Is Harry Potter Actually the GOAT?
The other night the wife and I sat down and watched the first Harry Potter movie, Sorcerer’s Stone. If you call it the Philosopher’s Stone then I only have one thing to say to you. Shut up nerd.
It had been some time since I’ve seen the first movie from start to finish, for some reason Goblet of Fire is the movie I cannot seem to shake whenever there is a Harry Potter marathon on TV. But as we watched we discussed how the movie seems a tad cheesy at times since at the time of its release it was a kids movie that is now 20 years old, Harry Potter was big but not to the point where it is today where even adults theorize over it.
But, it doesn’t mean we can’t try and take the movie seriously. Being the sports obsessed nut that I am, I realize some issues with the Wizarding worlds main sport Quidditch.
Someone needs to report Hogwarts to the NCAA. Harry Potter gets lots of improper gifts from teachers. And I’m pretty sure Dumbledore broke some recruiting rules with how many letters he sent.
— Connor Ryan (@connoryan68) May 3, 2020
This also sparked a debate between myself and good friend and co-Couch Guy Sports blogger Mike Gilligan about Harry Potter’s Hogwarts quidditch career.
He caught a snitch in his first game! I would say he proved he earned his starting role!
My concern is that teachers can buy students the best broom in the game. And that they can openly jinx broomsticks to attempt and kill those students. Quidditch is a corrupt sport!
— Connor Ryan (@connoryan68) May 3, 2020
Openly jinxing brooms in the middle of a match is wild and a great point; not sure how you can enforce any semblance of a fair game without some sort of jinx barrier? I feel like it must be a reality at the pro-level, yet do we have proof of it?
— Mike Gilligan (@BigGilli) May 3, 2020
Which led to a few more texts between the two of us about Harry’s accolades, which led down a rabbit hole of way more Harry Potter quidditch knowledge than I should admit to know.
But how about we break this down. A real case study based off of this Harry Potter Wiki page, into a completely fictional character and sport. Quarantine has been fun.
Pre-Harry Potter Years
There isn’t a ton of recorded history about the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup in terms of who won it, and how many championships each house has.
What we do know is that for starters the movie is a lie, James Potter was not in fact a seeker. He was a chaser! Damn Hollywood is always changing the fictional facts. Harry’s father played in the 1970’s and sometime during his playing years Gryffindor did win a championship.
The only other Gryffindor championship we know about was during the 1985-86 school year. That team has Ron’s oldest brother Charlie Weasley anchoring as the teams seeker. However after that glorious season, Gryffindor fell on some hard times. It would take the boy who would resurrect the once proud house.
Sorcerer’s Stone (1991-92)
Harry Potter’s first year at school maybe should be under investigation. I am certain Dumbledore broke some recruiting rules with how many offers he sent Harry.
And it took a famous, middle of the night recruiting visit by Hagrid to finally get Harry commit to Hogwarts. Imagine if he decided to go the super team route and Durmstrang Insitute and teamed up with Victor Krum.
Harry makes history becoming the youngest seeker in a century to get to play for the house team. This is after Professor McGonagall sees him catch Neville’s Rememberall over the shoulder and makes Oliver Wood give him a spot on the team. We will talk about Wood’s lack of leadership later. But talk about a “If they want me to cook dinner, at least let me buy the groceries” type of situation right?
Now it’s a Hogwarts rule that first years can’t have a broom. So in true Hogwarts fashion McGonagall a professor and head of Gryffindor House buys Harry a broom. And not just any broom, a freaking Nimbus 2000. I can’t even begin to tell you how many NCAA violations that is right there but SMU wasn’t even this…. ehhhhh never mind yes they were.
Let’s move onto Harry’s first game, Gryffindor vs Slytherin. I mean this is a Alabama/Auburn, Ohio State/Michigan, Nebraska/Oklahoma type rivalry to start off the season. And it also shows that Quidditch is a dangerous, corrupt sport.
In the middle of the game Harry’s broom becomes bewitched. Harry is hanging on to his broom for dear life because if he falls he’s most likely dying. Ron and Hermione, two first years by the way notice that someone is cursing Harry’s broom. So let me get this straight, it openly allows for spectators to jinx players equipment and or attempt to kill them? And this was a professor no less doing this! And not only that, but two first years know immediately who it is and the only attempts to stop it is for a student to set a professors clothes on fire? What kind of school is this? And people complain about the Houston Astros stealing signs, and Tom Brady allegedly deflating footballs.
