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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Monday, July 23

Keeping myself occupied on the weekends with some reality television.

NFL: Tottenham Hotspur FC Stadium Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, everyone!

Before we get going, here is an all-important Mike Petke update from this weekend. (If you need to jog your memory, here is Friday’s ramble.)

Ramble of the Day

Despite all of the warning and years of practice, adjusting to weekend mornings without European football — or World Cup matches or some tennis — are very hard to get through. Sleeping in is always a good way to go about it, that is if your body will let you. (The best I can manage is 8:30 a.m.) This Saturday, I elected to watch a marathon of Four Weddings on TLC.

There are versions of the show that exist in other countries, so some of you may be familiar with the concept. For those of you that aren’t, that’s what I’m here for, I suppose. Four brides from the same regional area get to compete against each other by voting on who had the best wedding. The categories that, according to Four Weddings, make a great wedding are the dress, the food, the venue, and the “overall experience,” and after some math, a winner is chosen.

The episodes themselves are formulaic in other ways, though mildly entertaining. Each episode opens with an introduction to each bride, and the areas of tension becomes clear early. The first one usually talks about something that is vaguely unique to her own wedding, like how she and her fiancé handmade all of their centerpieces. The next one opens up her minute-long section by saying something along the lines of, “My wedding is going to be classy. None of those hand made things.”

The main portion of the episode involves at least one bride sneering the tiniest bit too much at her competitors’ weddings. Maybe the weather isn’t great, or perhaps the buffet was a foot or two too far from the table. The other brides will think that wedding was an eight out of ten, but she will say six. There are, of course, weddings with actual problems, like the one where the bride showed up wasted or the one where the couple decided only dessert foods would be available so the guest brides had to order a pizza and eat it in the parking lot, but most of the drama is very, very slight.

That is mostly because these weddings aren’t much to write home about. There aren’t really cool dessert bars, or very impressive venues. These are just boring weddings with brides that wear almost identical dresses and have standard dining options. It’s all good fun in moderation, but a bit excessive in marathon form.

There is always one part to look forward to in any episode of Four Weddings, and that comes right at the end. The brides gather one last time at some random location and wait for someone’s new husband to show up in a limo and tell them about the honeymoon they won. Waiting for the winner and the scores is fine, but many of these brides are not good losers. They range from fake smiles while saying “I’m so happy for her” to “The other brides low scored me because they’re jealous of me.” The reactions are mostly petty in the slightest of ways, and are easily the most entertaining part of the show.

Four Weddings is best when its catty side comes out, and at the very least, it shows up once an episode. It doesn’t beat the various European football matches on at a time, but it’s something.

tl;dr: A summary of the formulaic and occasionally entertaining reality show I watched because there wasn’t any football on.

Links of the Day

Mesut Özil has retired from the German national team after a controversial meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan the player said led to mistreatment by members of the German Football Association and racist abuse.

Transfer roundup: Leicester have signed goalkeeper Danny Ward from Liverpool; Real Madrid have signed Brazilian Vinícius Júnior from Flamengo; Huddersfield have added midfielder Adama Diakhaby from Monaco; Brighton have signed South African striker Percy Tau from Mamelodi Sundowns

Today’s longer read: Louise Taylor on the recent initiatives taken by Everton and Barcelona to get closer to gender equality in football for The Guardian