But first: owls are totally hot right now. In fact, it seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without either encountering one — on the subway, in the elevator, getting a half-caf mouse latte at Starbucks, etc. — or hearing someone talking about owls, am I right? In honor of these magnificent birds, and also because there’s apparently a big SPORTSBALL GAME coming up this weekend, we’re going to first talk about owls. Because they are superb. Really, really superb owls.
Here are your Tottenham Hotspur player ratings to the theme of superb owls.
5 stars: Honestly, all owls.
Yes, I know we also did this with bears, but come on. How can you not like these sharp, nocturnal mammal-murderers? They’re great. Fun fact: owls do not have an butthole, they have a cloaca which it uses for both excretory and sexual purposes. That’s efficient, and if you know anything about owls, everyone always says “boy, those owls sure are efficient!”
Here’s a picture of an awesome owl.
There are more than 150 species of owls in the wild, and I’d love to put photos of all of them in this article, but I can’t because that’s just too many owls. But this one is my favorite: the Burrowing Owl. These owls, which are also smol and cute, are like “fuck yo trees, I’m living underground betch.” They will happily evict a prairie dog or groundhog from their den and take over. I want to hug these owls. You probably should not hug an owl.
Here’s another fun owl fact: barn owls eat their prey whole, skin, bones and everything. Just whomp, right down the gullet. Which is another thing owls have: gullets, not stomachs. All the undigestible parts of an owl’s prey — bone, skin, fur, etc. — ends up compacting itself into a small pellet of mass that owls then yarf up in the most disgusting way possible. Here’s a video of an otherwise excellent young barn owl yarfing up a pellet from its gullet. Owls are gross. Why am I writing this article again?
Did you know a group of owls is called a “parliament”? Now you’d expect me to make a British politics joke here but that’d be against site rules, so instead I’ll say that this definitively proves that owls 100% want the funk and if they don’t get it will tear the roof off this mothersucka. Exactly what you think of when you see an owl, right? Another fact: all owls own a bass guitar. It’s true!
Here’s a file photo of Hootsy Collins playing at the 1971 Dallas Funk Festival.
Emerson Royal (Community - 4.5): A truly magnificent overall performance, especially defensively. Emerson had one of the hardest assignments, against Jack Grealish, and kept him in his pocket the entire match. Was popping up all over the pitch and put a ball on a platter for Harry Kane (who missed). Without hyperbole the best match he’s ever played for Spurs and he deserves all the accolades (along with the mother of all comps).
Harry Kane (Community - 4.5): Stellar. The record-setting goal speaks for itself, but he was so amazing holding up the ball, involved in every facet of play. He’s one of ourown.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Community - 4.5): His high press forced City into a turnover and directly led to Kane’s goal. General Ho looked rejuvenated and tireless out there — we should rest him more often if this is how he rewards a little break.
Cristian Stellini (Community - 4.5): I don’t know how much of Spurs’ tactics were Stellini and how much were Conte communicating through a hidden earpiece, but screw it, I’m giving the credit to Stellini. Pep may have (absolutely) overthought his tactics, but Stellini set up Spurs PERFECTLY.
4.5 stars: This particular owl
Look at this lil’ guy. Just tryin’ to chill inside for a bit, maybe enjoy some of the game, hanging out on something that isn’t a tree, minding his own and instead he gets rudely evicted by some dudebro. I love everything about this video, from the owl’s decision to fly around and scare the crap out of this dude to its decision to hop on the broom and stare daggers at the guy as he slowly... puts... the broom... out... the window. This owl is the best and I could watch this on repeat all day.
Eric Dier (Community - 4.0): More like Eric Thigher, amirite? His deflection off his leg saved a potential goal and he did amazingly against Haaland to keep him without a shot all match. Was constantly pushing into midfield to harry Rodri.
Ben Davies (Community - 4.0): Had a header that nearly found the back of the net and was instrumental in keeping Mahrez and Walker quiet.
4 stars: Sheffield Wednesday’s crests
Football needs more owls. In fact, the only owls I can think of in English football are Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, which has been known as the Owls since 1899 when they were playing in the Sheffield district of Owlerton. I have no particular fondness for Sheffield Wednesday, but I have a LOT of fondness and affection for their crests. They’ve had two basic owlish identities — the original crest, on the left, features an unapologetically outstanding hand-drawn owl, presumably a snowy owl based on its color but with a head that looks more like a tawny owl. That crest is great, but I’m a big fan of the stylized owl on the right, which served as the club crest from 1973-1995. That’s a bitchin’, groovy owl with great lines. It’s fantastic, full stop, no notes. In conclusion: moar owls in football, but these are pretty friggin’ great football owls.
Dejan Kulusevski (Community - 4.0): Gave Rico Lewis all he could handle, but his passing and decision making looked just a tick off in much of the match.
Rodrigo Bentancur (Community - 4.0): Pretty impressive midfield performance considering he did almost all of it hobbled after an early and cheap booking.
3.5 stars: Temple University Owls
Temple hasn’t exactly been relevant very often in the college basketball world since hall of fame coach John Cheney retired in 2006, but they’re a storied program in Philadelphia. Their strength of schedule hasn’t helped them and they’re way, WAY off the bubble, sitting at 109 in the KenPom rankings and almost certainly needing an A10 tournament run to make the big dance. An extra half star for the history, but these are decidedly mediocre superb Owls.
Cuti Romero (Community - 3.5): Cuti’s always going to be a defender who plays on the edge. This time he got a little too close. Can’t argue with either of the yellows and he was otherwise solid; fortunate that his red came so soon before the end of the game.
Son Heung-Min (Community - 4.0): Better. Definitely better. Saw daylight and was allowed to run into space by City on a number of occasions, but if he had any shots beyond the tame one easily collected by Ederson then I don’t recall them. Still looks hesitant and tentative with his final ball.
3 stars: Ordinary Wizarding Levels
The SAT of Hogwarts. Only J.K. Rowling could come up with something so boring and yet so consequential for the future educational opportunities for students of the wizarding world.
Ivan Perisic (Community - 3.5): The cliff comes for every footballer eventually; I think it’s come for Ivan. It’s not that he was bad, but was rather loose in possession at times and his delivery was wayward.
Hugo Lloris (Community - 4.0): No major mistakes, and only routine saves to make. Didn’t have a whole lot to actually do.
2 stars: Majora’s Mask Owl
No, I didn’t, and fuck you for asking.
No Tottenham stars played anywhere near this level.
1 star: Tootsie Roll Owl
This damn owl. Not only is he wearing a mortar board hat despite as far as I can tell not actually having earned a degree, he’s an abject failure at the scientific method. He made up his conclusion, fabricated supporting material, and then eliminated the evidence. This would not pass muster in any peer-reviewed journal. I hate this owl and hope he ends up tenure-free at whatever passes for an avian suburban junior college.
No Tottenham Hotspur players were as bad as this charlatan owl.
Tom Carroll Memorial Non-Rating
Ryan Sessegnon, Yves Bissouma, Davinson Sanchez
Erik Lamela Memorial Shithouse Award
Cuti Romero: We might just have to change the name of the award at this rate.