We know the story, Harry swallows the snitch, thus catching it and winning the game for Gryffindor and a new era is born for the Scarlet and Gold. Huge moment in Gryffindor history, this is like Brady in the snow bowl against the Raiders. This is the first true moment of greatness and brilliance, to catch the snitch against Slytherin in your first game as a first year, this had to of had the castle buzzing.
While it was a promising rookie campaign for Potter, Gryffindor did not win the quidditch cup and likely that’s due to Harry missing the final game of the season against Ravenclaw because he was in the hospital wing after his battle with Voldemort. You wouldn’t see that happen in the SEC, they would let their school be overtaken by a dark wizard to secure a title, because it just means more.
Even if some conferences can’t play the college football season on time, it sounds like the SEC will play no matter what.https://t.co/xbWQP2veR5
— FanSided (@FanSided) May 3, 2020
Chamber of Secrets (1992-93)
Another classic Slytherin and Gryffindor Quidditch match and this one had even more fire than previous seasons. Prior to the match there were some more violations. Slytherin took improper benefits from their top booster, Lucius Malfoy. Remember, Malfoy buys their entire team brand new Nimbus 2001’s in exchange for his son Draco to be the team’s seeker. Seriously how has Hogwarts not had to serve at the least a probation?
And prior to the match things got nasty in an on-campus altercation. Slytherin stole Gryffindor’s practice time. And after getting a call out for his father’s inappropriate donation, Draco calls Hermione Granger a magical slur. Harry’s friend and future Gryffindor keeper Ron Weasley attempted to attack him with a curse that would make Malfoy vomit slugs? Anyways it backfired but the rivalry was never as heated.
During the match, a rogue bludger chases Harry. Which again raises the question, is nobody paying attention to the clear interference of play here? We learn it was Dobby the house elf who bewitches the bludger as a weird way of proving his loyalty to Harry. And it’s not like it was tough to spot, Hagrid, who isn’t the straightest wand in the shop if you know what I mean, noticed that the bludger had been tampered with!
But again, a star player is under attack and the adults just oooh and ahhhh. I guess we did the same thing with concussions for decades.
Once again Harry saves the day for Gryffindor, catching the snitch, publicly shaming Malfoy. And it seemed like it was destiny for this to be the year that Gryffindor would finally get over the hump and win another cup. But it wasn’t and the Hogwarts quidditch cup was cancelled because of the Basilisk attacks on muggle born students. We know how you feel Hogwarts, we lost sports too.
Prisoner of Azkaban (1993-94)
This was Oliver Wood’s final year as the team captain. And over his tenure as team captain he had not secured a championship. He was bailed out by McGonagall’s recruitment of Potter. Otherwise, he might have gone down as one of the worst quidditch captains in Gryffindor Team history. But in his final year I am sure the rallying cry was to “Win it for Wood.”
Usually the first game of the season is Gryffindor and Slytherin. But, it was postponed because Slytherin claimed their seeker, Malfoy, was injured. And of course, corrupt Hogwarts gives them the break and postpones the match to the end of the season.
Instead Gryffindor opened up against Hufflepuff in hurricane like conditions. Harry battled with known vampire and dead man walking, Cedric Diggory who was hit with a lightning bolt while chasing the snitch. Harry did not fair much better as he ran into the dementors who were suppose to be protecting the school from Sirius Black and he fell off his broom and had his life saved by Dumbledore who I guess now is finally paying attention to the dangers of the sport?
Even worse, Harry lost his Nimbus 2000 in the Whomping Willow, crushed into tiny pieces. “Serves him right, it was an improper gift” some of you might say. But don’t you worry folks Hogwarts is a pay to play school and Harry was gifted a brand new Fire Bolt broomstick for Christmas! Seriously this sport is so corrupt it’s ridiculous. Now he’s getting improper gifts from convicted felons who are escaped from prison! Are there any morals in this sport?!?!?
Gryffindor meets up with Slytherin for the final game of the season and Harry uses his Firebolt to beat Malfoy and catch the snitch winning Gryffindor its first Quidditch cup in over six seasons.
Finally Oliver Wood has his championship, he can graduate happy now. Harry Potter the star seeker has not only proven that he’s talented but now can win it all and has the beginnings of a possible dynasty?
