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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, March 27

An unexpected fast food empire in the making.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Hey, everyone!

In a strange twist, I’m going to be talking about athletes today.

Ramble of the Day

I’ve rambled before about how athletes are into more than just sports and how fun finding out what exactly those other hobbies and likes can be. Consider this another entry in the category, as I turn to spotlight to basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. Take it away, Shaq:

O’Neal is not one to be limited by only his interest in fast food establishments. He’s invested in an eSports company and a tech startup, and is also a part-owner of the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association, to name only a few of his business commitments. That said, let’s focus on the fact that O’Neal has decided in his post-basketball days to own many fast food establishments. What a wonderful development this is.

I can’t properly assess the quality of the establishments he’s invested in; I haven’t had food from any of these places in years. I do have a greater appreciation for them considering O’Neal is interested in them, especially in Papa John’s. It’s obviously a brand in a bit of free-fall, or was not very long ago. I remember the many Papa Peyton’s joke after Papa John got kicked out, but I will admit that Peyton Manning is not someone who would convince me to buy anything. I’m probably not the right demographic, anyway.

O’Neal, meanwhile, has me intrigued. I’m not a huge basketball fan, nor do I have any particular disdain for it, and it’s not like I’m a fan of O’Neal because of his basketball career. I’ve always been a little bit fascinated by those who’ve turned themselves into a cultural brand of sorts, outside of one particular medium. A foray in television is always going to pique my interest, and even though I’ve never seen an episode of Shaq Vs., the reality show where O’Neal tried to beat other people at their own games, but I am very intrigued by the concept. (Fun fact: Steve Nash is listed as an executive producer of this show.)

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that the move to have O’Neal on Papa John’s board of directors and as a brand ambassador is one that definitely has my attention, but they should all go one step further. They should rename the business Papa Shaq’s. It’s about time we get John’s name off it, and Shaq wants to be a fast food king, so this would be the perfect way to cement it.

tl;dr: Let’s make Papa Shaq’s a thing.

Links of the Day

Rafael Henzel, a reporter that survived the Chapecoense crash, died of a heart attack on Tuesday at age 45.

Europe’s top clubs and UEFA are set to announce price caps for away tickets in European competition.

David Squires’s latest cartoon covers the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Today’s longer read: Chris Flanagan on the unexpected rise of Gareth Southgate for FourFourTwo