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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, February 26

Athletes: they like other stuff, too.

Burnley FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

Shall we talk about footballers again?

Ramble of the Day

They haven’t always earned it, but we as a society sometimes like to think footballers are interested in few things outside of their jobs. They’re obsessed with their hair, shiny cars, and big homes, and occasionally fashion. You’ve all probably thought of one or two footballers from that description, which is fine; there’s nothing wrong with anyone being into these things. Footballers tend to be multifaceted than that, and it’s pretty fun thinking about not just the things they’re into on their own time, but the things they do with their teammates.

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To start us off, I’ll mention the Tottenham Hotspur: Uno diaries. I don’t need to explain it, or even go through this video; Dustin, the boss around these parts, did that a couple of months ago. This, though, is an example of what I’m talking about: footballers are like normal people in that they actually like other things and don’t mind sharing those likes with colleagues/friends, but these things basically make them more endearing and ultimately realistic. More importantly, though, it’s just fun learning about what people are into, and seeing a bunch of people unashamedly enjoying Uno is cool.

Another example I had listed in my notes comes from an article ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle wrote last month during the U.S. men’s national team’s annual January camp. The team had gotten into crossword puzzles after new head coach Gregg Berhalter put a ban on phones during meals. The article itself is worth the read because you end up reading about how athletes are just as competitive in unexpected things, like crossword puzzles, as they are at work.

Here’s another example I thought of, though this is of Major League Baseball players. Two years ago, James Wagner wrote an article for The New York Times about how several native Spanish speakers have gotten addicted to Friends and learned fluent English as a result. People learning new languages from watching television shows and movies isn’t a new thing, but the idea that Friends did it for several people in one specific profession is obviously the interesting bit here. I personally don’t care for the show, but that is beside the point.

Learning these things are fun ways of getting to know people in general, whether they surprise you or not. In the case of athletes, it helps to keep them distinctive and interesting, but like I said earlier, it’s fine if they’re just into cars and haircuts. They don’t really owe us interesting personalities, but it’s cool when they have them.

tl;dr: Remembering athletes are sometimes more interesting than society makes them out to be.

Links of the Day

A man has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of sending a Manchester City fan to the hospital with brain injuries ahead of the team’s match against Schalke last week.

Chelsea has fined Kepa Arrizabalaga after he refused a substitution in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

Watford chairman Scott Duxbury said Sir Elton John offers recommendations on which players the club should sign.

Today’s longer read: Maya Black on the history of Umbro and its dominance in and outside of the footballing world for the Manchester Evening News