In the Triple Crown Tour, you win, or you die. Face it, there are a lot of nerds in ultimate. And not just cute-girls-with-thick-glasses-frames nerd. I mean nerds. Engineers, I’m looking in your direction. And in the spirit of that nerdiness, I present to you a hybrid of two great things: Game of Thrones and Open Club Ultimate. Which major House would your favorite team be? It may surprise you. And we can’t all be the Starks. You may not agree, you may be furious. Set us straight in the comments section for who is who.
A note on spoilers: This article only mentions events that have transpired up to the beginning of Season Three of the HBO show Game of Thrones.
Lannister – Sockeye
When you think of the Lannisters, you think of wealth. And Sockeye may be the richest team out there. They have one of the biggest ultimate markets in the country as a feeder system, drawing from Voodoo, University of Washington, and an enormous youth scene. With a website that’s light years ahead of everyone else, Sockeye has always been known as a team that’s had its act together. They have the biggest international fan base, hosting clinics all over the world. Even in a fringe sport like this, people still move here from all over the country (and world!) to try out for this team. And as the Lannisters may not officially sit on the crown, Sockeye isn’t the top team right now. But you would be a fool to turn your back on them, because even when they seem to be having a rebuilding year, they can still beat anyone.
Tywin Lannister = Mike Caldwell: Tywin Lannister may be old, but he’s been winning wars and making moves since before you were born. No one has more experience. Mike “MC” Caldwell has played on Sockeye since 2000 and fits the role of patriarch. He’s been in more finals in Sarasota than you’ve been at sectionals.
Gregor Clegane, the Mountain = Matt Rehder: The most dangerous men on the field, both the Mountain and Rehder leave a path of destruction in their wake. Rehder is the biggest, most athletic player on Sockeye, and when it comes to a one-on-one, winner take all showdown, he is the man who will deliver.
Barristan Selmy = Moses Rifkin: Honorable. Old. And could still cut through you like butter.
Tyrion Lannister = Ben Wiggins: Before you feel sorry for Ben being called The Imp, know that he’d take it as a compliment. Tyrion has many things against him, but his greatest weapon against others is his mind. As Wiggins has struggled with concussions, his smarts have made him more relevant than his legs ever did. Also, as Tyrion was ostracized from his fellow Lannisters, even working against them, Wiggins has also tried to defeat the Fish as coach of Voodoo.
Targaryen – Revolver
Their long and mighty reign is over. This dynasty was ended by the Usurper, King Robert and the Baratheons (Doublewide). Revolver’s Mad King, coach Alex Ghesquire, is gone this year, according to rumors. Other players have left, like Adam Simon and Bart Watson. After working so hard for the last three years, it is hard to imagine these players aren’t mentally exhausted. Will they be able to bounce back, or do they need to rebuild? Like Revolver, the Targaryens appear down and out. But Daenerys has something no one else does: Dragons. And Revolver has dragons of their own.
King Aerys = Alex Ghesquire: Both are gone. Alex was the authority and the mind of this team. Though he has the blood of the dragon, he certainly wasn’t as crazy as the Mad King. And if Alex ever said, “Burn them all,” he was probably just telling Martin to cut deep.
Rhaegar = Bart Watson: The Last Dragon, Bart was a great leader and player. Without him around, it is up to others to lead.
Baratheon – Doublewide
In winning the Club Championships this last year, The Usurpers have dethroned the long dynasty of West Coast dominance. They defeated the reigning champions in the finals, like Robert slaying Rhaegar on the Trident. But unlike Revolver’s dynasty, this team hasn’t really dominated. Doublewide was pretty middle of the pack for most of last season, losing to six different teams at Labor Day and ECC. As this season begins, some may wonder if winning the throne will prove easier than keeping it.
Robert Baratheon = Brodie Smith: Both men are deadly with a hammer. People often wonder if Brodie can be a leader on the offense, or just a hot shot who does his own thing. King Robert was always considered a good knight, but a bad king.
Stannis Baratheon = Kurt Gibson: Tough. As. Nails. These men will never quit. When Doublewide struggled to stop comebacks by Ironside and Revolver in the championship bracket last year, Kurt was the one driving force who refused to lose. He made plays and put his body out there, and in the end, it was just what Doublewide needed to win.
Davos Seaworth, The Onion Knight = Dalton Smith: Some people brush off the young Smith, saying he doesn’t deserve the hype he’s getting now. A young college player new to the elite stage, Dalton worked hard all year for Doublewide. Then at Nationals, when it mattered most, he stepped forward and delivered. Dalton’s layout block on the first pass of the finals is the perfect example of how great he played on Saturday and Sunday in Sarasota. The way he stepped up was similar to Davos Seaworth sneaking a ship of onions to the starving soldiers that were besieged at Storm’s End.
The Red Priestess = Tim Morrill: Though he claims to serve for the good of the entire realm, Tim Morrill takes a keen interest in Brodie. The crossfitters may not approve of his message, but he’s got the ear of several top players. Like him or not, he’s got some black magic, and everyone’s stolen at least one workout from his youtube videos.
Tyrell – Ironside
One of the strongest houses in Westeros, the Tyrells have yet to gain the throne, despite being so close. When Renly marched towards King’s Landing with an army 100,000 strong, the Tyrells joined his side. Yet when Renly was cut down, their hopes were dashed. When Ironside marched to the finals in 2010 after an undefeated regular season, their run at the crown was crushed by the beginning of the Revolver dynasty. As Mace Tyrell failed to take Storm’s End in Robert’s Rebellion, Ironside has failed to win a finals yet this decade, despite consistently making it deep into the championship bracket every year.
