1) How did you become a Spurs fan?
As a child of the 1970s, soccer was always in the background for most of my life. I’m old enough to remember the fading days of the old NASL, for example. And the 1994 World Cup landed at an impressionable moment in my early 20s and at least got me interested in the fortunes of the national team. I was never a “soccer hater,” like some Americans, but it was far behind baseball and gridiron football for me.
But after the 2006 World Cup (where the USA did terribly) getting my fixes of “proper football” every four years was no longer enough, and I was dimly aware that, for example, Arjen Robben and Didier Drogba played for Chelsea, Carlos Bocanegra played for Fulham, and Peter Crouch played for Liverpool.
I got interested enough to read an ESPN column by Bill Simmons that essentially guided me to Tottenham by a process of elimination – too big of a club to be in much danger of relegation, not so big of a club that jumping aboard meant you were a ManU-style “glory hunter” and with the reasonable expectation that it could achieve some things. As it turned out my much more football-crazy little brother made the same decision at the same time for the same reasons. (Little did I know the roller coaster of heartbreak we were both signing up for.)
That said, it was a nominal affiliation at that point. I barely watched the league, US networks barely carried it, and American sports mostly took over between World Cups, although 2010 raised my interest further and got me watching the occasional MLS match. And while I watched Chelsea defeat Bayern in the 2012 Champions League final, I was only vaguely aware that such a result meant terrible things for my chosen side, which had finished fourth but was once again slotted into the Europa League.
As they say, you may try to choose your club but ultimately your club chooses you. And that happened with the 2012 move of Clint Dempsey to Spurs for one glorious season of crucial goals while playing second fiddle to Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe. Suddenly I found myself paying attention to each and every match, and hunting down dodgy streams when ESPN wasn’t carrying the games. I knew I was hooked when Spurs collapsed late against Everton and I was dumbfounded for the rest of the day.
As it happened ATL Spurs was just getting off the ground at the time. I joined that group of questionable characters and haven’t looked back since.
2) Have you been to a match at White Hart Lane?
Despite the fact that I contract for Delta Air Lines and can fly space-available pretty easily, I haven’t managed to make it across the pond for a match yet. This, despite the fact that my wife and I honeymooned in London in 1999. I’m really hoping to make it happen this season for obvious reasons.
3) What’s your favorite Tottenham Hotspur moment?
For me it was the come-from-behind 3-1 win over Manchester City in April 2013. Behind 1-0 after an early Samir Nasri goal, it looked to be a frustrating afternoon at the Lane. Then in the second half, over no more than 10 minutes, Dempsey leveled, Defoe scored the winner, and the Bale added some insurance for good measure. It was a fantastic way to completely reverse the narrative and stick it to the defending champs. Moments like those are what keep Spurs fans coming back for more, no matter how bleak things get.
4) Who is your favorite Spurs player and why?
That’s almost like asking me who my favorite child is. I like so many, and for so many different reasons. That said, Mousa Dembele is probably my favorite at the moment – he came over with Dempsey from Fulham and is now the first name on the team sheet. We simply do not lose with him in the side, and his confidence in possession is a wonder to behold.
5) Where are you from originally?
I’m a Georgia native, born in Augusta. I’ve lived in Atlanta since 1990.
6) What is your professional background?
I’m a recovering newspaper and magazine journalist, now working as a commercial copywriter and corporate communicator, self-employed with occasional contracting stints.
7) Did you play organized football/soccer?
Alas, no. By the time the game made it to my part of Georgia in the early ‘80s, the first organized youth leagues stopped just under my age level. So yes, at age 12, I was “too old” to play, but both of my little brothers played for the “Thomson Cosmos” and my youngest brother still plays in an adult league. For me it’s always been a regret. I could’ve been good!
8) What would your fellow Atlanta Spurs members be surprised to learn about you?
My career includes some time as a music journalist, which allowed me to hang out with Norah Jones in L.A., go on tour with My Morning Jacket and Wilco, and squire Duncan Sheik and Robyn Hitchcock around town in my beat-up car. (These days I’m always disappointed when I hear a musician I like supports Woolwich.)