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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, January 7

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A descent into excess

Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Cup - Third Round - Riverside Stadium Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Hi, all!

Turns out, even actors can win weird looking trophies. Here’s Charlize Theron accepting the International Star Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival last week.

31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala - Backstage Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival

Ramble of the Day

An obnoxious pairing of words springs into mind: pasta nachos.

Before Olive Garden added that item to its menu in 2018, I probably had a lukewarm take on the restaurant. I was certainly not a fan, but I don’t think I had a harsh opinion otherwise. Announcing something like pasta nachos in a commercial changes things, though, because there’s a difference between ordinary Italian chain restaurant and being a chain restaurant that serves pasta nachos (and eventually, a meatball pizza bowl).

There’s a clear decision to go from an insignificant level of subpar to a notable level of awful, and Olive Garden made that decision. There’s a perfectly fine life as a fairly ordinary chain restaurant, and as one whose claim to fame is endless breadsticks, Olive Garden had carved out a nice spot for itself in that space. It’s a dramatic choice, but maybe not a bold one. Olive Garden isn’t the first to venture into the world of excessive food choices, though it automatically offends the breadsticks. Perhaps it was a good decision for their bottom line, but I don’t know if I want to know that.

Still, I shouldn’t be surprised. Perhaps they were just trying to be innovative, but they clearly lacked the creativity. Again, I admit to myself that I shouldn’t be surprised, because Olive Garden wasn’t regarded for creativity. One more time, I tell myself not to be surprised, because it’s not like their food was any good in the first place. It just became uniquely, cringe-encouraging bad.

tl;dr: Olive Garden sucks, and I just felt the need to express that opinion for whatever reason.

Links of the Day

A Serie A match between Lazio and Brescia was halted as Brescia’s Mario Balotelli was being racially abused by opposing fans.

Port Vale’s Tom Pope may be investigated by the FA for tweets considered anti-semitic.

Transfer roundup: West Ham signed Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough

Today’s longer read: Sid Lowe on La Liga’s transformation in the last decade, and what the new one might see for the league for ESPN