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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Monday, April 20

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Unforeseen Guy Fieri appreciation post

Soccer - The London Legends Cup - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Craven Cottage Photo by Joe Giddens - PA Images via Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

At the top today is former Tottenham defender Stuart Nethercott.

Ramble of the Day

I’ve mentioned this previously, but I have spending a lot more time than usual watching Food Network lately — it’s extremely inoffensive content, and the average quality of each program is much higher than HGTV (and probably a number of other channels). As a result, I’ve come to a very unexpected place: I am officially a Guy Fieri fan, and I think he’s a great guy to anchor the entire channel.

If you turn on the Food Network, chances are you’ll run into a Fieri program — Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games are staples of the network and reruns are on frequently. That was obviously true when I started regularly tuning in a few weeks ago, but what really hooked me was a special program, Tournament of Champions. Fieri and Food Network gathered 16 pretty famous and talented chefs — Food Network experts and Top Chef winners included — for a bracket-style tournament. (Side note: I’ve also developed a real interest in brackets recently.)

I’m easily tempted by a cooking competition, so tuning in was an easy choice for me. I wasn’t disappointed — the matchups were great, the judges were well chosen, and I was impressed with the overall structure outside of the bracket. Roles were allocated to two sideline reporters, with Simon Majumdar and Justin Warner doing well in their roles. Fieri was a really great host — a perfect balance of funny and unsympathetic, serious and lighthearted. He never took too much attention, either — the show was about the chefs competing (and the randomizer, a grouping of five wheels that determined what exactly the chefs would cook).

It built my respect for Fieri to a point where I actually tuned into Diners and Grocery Games instead of just leaving them on in the background while I write the Hoddle. Both are pretty interesting in their own right — Grocery Games is probably the most enjoyable casual cooking show I’ve watched recently, and Diners is pretty educational in the way that I like. It does take on certain habits of a travel show because it has to — it’s literally Fieri traveling around the United States introducing his audience to the best diners, drive-ins, and dives.

All three shows require different skill sets from Fieri as a host, but he masters each role by allowing the others to shine. As a creator of content, he’s also created different options and put a lot of thought into structure and entertainment value. In the end, it’s easy to determine he’s good at his work and he’s definitely a great candidate to bring back a rotation of strong content for Food Network. It’s no wonder Al Pacino wanted to meet him.

tl;dr: I’ve accidentally become a Guy Fieri fan.

Links of the Day

Coronavirus:

The FA has 60 geese killed from 2018 to 2019 to protect pitches at St George’s Park.

Today’s longer read: Nick Dorrington analyses Diego Maradona’s playing career for StatsBomb