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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Tuesday, December 8

Ball in mouth

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

I’d ramble about this, but I have only one thought: Lifetime should have committed to a feature length film, because they’re the masters at horrible feature length television films.

Ramble of the Day

I had another ramble prepared — I actually wrote the opening sentences — but then I ended up scrolling through my Twitter feed, where I saw a very good question:

I thought the case was closed when I saw a reply from a certified referee, who said it’s all good as long as the ball does not deflate. I even checked FIFA’s Laws of the Game, and nowhere do the words “mouth” or “teeth” pop up, so I think it’s safe to say that the action is probably legal. As I started discussing this question with my older sister, though, I realized that discussing whether or not picking up a ball with your mouth is legal is boring. What’s more fun to talk about is how one would actually accomplish the feat.

My sister asked how a player would get the ball into their mouth, and while catching it in the air seems like an option, even Air Bud couldn’t manage it so I don’t think that would be the way. I think the most realistic way this happens is a player picks the ball up while the ball’s on the ground, then stands up and proceeds from there. The impressive feat would be grabbing the ball with your teeth in the first place — I wonder if finding the stitching of the ball with your teeth would make for the easiest hold.

I also imagine it would alter a player’s ability to run a bit, because the focus is on holding the ball in your mouth. I wonder how long a player could actually manage it. It’s probably not a great way to complete a pass, but maybe this move works if you’re on the ground and want to quickly regain possession, accepting that the ball won’t last very long in your mouth and hoping by the time it drops, you’re in a good enough position to start dribbling and moving on with the game.

One could argue running through this scenario doesn’t matter, but I’d encourage us all to dream big. Maybe one day, we will all be lucky enough that someone (maybe post-pandemic) will try it out. We could also get lucky and a group of people might act out the scenario to answer the questions I have.

tl;dr: Forget knowing if holding a ball in your mouth is legal, I’d like to know if it’s possible.

Stay informed, read this: Megan Maurice on allyship from two straight men who play for gay rugby clubs, and their desire to eradicate homophobic attitudes for The Guardian

Links of the Day

The FA launched investigations into Millwall fans booing players kneeling before Saturday’s game against Derby County.

NWSL’s Utah Royals will relocate to Kansas City, with a new ownership group taking over from outgoing owner Dell Loy Hansen.

A longer read: Tariq Panja on FIFA’s top executives, perhaps the only group of people to not feel the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic for The New York Times