U.S. Soccer fan Teddy Goalsevelt

When you get Teddy Goalsevelt and RedEye mascot Bag Boy in the same room, it's best to just get out of the way. (Reuters / July 1, 2014)

Bag Boy has a soft spot for kindred spirits, aka people who dress up in costumes because they love sports. People like 31-year-old Chicago resident Mike D'Amico, better known as "Teddy Goalsevelt."

Not only is Teddy famous for his support of U.S. soccer during the World Cup, he roots for English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur FC and is a member of the Chicago Spurs.

Tottenham is an area in North London. Talk about history—Tottenham FC was founded in 1882. The club's Latin motto is Audere est Facere or "To Dare is To Do."

RedEye caught up with Mr. Goalsevelt on Friday, before the Spurs took on the Chicago Fire in a friendly on Saturday.

I want to open up and talk some football. American football. You were a center for Ithaca College, the Bombers. Do you still love football?

I still love football and grew up with it, played through college. In no way does soccer impact my love for football, but I will say the opposite. Football for many years affected my love for soccer, because there is a certain culture within American football where you can't really be a fan of soccer. I actually detested soccer for no other reason than I was a football player.

What actually happened was I moved to Chicago for an internship in 2006. I was exposed to soccer in a different way with the World Cup in 2006 and then 2010. It led me to think, "Maybe there's something to this." So I gave myself what I call soccer boot camp, where I did nothing for one month except read about, watch and listen to soccer. As it turns out, once I understood the rules and the relationships between clubs and the rules and the history, I started to love the game. And from there, I decided to follow the [English] Premier League, not choosing a club but letting a club choose me. And that club was Tottenham Hotspur.

How does that happen? A club choosing you?

You end up watching and appreciating the different styles and philosophies that these teams have—similar to the U.S. in that the Broncos play different than the Bears or Vikings do. So you end up being drawn to different styles.

And what drew you to Tottenham?

Their style. These guys are known as attackers. They are going to take the game to the other team. And I also found their motto interesting. Every club has quotes or mottos, but theirs is, "To Dare is To Do." And it's about the fact that you're going to go for it. That's what's important. You don't care what anyone else says, you're going to go for it. And that felt very American to me.

And the other thing was a famous quote by their famous coach Bill Nicholson, who said, and I may butcher this, but he said, "We're going to set our sights high, so high that even failure will have in it an echo of glory." That's the kind of thing I connected to and appreciate, that borderline naive optimism of "I don't care what the world says, I have a dream and I'm going to go for it, and even if I don't succeed, I'm going to go for it so hard that it's still going to be a victory."

That sounds just like Teddy Roosevelt! It's all connected! He also once said, "Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground." Have you been able to do that with this whirlwind tour?

I think I have. I've made myself commit to keeping all of this in perspective. When all of this is over, I'm going to back to my everyday life. No one is going to care about Teddy Goalsevelt. And I realized this in Brazil. When it comes to soccer, there are thousands of people just as passionate as I am, in fact more committed. I was just the lucky dummy who they cut to when Jermaine Jones scored that goal. And all of America was just looking for something to latch onto.

Now I want to talk about your normal life, and it's an interesting one. You're an associate creative director for Cavalry Agency here in Chicago. They supported you and are still doing so. I'll be blunt with you. I want some Don Draper stories or this interview is over!

Well, it's kind of like, "You don't kiss and tell," right? There's a reason I got into this business and it's because of the people. They are amazing. What you see on the show ["Mad Men"], even though it was 50 years ago, still holds true. It's the most crazy mix of people who are super outgoing, introverts, people who love to talk and don't, it's just a fascinating mix. And you throw everyone in there together; it's such an amazing dynamic. When your job is having ideas, it lends itself to having fascinating people. People ask me if this is my first costume and I say "absolutely not" because of the people that I'm friends with.

Bag Boy is a RedEye special contributor.

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