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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Thursday, November 26

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on Diego Maradona

Tottenham Hotspur - Press Conference And Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, all!

This seems like an appropriate place to start.

Ramble of the Day

Like a lot of people, I spent a lot of time thinking — and to be fairly honest, reading — about Diego Maradona yesterday. I understood the gravity of the news though I wasn’t around to watch him play. It’s a pretty fascinating space to occupy, and very few do, and I first spent time thinking about that. I think it’s because his credentials as a most remarkable footballer were etched into the story of the sport; if you paid any amount of attention to football, you knew Maradona’s oversized impact.

Still, there was only so much I knew, and so I did my research. I didn’t need the research to know this, but doing it bolstered the feeling I always had about him. Maradona was layered, and as a result never boxed himself in as only a footballer — pretending he was only that would be disingenuous.

I’ll recommend two pieces. The first is a shorter one, compiling tributes while retelling his life of professional success and personal unrest by Terrence McCoy, Chico Harlan, and Vanessa Herrero for The Washington Post. The second is one I dropped in the Hoddle a year ago, Brian Phillips’ “The Two Sides of Diego Maradona” for The Ringer. It’s a very long, but quite comprehensive read on the massive figure Maradona was, and the life of pure extremes he led. There’s one excerpt that really sticks out to me, and one that lingers as I think about him:

It’s not hell following paradise, in other words. Hell was in paradise. The one thing enfolded the other from the start. Corruption wasn’t distinct from innocence; they contained each other. Were even in some way the same thing. That was the story that Diego acted out again and again during every phase of his life, as he remade the game of soccer in his image. That the thing you were trying to get back to already included the thing you were trying to escape.

tl;dr: Some thoughts, but really just buildup to recommended reading, on Diego Maradona.

Stay informed, read this: Jonathan Abrams on the trip five NBA players made to the Vatican to for a meeting with Pope Francis on social justice and economic inequalities for The New York Times

Links of the Day

Four Columbus Crew players tested positive for COVID-19.

Napoli will rename its stadium after Diego Maradona, who died Wednesday aged 60.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor will leave at the end of the season after 40 years in the role.

Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford will receive a special award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.

A longer read: Claudine Wong and Simone Aponte on the emotional abuse and bullying suffered by members of the UC Berkeley women’s soccer team from head coach Neil McGuire for KTVU