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

Let’s talk about hope in sports.

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Good morning everyone!

Before any of you ask: No, I’m not the replacement for Pardeep. Given the chaos I’ve had the last several months that has included two job changes, catching COVID, and a myriad of other stuff....you get the idea. That being said, barring unforeseen circumstances in our negotiations, we should have our replacement soon!

I’m happy as hell for Pardeep and she won’t be straying far from the site. We will still have daily interactions with her in the writers’ room. As we all know, though: The show must go on.

Ramble of the Day:

It’s Super Bowl week in the United States. It’s not a matchup many expected with the Los Angeles Rams taking on the Cincinnati Bengals.

For those who do not watch NFL, the man above is Joe Burrow, a native Ohioan who attended The Ohio State University before transferring to LSU and becoming the destroyer of worlds at quarterback that won him a Heisman trophy and National Championship.

Now, just in his second year and one season removed from a horrific knee injury, Joe Burrow (or Burreaux as those in Louisiana will refer to him) is in the biggest game of his life. It also means the world to Bengals fans.

My best friend is a long-suffering Bengals fan. Prior to this season, it had been 31 years since the Bengals had even won a playoff game. They went to the Super Bowl that season and were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers. Since then, to call them a mediocre franchise might be too much. They’ve been downright awful for many seasons, so to even win the AFC North was an accomplishment.

After the Bengals won their first playoff game this season, my friend had a level-headed take: They’re playing with house money now. He expected them to go to Tennessee and get blasted.

Then they won that one, which was Cincinnati’s first ever road playoff win.

Going into the AFC Championship against favored Kansas City, I asked him where he was at mentally a couple of hours before kickoff.

“Nothing to lose. This is at least a year early.”

Again, a very reasonable take.

At the start of that same game, his first text to me was “I have never been this stressed during a damn Bengals game.”

When Patrick Mahomes threw the interception in overtime, that stress intensified.

“Well I think they’ve proved they belong here.”

“They’re actually going to f*cking do this.”

And when Evan McPherson’s kick went through the uprights?

“.................”

“I have no words for this.”

I’m pulling for Cincinnati in the Super Bowl because I want to see his team win it. I’m a Chicago Bears fan and my team is in turmoil, but that got me thinking: Hope is a big reason why we all support the teams we do through thick and thin. We know the last couple of seasons Tottenham Hotspur have gone through have been rough. Frankly, it was exhausting to cover at times because we dreaded another loss and wondering what this club was doing for a direction.

Yet we’re still here every day, holding out hope that we go on a run. We want silverware, we want a Premier League title.

We want that feeling of joy to see Hugo Lloris thrust a beautiful trophy into the air so we can celebrate and forget about Jose Mourinho’s comments, the Harry Kane transfer saga, Mauricio Pochettino being fired, Nuno’s lack of preparation for fitness stories.

It won’t matter in that moment because all that matters is to see hope realized.

And now the “news”...

Kurt Zouma captured kicking a cat in horrifying footage as West Ham condemn star - London Express

I do not recommend finding this video to watch. The description is bad enough.

Barcelona close sponsorship deal with Spotify for €280m. - RAC

That’s a lot of coin for Spotify. No word on if they plan to properly pay musical artists for their numbers. We might be waiting a while on that one.

‘Drawing Mike Trout every day until the lockout is over’: How an MLB fan’s tribute turned into an internet sensation. - ESPN

Baseball probably won’t be back anytime soon, but I’ve been following this man’s posts since day one and it’s just cool to see. Also, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are aware of the posts.

That’s it for me! With any luck, your new Hoddle writer will be live tomorrow!