Margaery Tyrell= Brandon Malecek- Both are loved by the people. Margaery may just be a pawn of the Tyrells machinations, much like Muffin is tucked away as a d-line sub. But both were made for the limelight.
Stark – Furious George
I know, I know. The villains of Club are the heroes of Westeros. But both northmen will be ready when winter comes. Furious George is the King of the North, winning Canadian Nationals every year, and their recruiting base is as big as nearly the rest of the regions put together, much like the Starks. Rivals to the Lannisters (Sockeye), this family has seen its old days of glory end. The dominant teams of the early 2000’s are gone, much like the destruction of Winterfell. But as the Starks still live on, this team has successfully rebuilt itself after the WUGC team of 2008. They may have suffered recent losses, including failing to double peak at Nationals the last few years. But few teams can boast the mental toughness of the northerners.
Rob Stark = Kevin Underhill: Don’t look too far into this. All I will say is that both men are the best of the next generation.
Arryn – Bravo
House Arryn’s fortress in the mountains of the Vale is considered impenetrable. As we saw in last year’s U.S. Open in Colorado Springs, the elevation helps Bravo be unbeatable in the mountains as well. But House Arryn has turned out to be a non-factor in this war, much like Bravo fell off the radar in the second half of the season. Ranked #1 after winning the U.S. Open without much competition, they skipped ECC and lost in the finals of Labor Day, eventually ending the season ranked 12th.
Jon Arryn = Josh Ackley: Josh made Bravo what it is today, much like Jon Arryn is the source of the Vale’s honor.
Martell – Chain Lightning
Dorne was the last of the seven kingdoms to fall under the rule of the Targaryens. Similarly, Chain’s finals win over Revolver in 2009 makes them the last team to win before Revolver’s reign began. Dorne is difficult to tame, due to its terrible heat in the hot desert. If you’ve ever suffered through the humidity and heat of a Georgia summer, you’ll wonder why their jerseys aren’t made of sham-wows.
Oberyn Martell “The Red Viper” = Nick Spiva: Nick is deadly with his throws, throwing scoobers that are toxic to any zone defense. He can go toe-to-toe with the best players on any team.
Areo Hotah = Dylan Tunnell: Hotah, the captain of the guards, is one bad ass MOFO. Dylan has proven himself as one of the best in the world, and he has no problem taking on the best player on opposing teams, whether it be Beau, Colin Mahoney, or a member of the Kingsguard.
Greyjoy – Ring of Fire
When angry, Ring of Fire can beat any team in the country, including themselves. The hope is to make them fight each other instead of you, because when the bloodlust rises, you don’t want to be at the receiving end. Despite the best efforts of established club dynasties, Ring has emerged as a major force in the club scene.
Theon Greyjoy = Ken Porter: This longtime Ring player has left for Detroit, where he’ll be the star player and coach for the AUDL team Mechanix. Theon betrayed the family that raised him, the Starks, for his own ambition. We will wait to see where Ken’s loyalties lie when Ring’s season starts up again.
Asha Greyjoy = Brett Matzuka: Asha, son of Balon, is an accomplished captain and clearly capable. Brett is one of the top handlers in the nation and a talented all-around player. Asha is ambitious to lead, but is held back by others. Brett was recently put on the D-line and out of the limelight by Ring’s captains.
The Wildlings – Rhino
Long a nuisance to those in the north(west), the wildlings were never able to pose a real threat until a turncloak came to them and made them stronger than they could ever be on their own. When Seth Wiggins came to Portland after playing with Sockeye for many years, he whipped these young guns into shape and took them to the next level.
Mance Rayder = Seth Wiggins: A former Fish that joined the enemy, Seth was the leader Rhino never had. Just as when Mance left the Night’s Watch and united those above the wall into a formidable enemy, Seth led Rhino to beat Sockeye at Labor Day in 2011.
Tormund Giantsbane = Mario O’Brien: A tough soldier, he is a great leader to the Wildings as well. Rio was the star of Rhino these last couple years and the leader of an embattled underdog.
Old Valyria = Death or Glory: The dynasty of dynasties. Their rule is gone, but we still have relics from their time, like the Vert stack. And the old dogs of today still speak Parinella’s name in hushed tones.
Ageon the Conqueror = Ken Dobyns: NYNY is the first dynasty, a team whose competitive fire showed that Ultimate is a legit sport. Ageon was the first Targaryen in Westeros, the king that conquered the other kingdoms.
Bronn = Ron Kublanza: I wouldn’t call Ron a sellsword, but the man has played with nearly every club team out there. He’s a valuable ally, but don’t expect him to be loyal.
Faceless Men of Braavos = Buzz Bullets: There is much unknown about the Buzz Bullets, but all agree they are incredibly talented. The Faceless Men can change their identities at will. Meanwhile, the Buzz Bullets go to great lengths to hide their game plan and identities from other teams, going as far as switching jerseys.
Varys = Bryan Jones: They both claim no allegiance to any faction, but rather serve the realm as a whole. Be sure of this; if it’s worth knowing, these two have their “little birdies” telling them everything.
Khal Drogo = Hylke Schneider: Duh.
Aeron / Damphair Greyjoy “The Drowned Priest” = Lou Burruss: An ornery priest of the drowned god, Damphair lives strictly by his own code and has a strength and tenacity that takes others back. Because of his strict standards, he often scorns that which displeases him. Lou is a cantankerous man who follows his own vision, and though others may disagree, many respect his solid mindedness.
Who are the Tullys? What about the Night’s Watch? What club teams did we leave out? Let us know in the comments.
Feature photo by Andrew Davis