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RPGs in the NFL: How One Team Has Embraced Dungeons & Dragons

In Tuesday's Daily Cover story, Sports Illustrated's Alex Prewitt writes about one of the unique ways some NFL players try to unwind. 

RPGs ... or role-playing games for those not in the gaming know. For Myles Garrett, Johnny Stanton and a few of their Browns teammates, the RPG of choice is the classic Dungeons & Dragons.

The group first formed in September 2020 at Stanton’s behest; as the only one with any prior D&D experience, he served as dungeon master, or DM, and helped everyone choose characters. The usual game scene is gathering around a table in Garrett’s house to roll dice and role-play while Stanton serves up a fantasy saga of puzzles to solve, people to save and bloodthirsty baddies to slay.

Here are a few of the highlights from Prewitt's story, which you can read in its entirety here:

The characters

A look at the roles players created for their RPGs:

  • Garrett built a half-elf rogue assassin named Garrett the Gray, a nod to both Gandalf and Will the Wise.

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  • All-Pro Cleveland guard Wyatt Teller was also inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien in creating Flapper, a lumbering half-orc berserker barbarian with meaty hands and a habit of flying into rages during battle.
  • Former Browns tackle Kendall Lamm created Shiloh the human monk, while Garrett’s girlfriend, Serra Tumay, played Meel the elven ranger and his best friend, Jeremy Medina, was Jtachi the aasimar wizard.

What the players say about the game

  • “People will give me s---. But moments you spend together are more important than guys being like, ‘Hey, what are you doing playing friggin’ D&D?’” —Wyatt Teller
  • Stanton saw Garrett wearing a Stranger Things T-shirt last year and tested his teammate’s geek quotient: D&D? “I might be into trying it,” Garrett then said.
  • “Allowing myself to have fun with these guys and break down walls and talk like a weirdo about this fantasy stuff, that’s probably not something that’s shared throughout every team.” —Johnny Stanton

Read more of SI's Daily Cover stories here:

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