Famed author George R.R. Martin, who wrote the A Song Of Ice And Fire books that have been turned into HBO’s Game of Thrones, revealed this week that he watches other extremely dark programming: ESPN’s First Take. Martin is a big fan of the New York Giants and the New York Jets (the latter of which is probably enough cause for a dystopian worldview in and of itself), and he wrote a blog post this week talking about how he agrees with Skip Bayless on Giants’ receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and his controversial hit on Josh Norman. Here’s the key part of what Martin wrote on his “Not A Blog” LiveJournal:

This morning on FIRST TAKE Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless agreed that Beckham should be suspended for his actions yesterday. I can’t disagree. But Bayless also said that the officiating crew should also be suspended, and boy, do I agree with that. Most of this ugliness could have been avoided with stronger officiating. Yes, Beckham should have been ejected for the helmet-to-helmet hit. (Instead he and Norman were both given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, offsetting). But that was way too late.

Norman should have been given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for bodyslamming Odell to the ground in the fifth play of the game, as seen above. The ref was right there, and did nothing. Norman should have been given a second penalty when he ran into Odell in the second play on the clip; in that case, ODB should also have been penalized, for his reaction. But no penalties were called on either player in that case.

The officials could have nipped this one in the bud. A few fifteen yarders on Norman early on, and he might have cleaned up his act, and in which case ODB might not have felt the need to take matters into his own hands. But when the refs turned a blind eye to Norman’s dirty play…

Officials turning a blind eye did cause some problems in Martin’s universe, but it’s also interesting that Martin is a First Take fan, as our extensive ESPN/Game of Thrones comparison pegged Bayless and Stephen A. Smith as Joffrey and Tommen Baratheon respectively. Perhaps Martin enjoys poorly-run debate-centric kingdoms. The key question for Martin’s fans may be why he’s watching First Take and writing impassioned blog posts instead of working on the long-delayed next novel in the ASoIaF series, though…


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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