ATL Spurs Member Profile: Saeed Nobari, member-at-large
1) How did you become a Spurs fan?
My introduction to the sport came about after I had watched the majority of the 2010 World Cup. International matches were pretty much my only real exposure to football. Then playing FIFA with my buddies in high school helped me learn the rules. Out of chance one day, I flipped the channel to the second half of the 2010/11 Champions League first leg against Inter and saw that famous hat-trick by a certain Welshman. There after, I started following the team fairly casually. And then like many others, I fired up Wikipedia and YouTube and did some research on the club. I knew I wanted to support a club I could grow with, and I somehow just gravitated toward Spurs’ motto “To Dare is to Do”. It just felt like an ethos that superseded sport. For me, I was mesmerized by the flamboyant style of play and quality of the moments the club had rather than the amount of silverware collected. So then the day I signed my life away and became a supporter was when I saw the Assou-Ekotto wonder goal (of all people) against Everton on TV a couple seasons later. And I haven’t looked back since.
(Random aside: sometimes, I like to think about little superstitious ways of how clubs align with a person’s fate of following them. For example, my birthday is only a few hours to the day after which Tottenham Hotspur was founded, with my Chinese zodiac being a cockerel. Coincidence, perhaps?)
2) Have you been to a match at White Hart Lane?
I was fortunate enough to have received the last ever tour of the Lane by Mark Falco and Micky Hazard leading up to the finale. I was at The Bricklayers Pub across the street actually when I met a season-ticket holder that snuck me into the last closing minutes of the match. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
3) What’s your favorite Tottenham Hotspur moment?
Ah there are so many to choose from! But for whatever reason, I think one of the ones that resonated with me the most was the crowd shushing celebration from Nacer Chadli’s goal vs. the scum at the Emirates back in 2014 (a little nod to Van Der Vaart’s, I always assumed). One of the most worthwhile yellow cards in recent memory, and I’m sure the Dolphin will always be a legend in many Spurs fans’ books for it.
4) Who is your favorite Spurs player and why?
On the current squad, I’ll say Christian Eriksen. Apart from his clever technical ability and tendency to pick out an assist, his anticipation on where to position himself off the ball is so understated. All-time though, it’s gotta be Gareth Bale sheerly on the reason that he was the first figure to captivate my attention toward the club. What a player.
5) Where are you from originally?
I usually tell people I’m from Atlampa, Florgia since I was raised in both Atlanta and Tampa, respectively.
6) What is your professional background?
I’m pretty fresh out of college, with degrees in both advertising and sport/event management. I currently work as a digital media estimator at Global Team Blue, an agency that handles the advertising for Ford Motors. One of the cool parts of my job is actually getting to watch parts of the occasional Premier League match (among other programs), to sort out ad placements in our media plans.
7) Did you play organized football/soccer?
I played four seasons of intramural during my time at Florida State University (Go Noles!), usually as a wide player and goalkeeper. I was also a volunteer coach for the U-12 boys for the Tallahassee Tottenham Hotspur youth academy (surprising that one of the academies was nearby!).
8) What would your fellow Atlanta Spurs members be surprised to learn about you?
My first and only time I’ve visited London a few months ago, I stayed at an Airbnb in the Chelsea area for two weeks. At dinner, I got to talking about how I supported Spurs, which was met with much banter because the host was a proud Blues fan. And then by some irony, she mentioned that she was still good friends with Judas himself, Sol Campbell (even showing me recent photos as evidence). That same night, Chelsea went on to clinch the title. Safe to say, it wasn’t my finest moment.