- Just so we lead off with actual Redskins news and notes, it is true that voluntary offseason workouts begin TODAY. I will try and work this into the article somehow. As usual, SPOILERS are always lurking in my Monday column, even though most “Game of Thrones” viewers have already watched the season eight premiere multiple times (not to mention nothing happened). Fair warning given! If you don’t watch “Game of Thrones,” I apologize for a Sixpack that might not be as much for everyone as I try and make them, but I am a big dumb animal, and right now I am all in on what I (and many of you) think is the greatest TV show of all time.
- Dear Kevin and T, I stayed away from the “Game of Thrones” theme for two long years. Hopefully, that bought me a little leeway, because it is officially shaping most of my thoughts right now. The good news is that I think my brain works at optimal levels when the backdrop is a great movie or TV show. The bad news is that “optimal levels” vary from brain to brain. It was a toss-up for me to compare the Redskins arriving to Redskins Park today to either when the Cleveland Indians reported to camp in “Major League” or the table-setting episode of GoT last night. I guess my Willie “Mays” Hayes stuff will have to wait.
- As it has been two years since we last saw the GoT gang getting after it, the season premiere was mostly reunion stuff, which yes, is likely exactly what is going on at Redskins Park today. We have players working together for the first time, meeting for the first time and feeling each other out for the first time. With everyone’s arrival at Redskins Park, guys are looking around and wondering what kind of team they might have, and how it will all work out. We would be kidding ourselves if we thought that a bunch of dudes just show up in September and start pulling the same way right away. A LOT of players are looking over at Case Keenum and asking themselves (hopefully silently) whether or not this guy is good enough to get the job done. Those same guys—and everyone else—are probably looking around and asking who Case Keenum/Colt McCoy are going to throw to this year. The season is getting closer every day, and after the draft at the end of April, we’ll be left with four months to dust off a team from the heap of players coming through the facility. I’ll ask you which “reunion” do you think is the most joyous at Redskins Park, after the most obvious: Alabama alum Landon Collins is back together with his Crimson Tide boys. I was trying to think of a character that he reminds me most of today—in keeping with the season premiere—and I came up with Samwell Tarly. I understand that the average person does not look at Sam and think “badass warrior,” but think harder than the the average person, y’all. Sam Tarly has actually killed a White Walker. He cured Jorah from greyscale. He found the dragonglass mines. Despite pretty much arriving to the Wall as little more than dead meat, the guy scored a girlfriend AND a Valyrian steel sword—oh, and he ALSO killed a Thenn (which, if you don’t watch a show, would be like Danny Wuerffel carving up the best pass defense in the league). Landon Collins is a heady safety that his teammates look up to and his arrival to Redskins Park signals a major step forward for the Washington defense. Collins would be lucky to make the kind of impact in Washington that Sam has made in Westeros.
- It ain’t all roses and Thenns, y’all. We have treated the Reuben Foster topic very delicately this offseason, and we will continue to do so. I am sure that there are folks at Redskins Park who are still tasked with being VERY mindful of Foster’s past, but everyone has relaxed at least a tiny bit. The NFL has put him back on the active participant list, which means he will almost certainly be starting for the Redskins on opening day (though he will be playing for free the first two weeks). He has some strong supporters in the locker room, as he also is reuniting with his Crimson Tide brethren. A player with his level of talent and fire has certainly made a name for himself on the field, and his actions off the field have contributed to the way in which pretty much everyone views him. I don’t think we have to build any kind of sympathetic case for this guy. To the extent he plays well and stays out of trouble, his contributions can be appreciated, but it’s going to take a lot to make everyone forget some of his antics over the years. Isn’t The Hound the most apt comparison here? Fighting for the good guys has made this character slightly more sympathetic, but his rough edges seem impervious to polishing. I don’t know...maybe instead of finding a better character that Reuben Foster resembles, hit up the comments section with possible alternate players that The Hound resembles.
- For my money, Arya Stark is pound-for-pound the biggest badass on the show. She has been through the absolute grinder and has emerged as...whatever she is now. She can match the best fighters in the world in close combat, and her faceless abilities have allowed her to literally take down entire houses/armies. I routinely geek out when random characters that meet her come to realize just what she is capable of and how badass she truly is. It’s that realization that got me on the path to coming up with a Redskin that I could compare to Arya Stark. I don’t think it’s close...it has to be Trent Williams. The biggest, baddest Redskin of them all is the Arya Stark of this team. I love the juxtapostion of the little girl that everyone thinks of when you say the name “Arya,” and the giant of a man who is pound-for-pound the best player on the Washington roster. When it comes to Trent Williams, those who know, know. People sleep on how good he is because the Redskins have been forgettable for so long, but every once in a while we are treated to the honest reaction of someone who sees him do something that makes the world know what kind of athlete and football player he is. As I watch the forces amass at Winterfell for a final battle, I feel a lot better about the good guy’s chances with Arya on their side. Who among us Redskins doesn’t feel the same way about Trent Williams?
- I usually put a value play in the #5 spot, and you could argue I have done that today with the Arya/Trent pairing. I will keep to my habit of posting the previous week’s show in this spot, and asking that folks join us tomorrow night in the basement as we continue today’s discussion. Last week, we mock drafted for the Redskins, walking through the first 14 picks as they were made by the managing editors of the other team sites. Tomorrow night, we will spend at least some time (however much time Kevin and T can stomach) going further down the road of comparing this point of the Redskins offseason with where things stand with the characters in “Game of Thrones.” Here are some questions to get the decision started:
Which character on “Game of Thrones” would make the best general manager for the Washington Redskins?
Compare an under-the-radar character on GoT with a depth player on the Washington roster.
Which player on the Redskins would make the best character on “Game of Thrones,” and who would they fight for and what would be their claim to fame in Westeros?