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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur news and links for Wednesday, April 22

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Introducing the Virus Vanguard

Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Hi, everyone!

Above is former Tottenham forward Grzegorz Rasiak, and below is the latest great football shirt.

Ramble of the Day

Presently, there are two voids to be filled: medical and essential workers could use some help while dealing with cases of COVID-19, and the world needs a new group to rally around after the Avengers capped off their several film run last year. There appears to be a group that can fill both voids at once. Their name is the Virus Vanguard, led by MAWA Man.

MAWA Man can be considered the Captain America equivalent of the group, but let’s be clear: he represents more than one country, even if his primary purpose is to aid Singaporeans. He represents all people who dislike Liverpool, including all Manchester United fans, and all who dislike coronavirus. His first hate was Liverpool, though, something reflected in his origin story (as told by John Duerden for ESPN):

Growing up in the 80s supporting Manchester United and taunted by two Liverpool-supporting brothers, made him, according to the government’s official website, “despise everything Liverpool including their motto You’ll Never Walk Alone. His hatred for Liverpool so far exceeds his love for Man Utd that it manifested as a telekinesis power.”

This power means he can force people and objects away from each other, helped by a digital distance meter in his eyes.

In his new crusade against the coronavirus, he is joined by four colleagues and friends: Care-leh Dee, Circuit Breaker, Dr. Disinfector, and Fake News Buster. All play different roles in keeping the people of Singapore safe, and provide guidelines for the rest of the world to follow.

  • Circuit Breaker accompanies MAWA Man in enforcing the government lockdown (lockdown is known as “circuit breaking” in Singapore, per the ESPN article).
  • Dr. Disinfector makes sure spaces are clean for all.
  • Fake News Buster makes sure misinformation doesn’t spread.
  • Care-leh Dee encourages people to “look after each other’s mental health.” (I don’t know how to pronounce her name.)

There is a lot of great work to be done from the Virus Vanguard, but the group was suddenly halted after a petition that garnered 892 signatures at the time of writing called the group’s existence “distasteful.” Every group of superheroes runs into a seemingly equally powerful villain, but this group of Liverpool fans is not the equally powerful villain. I’d argue it isn’t worth the time or energy to get mad at a government campaign well designed to keep people safe, even if that government is poking a little bit of fun at your team. Those who created and signed the petition are just in front of the real villain: the Singaporean government.

Singapore has a population of more than five million people, and while each voice should matter ... a group of less than 1,000 being upset over a cartoon character whose only offense is that he doesn’t like Liverpool should probably not move the needle all that much.

Every group of superheroes has faced a major challenge — here’s hoping the Virus Vanguard can overcome this major hurdle as the group aims to help during a pandemic.

tl;dr: Singapore came up with a superhero that hates Liverpool for a coronavirus protection campaign, and then some Liverpool fans got mad and the government canceled the campaign.

Links of the Day

Coronavirus:

Former UCLA men’s soccer coach Jorge Salcedo will plead guilty to accepting bribes as part of the college admissions scandal.

Mike Petke settled his lawsuit with Real Salt Lake after suing the club for breach of contract when they fired him in July.

Today’s longer read: Nick Ames interviews Wembley grounds manager Karl Standley on how he’s adjusting to working from home as coronavirus postpones sports for The Guardian