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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham Hotspur News and Links for Thursday, December 2

unconventional coverage of the Ballon d’Or

Tottenham Hotspur Training Session Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Hello, everyone!

Below are the answers to yesterday’s quiz. I realize there might be one question (the Joe Lewis one) where two answers seem like the right answer. Give yourself the credit if you think you fell into that accidental trap.

Answers: 1. B; 2. C; 3. C; 4. A; 5. D; 6. A; 7. C; 8. B; 9. D; 10. B

Ramble of the Day

Despite most of the Hoddles, I do remember that this is a Tottenham-focused website and take the duties (mostly) seriously. That being the case, it’s worth asking: What type of Tottenham-focused website would this be if we didn’t occasionally cover famous Tottenham supporters like Tom Holland? (An Adele ramble may be in the cards, too.)

This week’s Ballon d’Or ceremony is getting some unconventional coverage because of Holland and his Spiderman: No Way Home co-star Zendaya. According to several entertainment outlets, the ceremony is considered the place the two of them made their red carpet debut as a couple. I have a lot of comments on the matter, very few about Holland and Zendaya themselves. (What I mean by that is that I find their personal lives none of my business.)

First, the press coverage of this milestone in their relationship is a little bit funny. The way some are writing it makes Holland and Zendaya’s status as red carpet official more of an inference and less of a fact. The Cut is not actually claiming the two made a red carpet debut, and like other publications noted the two didn’t actually walk the carpet together at all. (Just Jared is the lone website I read that mentioned Holland attended the ceremony with his brothers.) My favorite bit of the coverage, though, is that in the absence of red carpet photos, several outlets used pictures from the Instagram accounts of Robert Lewandowski and his wife Anna Lewandowska for pictures of the two.

As for France Football, all press is good press and I can’t imagine this even qualifies as bad press. A few of these outlets did actually put in the effort to identify what the Ballon d’Or is, so that can be considered a success for France Football. I find it amusing that the Ballon d’Or occupies such an important place in today’s pop culture scene. (People really like Tom Holland and Zendaya, after all.)

Despite all of that, I do have one criticism for France Football. It was likely a little bit of a surprise to many of the people paying attention to this year’s ceremony that high-profile actors were there, and possibly even more of a surprise to some entertainment outlets that these high-profile actors were there. It is presumably an event Holland and Zendaya were attending as part of their press tour for Spiderman: No Way Home, and I imagine the ceremony’s organizers weren’t surprised by their attendance. As a result, I ask: Why not get at least one of them on stage?

I watched the ceremony live; to be honest, I also dozed off a few times during it. (To be fair to the ceremony, I think that has much more to do with everything else in my life than the event itself.) It feels like a genuine missed opportunity to get someone on the stage who is actually used to being in front of a camera and adds a different layer of star power to a ceremony. Arguably, it would garner a little more attention for the ceremony itself without entirely detracting from its point — I don’t think fewer stories would be written about Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas because Holland or Zendaya presented an award. From my end, they would have added something cool to an otherwise stale event.

(My other criticism of this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony is that it wasn’t even weird in the way football award ceremonies tend to be. Never be afraid to be interesting, even if it is cringey.)

tl;dr: The Ballon d’Or ceremony got a lot of press coverage this week because Tom Holland and Zendaya apparently made their red carpet debut as a couple. The coverage was a little funny, but the ceremony was too boring to justify their presence.

Stay informed, read this: Howard Fendrich on the WTA’s decision to suspend events in China as concerns over Peng Shuai’s safety continue weeks after she accused a Chinese government official of sexual assault for the Associated Press

Links of the Day

A person is in stable condition after suffering cardiac arrest at Watford-Chelsea.

Leeds supporters aimed homophobic chants at Crystal Palace’s Conor Gallagher during Tuesday’s match.

The North Carolina Courage hired Sean Nahas as the team’s head coach after a stint as the interim head coach.

Canada’s Quinn made Forbes 30 Under 30 sports list for 2022.

A longer read: Sophie Grew and Steven Bloor’s photo essay of the first round women’s FA Cup tie between Sporting Khalsa and Wolves for the Guardian