good always die young? (Note: Jack Del Rio is very much alive). Jack Del Rio came into this season with the offensive duo of Derrick Carr and Marshawn Lynch. Khal Drogo started off with an army of ferocious warriors and a marriage to the rightful heir of seven kingdoms. All should’ve ended well for both parties. It did not. Not sure who had worse luck, the Raiders with a few close loses that could’ve gone either way or Khal Drogo losing a fight, his army and his life in a matter of a few days.
John Fox / Renly Baratheon
John Fox. Renly Baratheon. Two quests that were over before they started. Renly started a campaign to become the King of Westeros even though he was no where to be found in the line of succession and Fox tried to win with the Chicago Bears. Both men had a shinning white knight in their arsenal (Brienne of Tarth and Mitchell Trubisky) and surprisingly enough both men fell victim to a shadow demon birthed by their enemy.
Jim Caldwell / Hodor
Caldwell and Hodor may be the two most expressionless members of their respective universes. Is Caldwell happy? Sad? Confused? Angry? We may never know. What is Hodor trying to say? We may never know. Both men also carry the weight of some of the most powerful men in the game, with Caldwell coaching the gun slinging Matthew Stafford and Hodor literally carrying the three eyed raven Bran.
Chuck Pagano / Tywin Lannister
Two men with the world before them by simple virtue of having one of the most talented quarterbacks (swordsmen) under their control. Both men also saw their demise come from their respective ace in the holes. For Pagano his team could never recover from a string of Andrew Luck injuries including his most recent off-season surgery that left the star QB out this entire season. Similarly Tywin’s death would inadvertently come from his star son Jamie. By letting his younger brother and eventual father killing brother out of prison, Jamie would seal his father’s fate from the sidelines.