Goblet of Fire (1994-95)
Famously, the Tri-Wizard Tournament year and thus, there was no qudditch playing at Hogwarts. Just as an Uber-talented Gryffindor Team was coming into their prime. Big lost season here for Gryffindor they had to be the Vegas favorites.
The flip side however was that Harry was about to spend a year along side the best young seeker in the entire world, Victor Krum. He could have picked his brain and learned tips from the true GOAT like Garoppolo and Stidham with Tom Brady but instead Harry focuses on competing against him in the tournament, and sides with Ron in the petty, Ron-Hermione-Krum love triangle. Definitely a lost opportunity here for Harry.
Order of the Phoenix (1995-96)
Ron Weasley won the new keeper job for Gryffindor, Angelina Johnson picked him serving her lone season as team captain but I believe this was a classic situation where the star of the team gets his way and brings his friend on the team, a la LeBron James basically calling the shots even though he’s not the coach or GM. Ron was so bad that Slytherin house came up with a song, praising Ron for how bad he was!
And even worse after the Slytherin game Harry, Fred and George Weasley are provoked by Draco Malfoy and attack him, causing Dolores Umbridge to ban them for life from Quidditch. A crushing blow to Harry’s young career and Gryffindor as a team. But it also serves as a huge red flag on Harry’s scouting report and could be the reason he doesn’t pursue a professional career after Hogwarts.
On the pitch however Ron looks like 2011 Roberto Luongo. He’s just letting quaffle after quaffle through in their game against Hufflepuff. He was so bad in fact that when his sister Ginny who was filling in for Harry as the team’s seeker caught the snitch, Gryffindor still lost the game.
Going into the final match of the year though Ron proved his worth and looked like a competent keeper. Ginny though was the underrated team MVP. She was catching the snitch to win Gryffindor it’s second Hogwarts Quidditch Cup in three years.
In fact Ginny Weasley is the underrated heart and soul of the Gryffindor team. She was versatile, an excellent chaser but also a more than capable back up seeker. And after her Hogwarts career went on to play quidditch professionally for the Holyhead Harpies.
While Harry got his championship and had the makings of a dynasty firmly in the works, remember, he only plays in one game that season. This is due to off the field issues. Not exactly the road most house-altering seekers take.
Half Blood Prince (1996-97)
The lone year in which Harry was team captain. The pressure certainly had to be on him by now. He was in his prime as team captain. The man was calling all of the shots and had the possibility for a dynasty which was not a position Gryffindor was use to being in.
Not much is known about this season except for that Harry missed the final game of the year because he had to serve detention with Professor Snape. Another questionable and possibly corrupt move in the Hogwarts quidditch season. How can a professor who is the head of a rival house simply remove his rival’s best player from a game?
Or should we more focus on the fact that once again Harry was missing the biggest game of the season because of off the field issues. Malcolm Butler and Harry Potter are one in the same.
The difference between Gryffindor and the Patriots however is that once again Ginny Weasley came to the rescue as the teams seeker, catching the snitch and handing Gryffindor their third title in four years. Yes it’s a dynasty.
Deathly Hallows (1997-98)
Harry Potter did what all the talented ones do and left school early. Let’s face it, it’s not the old days anymore where kids stay in school for all seven years. Harry did use that year for good, hunting down and destroying horcruxes in order to defeat Voldemort. And while it certainly helped his fame and brand recognition, it did not help his draft stock or professional quidditch aspirations.
It’s also known that new Headmaster, Professor Snape was a fan of canceling the quidditch season. At least that’s what Hogwarts said, it’s more likely that sanctions were handed down forcing a one year probation.
During the battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort’s followers destroyed the quidditch pitch. But I would have to imagine Hogwarts would have no problem getting money from boosters to build another one. Harry at the very least should have made a donation back to the school.
It’s tough to sum up Harry’s Hogwarts quidditch career and perhaps that’s what JK Rowling was aiming for all along. On one hand, he was insanely talented and turned the culture of Gryffindor Quidditch from a perennial loser into a dynasty and powerhouse. On the other, he just could not stay on the pitch either due to injury or off-field issues. He wasn’t present for many of the Gryffindor dynasties biggest games.
He in my opinion had the same career as Rob Gronkowski or Ken Griffey Jr. if he had won some rings. All were incredibly talented and in a vacuum it’s tough to find a better player in their respective sports. But their careers were also marked and remembered by missing games and consistently being off the field when their teams needed them most.
Harry Potter is not the greatest seeker of all time. But, he certainly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Connor Ryan (@connoryan68)