Chicago Cubs: The patronly figure in the clubhouse and kingdom
While David Ross didn’t have to lose his head following the 2016 season finale, he certainly lives on in the hearts of fans and his Cubs’ family in much the same fashion as the quintessential Stark leader.
Ned Stark might be most celebrated and iconic character never to make it past the first season of a long-running TV show ever. In fact, most fans have such a soft spot for the former patriarch of the Stark clan, they haven’t allowed anyone else to take that space in the seven years since his death. Sure, Jon Snow is popular, Arya is a feisty assassin, and Daenerys has stolen the hearts of many fans.
But, but, but… Ned Stark pressing his weight on Ice, his now halved Valyrian Steel sword, looking sullen, stern, and decisive against the coming winter is the iconic snapshot (and best Winter meme ever) of the entire series. Ned was stoic, valiant, chivalrous, loving, stern, and brimming with integrity to a tragic fault. He captured the hearts of fans with his tough love and fatherly ways, was burdened by the knowledge of who his “bastard son” really was, and dealt with shame for his actions despite being the most honorable man basically ever.
Who could play such a grandiose figure? Who could fill the shoes of this fallen tragic hero? None other than Papa Rossy. His name says it all. How is it possible that a backup journeyman backstop could become so beloved in Wrigleyville?
Well, winning a World Series and being the team “dad” sorta has its privileges. From his antics driving a Rascal around in Spring Training to an epic Game 7 home run in the World Series off the best reliever on the planet in 2016 (Andrew Miller), Papa Rossy stole the hearts of every Cub fan (especially the Catelyn Starks of the Cubs’ world) and parlayed his success that year into an SNL appearance, Dancing with the Stars runner-up performance, a gig at ESPN, and a special assistant position with the Cubs.
And, while Papa Rossy didn’t have to lose his head a la Ned Stark, many fans and players still hold the iconic patriarchs close to their hearts and yearn for a day when all that they once represented will once again reign supreme. (and Jon Snow and Bryzzo with some hardware might be nice too).
Be on the lookout for the second and third part of this Game of Thrones-Cubs mashup series. Daenerys and Jon Snow still to come!