The Season is Coming ...

Like the Winter ... the Season is coming ...

What season you ask?

The Football season, of course!

... and like many on Game of Thrones, football players across the nation ignore these wise words.

They skip training sessions, they eat garbage, and they sleep comfortably in their beds thinking that football camp is a million miles away.




I know this blog is not read by many, but I aim to please the few that do.

With that, I am going to provide you with my Top 10 quotes from Game of Thrones. I will do my best to link each quote to football, training, and / or life in general.

The Season is Coming ...

Or ... maybe it is already here ...



Quote #1

"Can a man still be brave if he is afraid?" 
- Bran Stark


"That is the only time a man can be brave"
-Ned Stark

Many a man has felt fear on a Friday night in Melville, Long Island.

The long bus ride, the black helmets, and an 80 man squad are enough to make even the most manly man "craven".

The Friars


Do you freeze?

Do you freak out?

Or do you turn that fear into ferocity and give it everything you got?


Bobby Wing ... Savage


Quote #2

"The man who passes the sentences should swing the sword."     
- Ned Stark



"A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is."
- Ned Stark

This one is for the head coaches and the coordinators ...

If you want to bench a player, don't make the position coach do your dirty work.

Do it yourself.

Quote #3

"Different roads sometimes lead to the same castle."
- Jon Snow



There is no one best diet.

There is no one best training program.

There is no one best offense.

Loved by few ... Feared by all.

The "best" anything is the one that works for you.

The good program you have passion for is better than the perfect program that you hate.

Quote #4

"It is one thing to be clever and another to be wise."
- Catelyn Stark (about Littlefinger)



A few years ago, I acted clever by having our punt team shift to multiple formations before the snap.

I realized I wasn't wise when they blocked the punt.

Enough said ...



Quote #5

"Every hurt is a lesson and every lesson makes you better"

- Arya Stark (quoting Syrio - her sword fighting instructor)



Having the above mentioned punt blocked taught me a few lessons.


The Coach Who Never Punts ...


2. If you are going to Punt, focus more on stopping the punt block and less on trying to be cute.

Quote #6
"A man who can't listen, can't hear"
- Osha (about Rob Stark not taking his army North)



This one is for the athletes who do any of the following when being "coached up".
  • Say "I know" as the coach is still speaking
  • Look at the ground and feel like a victim
  • Turn it back on the coach and blame him for your failures
  • Bring up a time from 10-weeks ago where your coach messed up a drill, trying to show that not everyone is perfect.
It is not possible to do these things and learn at the same time.

Rob Stark listened, but he didn't hear ...

... and we all saw how well that turned out for him.

The Red Wedding


Quote #7

"If a man paints a target on his chest, he should expect sooner or later that someone will lose an arrow on him"
- Tyrion Lannister


The game of football needs passion and emotion.

What is doesn't need is a bunch of guys making it all about themselves.




This is especially frustrating to defenses who play in a an offensive oriented league, built to pad little Johnny's fantasy points.

Sooner or later this frustration is going to lead to some angered defensive guy "teeing off" on you.


If you make a big play, celebrate with your teammates ... the guys who did all the little things to make your big play possible.

It's not all about you.


Quote #8

"A craven can be as brave as any man when there is nothing to fear."
- Maester Aemon




As a player, it used to bother me when I was at football practice (in equipment) and I would see guys that had quit our team playing two-hand touch in the parking lot.

They were apparently brave enough to play football, but only when the risk of legitimate contact was removed.

To be very clear, I firmly believe that football without equipment is not real football.


I have coached many a player who looked great in shorts and t-shirts, only to have him break my heart when the pads came on.

To me, football is a game of bravery first and skill second.

If you can last through an entire football season, even if you don't play a down on game day, you have my respect for life.


Quote #9

"My first rule of war ... never give the enemy his wish"
- Blackfish (when Cat Stark wants him to attack Tywin Lannister Harrenhal)




I see the exact opposite time and again during "The Challenge" at Advanced Training.

Guys will consistently ask the "The Challenger Holder" what he wants to do. Unless your plan is to do the exact opposite, this is a very poor strategy that seldom works.

In the football world, you should never, ever let the opponent do what they want to do.

For example, if a team wants to run a high paced offense, you should run the clock while your offense is on the field.

If they want to throw the ball to one receiver 20 times a game, put a guy in his face and "Monster" him the entire game.

You may lose, but this guy isn't catching a ball all day.


Quote #10

"I made a promise to defend the wall and I have to keep it, because that's what men do"
- Sam Tarly




This quote was actually sent to me by the great Mike Fina the night before I wrote this post. I liked it so much that I replaced it for another quote that was originally on my Top 10 List.

This may be the most important quote of them all.

Why?

 ....because my relationship with today's athletes can be summed up in one word ... "Disappointment".

Why?

... because they place no value on their word.

They join a football team and quit without a second thought.

They sign up for training and miss sessions without the courtesy of an explanation.

If these guys were at The Wall, the White Walkers would have been eating dinner at the Red Keep since Season 2.



Wrap-Up

I hope this blog post was both entertaining and informative.

If you felt inspired ... GOOD ...

If you felt insulted ...

Well ...

The Season is Coming ...