Winter is coming. Cal football's long Summer has drawn to a close and the program is in the midst of a Fall that has left the people of the First Kingdom weary and without a leader. In the South, a reckless and cruel boy sits upon the Throne of Coin. The North is amassing an army of wildlings, traitors and offensive sorcery. In the Farmlands the harvest is being squandered away by an invasion of lobsters. Meanwhile the Blue and Gold Throne of the First Kingdom of Paciferos is empty.
Sat upon for more than a decade by King Jeff of House Tedford, the first of his name, King of the Axe, Lord of the First Kingdom and Protector of the Lair, the Throne sits unoccupied in the Blue Keep. Favoring newer gods over the old, the King's Hand, Lady Sandy of House Barbour, dismissed His Grace and now bears the task of finding a leader to replace him. Many lords, ladies, sellswords and sers could restore order and glory to the First Kingdom of California, but who is the best suitor to take the rose as his or her sigil?
There are so many options from which to choose. Cal needs someone who is experienced in leading men on the field of battle, someone of high integrity that instills loyalty and honor among his men, someone like Ned Stark basically. Here are some of the names being thrown around and a brief analysis of each candidate.
(*Note: Since HBO has only released two seasons and I'm just beginning the third book, the candidates are all from Season 2)
1. Lady Catelyn Stark
There's nothing saying a coach has to be a man. Thankfully we live in a world where a lot of sexual barriers in the workplace have been knocked down, but Lady Catelyn is probably not the right fit for Cal at the moment. While she is an upstanding woman and a devoted wife and mother, she wouldn't make a great coach on gameday. I'm sure she would stress academics but some of her more recent decisions have brought to the surface her weaknesses in battle. Lady Catelyn would probably make a great AD at a low-level directional school but she lacks the bloodlust it takes to succeed at the FBS level.
2. Sandor Clegane, The Hound
If Cal were looking solely for bloodlust, this would be the man for the job. A proven battle warrior, who better to instill fear in the opponent? Clegane could've been a great linebacker at the college level but his integrity and loyalty to the program have been questioned recently after his latest tweet:
Fuck the Kingsguard. Fuck the city. Fuck the king. #sansa
His tendency to call Sandy "little bird" bird during the interview process would also be a dealbreaker. Were he to experience any success at Cal, The Hound would probably just bolt to UW in a couple years anyway.
3. Lord Tywin Lannister
Worried about paying for New Memorial? Cal would never need another donor if Tywin Lannister were at the helm. He could practically fill the stadium every Saturday with his nieces and nephews alone. Unfortunately he doesn't seem like the type of man to accept a contract that would require changing his house's colors or sigil. He'd be a real Nick Satan when it came to recruiting though. Let's just hope he doesn't land at 'furd in a few years.
4. King Stannis Baratheon
King Robert's older brother is a real hard ass. You could expect a major decrease in the amount of false starts and substitution penalties immediately but he might require some of his assistants to chop off their fingers. Unless we hire Ronnie Lott as a linebacker's coach, this might not go over well. He seems to be a solid recruiter and his recent conversion to worshiping the Lord of Light could prove beneficial in the playcalling, however I would have to believe that birthing a spiritual fullback on field to kill the middle linebacker is at least a 15 yard penalty. If you thought Tedford's interviews were lackluster, imagine this guy's.
5. Ser Jamie Lannister, Kingslayer
Handsome, witty and brave. Arguably the greatest fighter in the land. Scootie's number one pick for coach. His loyalty to his father and his house is unwavering though and again there's the issue of all that red. Probably a good quarterbacks coach somewhere. On the bright side, we won't have to worry about that bitch Cersei coming to Berkeley any time soon.
6. King Joffrey Baratheon
Currently head coach of U$C.
1. Daenerys Targaryan, The Mother of Dragons
If she can finally hitch a ride across the Narrow Sea for her dragons and khalasar, she might turn out to be a great hire. Ser Jorah would make an excellent assistant coach and she could literally eat the hearts of our opponents. It is known. Imagine the dragon research that could be done at Cal. I think she would look great in blue and gold, I'm just not sure Cal can afford the size of the army she's seeking.
2. Tyrion Lannister
Shunned by his father and constantly unappreciated, it might not be as hard as you'd think to pry him away from his house. The Imp has experience running a program and he's extremely crafty, though he remains extremely misunderstood by the layperson. One might even say that Bill Belichick is the Tyrion Lannister of professional football. While not a particularly attractive man, he is definitely an attractive hire and could also lessen the burden of paying for the stadium. His height poses a problem, however, and could make the gratuitous ass-slap a bit awkward when players are coming off the field.
Two words: rules violations. Since his victory as the Imp's champion at the Eyrie, Bronn has slowly been working his way up in the world. Upon Lord Tywin's arrival at the Red Keep (sssssss), the future of the former sellsword and commander of the City Watch is currently up in the air, but I don't think this is the man Cal wants for the face of its program. He's not really a leader anyway but might make a great line coach. I just couldn't imagine what kind of sanctions the NCAA would hand down with the shit he would try to pull.
4. Jaqen H'ghar
Didn't expect that one, did you? A Faceless Man as a head coach. Could be a remarkable benefit on gameday, could pose significant problems during check-with-mes. Regardless, I like the potential here.
5. Theon Greyjoy
1. Robb Stark
obvi. The King in the North is an A+ hire. Young, hungry, loved and respected, a man who has something to prove. I would personally love to see a direwolf on the sidelines (though Oski might have a problem with that) since the logistics of bringing a bear on the field are pretty tough. The kid is a great recruiter and the players would love him. He seems to deal with injuries to his men well and his on-field resume, though brief, is impressive. I don't think he'd want too much money and his looks would definitely make him a fan with the ladies of Cal.
2. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont
I don't think the Night's Watch lets you break your vow to coach in the NCAA, but were some septon to deem it okay, I would love to see the Old Bear with a headset on Saturdays. His age is a bit of a concern but I think he would really enjoy the balmy Berkeley weather and it would invigorate him. He is a proven leader and a man of honor but his recruiting standards would have to be a little higher at Cal than they currently are at the Night's Watch. C'mon though, his fuckin' nickname is the OLD BEAR! Yes please. I'd just hope he can shut up that fucking crow.
Gods be good.