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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Friday, March 15

A pie investigation.

Southampton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Hey, everyone!

Today’s ramble is brought to you by Major League Soccer and Martha Stewart.

Ramble of the Day

As at least one of you nice Hoddlers mentioned, yesterday was Pi Day. It’s fun for math nerds, and a good excuse to eat any sort of pie for all. Major League Soccer got involved in the festivities, asking each of the league’s teams to pick a pie that represented the area in which the team’s located. The results are as follows:

Now, plenty of these picks are totally fine, and some are even actively good choices. However, there are a few glaringly awful choices that should spark outrage and confusion in us all, and it must be discussed.

There are a few that beg the question of how they even made it onto the list. To name them: the Houston Dynamo’s choice of the empanada; Los Angeles FC’s choice of the churro; Minnesota United’s choice of blueberry crumb bar; the New York Red Bulls’ choice of New York style cheesecake; Real Salt Lake’s choice of green jello; and the Vancouver Whitecaps’ choice of sushi pie.

One explanation could be that whoever at MLS was arranging this just let anything pass. This was quickly disproved by the Red Bulls, who revealed that an attempt to have cherry pie as their answer was rejected.

Then again, seeing as cherry pie made the list as the San Jose Earthquakes’ entry, perhaps the Earthquakes claimed it before the Red Bulls. There are probably still a lot of actual pies that people in the New York metropolitan area enjoy for the Red Bulls to choose from, but let’s focus on figuring out why some of the above foods made the list.

Another possibility is that MLS was not specific in its instructions. Maybe the prompt was something along the lines of picking a favorite food that one can find specifically at that team’s stadium or whatever. Again, the Red Bulls said that wasn’t the case.

I’m only guessing, but my conclusion is that MLS only let anything under the sun pass as long as it did not conflict with someone else’s choice. It’s a decent strategy unless you get people submitting things like JELLO and EMPANADAS and you decide that’s not worth correcting. That brings us to my next question, though: How could some of these items even make the list?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines pie as such:

a. a dessert consisting of a filling (as of fruit or custard) in a pastry shell or topped with pastry or both

b. a meat dish baked with biscuit or pastry crust

Merriam-Webster had a special distinction for pizza, though did not include other dough-based products.

It’s clear that a few of these are easily knocked off. I’m looking at you, churro and jello. A cheesecake, by definition, is not a pie, either; cheesecake has a crust, but no shell, and the filling is made without milk, which is a defining quality of a custard. The blueberry crumb bar also does not require a pastry shell, so it cannot qualify. While empanada dough and pastry crust can be made of the same ingredients, the proportion of flour to butter/lard or shortening is dramatically different; there’s far more fat in a pastry crust.

Looking back, there are a few others that don’t actually meet the pie requirement. The Columbus Crew’s choice of buckeye pie doesn’t have a custard or fruit. DC United’s alfajor involves dough, not a pie crust. The Montréal Impact’s sugar pie doesn’t have a custard or fruit filling. The New England Revolution’s of a Boston cream pie is actually a cake. Sporting Kansas City’s Kansas City mud pie technically has a pudding, not a custard. All of these, minus the alfajor, take smaller liberties with the concept of pie, so while they’re not exactly pies, one can reasonably classify them as pies.

There’s one final entry to discuss, and it’s the Whitecaps’ sushi pie, which obviously is by nature taking liberties with dessert. The truth, though, is that a sushi pie is more of a play on a cake than a pie, and probably shouldn’t be on this list. That said, it doesn’t meet another part of the prompt:

Let’s call this an unsuccessful venture.

tl;dr: A pie conspiracy, straight out of Major League Soccer.

Links of the Day

Schalke has fired manager Domenico Tedesco with the team sitting 14th in the Bundesliga.

Real Madrid has signed defender Militão from Porto. He will join the club in the offseason.

Paul Scholes has left his post as the Oldham Athletic manager after only 31 days in the job.

The Guardian has the German media reaction to Bayern Munich’s Champions League elimination by Liverpool.

Today’s longer read: Vanessa Friedman on Nike’s Women’s World Cup kits, designed for the first time specifically for female athletes and women’s football fans, for The New York Times