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A Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links May 3, 2016

In which I explain my absence, dear readers. You're going to have to deal with limited football talk today.

"Play on!"-Mark Clattenberg, probably
"Play on!"-Mark Clattenberg, probably
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Good morning!

My youngest sister gave birth to a little boy last week, but he only stayed with us two days. I've literally just returned from a trip home for the funeral, which was tough, putting it mildly. The combination of sadness, travel, and trying to be there for my sister has left me little motivation for writing.

But here I am. And here we are.

One little story to come out of the sadness, however, was that of a photographer.

My nephew was taken to the local Children's Hospital after his situation turned critical and he stayed there until it was clear that he would never be able to live without life support. My sister and brother-in-law decided Sunday evening to take him off and hold him as he passed on. That he lasted nine hours with no functioning organs still makes me proud of our little guy, he would've been an Eric Dier-type hard man I know it, but that was only one of two gifts they received that night. The other was the aforementioned professional photographer who, along with a group of friends, offers their services to families that are dealing with dying newborns. She came through and, free of charge, took a set of family photographs that my sister will get to cherish for a lifetime. It will never make up for my nephew's absence, but these are the only documentation we'll ever have of him without the tubes that were keeping him alive.

I'm a cynical person most of the time, and so is my mother, but we were absolutely blown away by this woman and her group that were providing this service for families. As my mom said, "it restored my faith in people a little bit".

Which brings me back to this space.

The internet is almost universally an awful place. While it allows us to access so much, the discourse on it is usually as pleasant as an Eric Dier challenge when he thinks you've run your mouth a bit. Somehow you, dear readers, manage to keep this place completely amicable and fun. I want to thank you all for that and, additionally, for you all to recognize it as a strength. I've watched on for years as commenters share their grief, depression, neurosis, and more, only to see the community wrap their arms around those struggling, and hold them up as much as an online community can.

Never change, I beg you.

This place has meant a lot to me over the years because Spurs mean so much to me. It brightens my day to know all of you live the highs and lows just like I do. I don't know if that comes through in the articles, but it's something I feel strongly.

Aside from the commenters, I cannot stress how good the Cartilage Free staff have been to me. Dustin and Bryan especially have always been supportive of me as a writer, and I've been lucky enough to make real life friends because of all the opportunities they have given me. Speaking of friends, my internet life partner/Andy was amazing last week, wasn't he?

And because it's just that type of article before I get back to the normal grind tomorrow, I'd be remiss to not mention that I miss my old friends A1, Brix, Cry, and Inverted. I say this like that dude in Love Actually who creeps on his best friend's girl at Christmas in that I make this proclamation with no agenda or hope. Just because.

It's been a honor to bring you the Hoddle over these last months, and I'm glad to be back on the job.


And now for the "news":

Spurs lose lead and heads at Stamford Bridge| ESPN FC

Whatever. Sometimes you gotta fight. I've had my nose broken before but I'll be damned if I see some big talking blowhards messing with my boys snoho, Shane, and beardy Steve without the other side catching some hands.

It's not like we were kicking prone school children. Chelsea were being d***heads, too.

Harry Kane points out how far Chelsea have fallen| Express

And if you need any further help, here is a reminder. Tottenham finished with 51 points in 2008/9, better known as 2 points from 8 games. Chelsea, the defending champions, are sitting on 48 with two to play.

Or roughly one point per player on loan at Vitesse for you abstract math people.

Mauricio is up for it and so are Spurs| Independent

This would be my version of the events. Some of our guys are going to get punished. We weren't victims. But as I said, sometimes you gotta fight.

Kiev willing to sell Yarmo, but not to piles of puke like Stoke or Everton| NBC Sports

This chairman is the verbally insulting yin to Dan Levy's negotiating yang.