FoCo to Winterfell: Izzy Matthews explains his obsession with Game of Thrones

Senior running back Izzy Matthews has one of the more unique personalities on Colorado State football. The Redding, Calif. native has been a contributor for the offense since his freshman season in 2015 and lives for the game of football, but Matthews’ interests stretch much farther than the gridiron.

Along with dropping the shoulder and running directly through an unsuspecting linebacker, Matthews’ passions off the field include studying literature, video games and now the veteran running backs’ latest obsession is Game of Thrones.

Matthews was turned on to the HBO classic by Nebraska transfer QB Patrick O’Brien over the summer and has been hooked ever since.

“Patrick O’Brien was living with us and was like ‘dude you guys have to start it’, so we probably started a little over a week ago and now we have been binge watching every single time that we can,” Matthews said.

The senior running back has been talking about the show each day after practice and even joked about how he has to be careful about when he chooses to watch the show. One time before a team meeting, Matthews watched a particularly riveting episode titled “The Red Wedding” and found himself unable to focus on the meetings because all he could think about was the show.

“It was terrible because I could not focus. Literally all I could think about was what had just happened,” Matthews said.

Obviously being distracted in this one meeting was less than ideal, but Matthews explained that with such an intense season, it is crucial to find hobbies and passions that are unrelated to football in any way. Watching Game of Thrones has been a way for the 21-year old to escape football and bond with his teammates.

“In your down time, whether you are sleeping or watching your favorite show, it is just important to do things outside of it (football), so that when you are back in here, you can just focus on football,” Matthews said.

When asked which characters from the show, Matthews would most want CSU football to resemble, Matthews briefly paused before smiling and confidently stating the Dothraki. “Just be straight savages,” Matthews said.  

Other than binge watching Game of Thrones, Matthews loves to hang out with his teammates and coaches. On the team’s off day Wednesday, many of the players went to head coach Mike Bobo’s house for a cookout. At the team BBQ, players and coaches played cornhole and knockout, which according to both Bobo and Matthews got a little too intense.

“It was really competitive. Ben Knox (offensive tackle) actually dunked on our safety,” Matthews said.

With 23 days until the Rams face Hawaii in the 2018 season opener, we will see if Matthews can help bring the Rams offense together like John Snow was able to unite the north. 

Side Note: When informed that Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) briefly attended CSU, Matthews' face filled with joy. "That's the best fun fact ever," Matthews said. 

PHOTO: Elliott Jerge | Rocky Mountain Collegian.