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The Hoddle of Coffee: Tottenham news and links for Monday, February 21

Racing presidents: an American tradition

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Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Good morning and happy monday, hoddlers. Look at that incredible photo of Hugo Lloris’ save against Ilkay Gundogan.

It’s Presidents’ Day here in the USA, so that means it’s time for an American-themed hoddle. I would like to point everyone’s attention to the Washington Nationals, a professional baseball team, and a longstanding Washingtonian traditions: the racing presidents.

Racing presidents? What is this all about?

For years now, during the middle of the fourth inning, four different presidential mascots line up for an epic race around the baseball field at Nationals Park. To the victor goes the spoils, and the loser a humiliation made all the more humiliating by wearing a giant costume of a former president.

Our historic contenders are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

These mascots are put in the most grueling conditions. Rain or shine, cool autumn breeze or sweltering summer heat, they are pitted against each other to the enjoyment of thousands of fans demanding entertainment and humiliation.

And no mascot has suffered as much humiliation as the nation’s twenty-sixth president, Teddy Roosevelt. America’s bespectacled politician endured a 525-race losing streak that extended from 2006 until October 3, 2012, when the man who claimed himself to be as strong as bull moose finally broke through the glorious red ribbon first in a race dazzling with the electricity of a Nationals playoff run.

With the help of a dubiously-looking Phillie Phanatic, Teddy overcame a career of embarrassing defeats. A much-needed confidence boost for #26, who would go on to lead the race standings in the 2014, 2016 and 2019 seasons.

Fitzie’s track of the day: Hora Decubitus by Charles Mingus

And now for your links:

The Athletic ($$) writes a feature on Riccardo Pecini, who helped Spurs sign Luka Modric

Premier League title race regains intrigue after Man City falter versus Spurs

Phil Foden and family attacked at Manchester’s AO Arenda

Jack Wilshere joins Danish side Aarhus until the end of the season

Borussia Dortmund’s Gio Reyna suffers apparent injury in first start since August

Peterborough accept resignation of manager Darren Ferguson