«Zenit» fans abroad: Tom Seeley

During the match (and incredible 4:0 win!) against Krasnodar, I had the chance to sit down and talk to writer Tom Seeley about his time in St. Petersburg and his impressions from his first time in St. Petersburg and «Petrovsky». Tom Seeley has written for such well known and critically acclaimed shows as Cheers, The Jeff Foxworthy Show and Who's the Boss.


— You're based out of Moscow right now and of course Spartak is one of the big teams in Moscow. Have you been to any games over there and what kind of comparisons can you make between them?
— I've been to one game over there. They are similar in the sense that both fan bases really get into the game. When I went to the Spartak game, there was an opposing team that was closer to Moscow and so they had some of the away team's fans there too, so there was more of a rivalry on either side of the stadium. I love the chanting and the singing, the fans are really into it for the whole game. They don't stop their cheering and that makes it more exciting.

— Was it warmer in Moscow?
— Oh yeah! I don't think that I've ever seen a football game in the snow before.

— We had some pyrotechnics and some flares and smoke too. What did you think about that?
— Oh I thought it was great! They timed it perfectly, right when we were going on the offensive. At the start of the second half we seemed to have had an attitude adjustment and we really put on the pressure and scored.

— You've got your first day in St. Petersburg behind you now. What are some of your favorite places?
— Well obviously we went to the Hermitage and that was amazing. I just love walking around the city, it's so beautiful here with the bridges and the canals. And the public spaces are great, I can imagine just how beautiful it is during the summer. Everything is so beautiful at night with the lights and the holiday decorations, it really is a beautiful city.

— What was your path over to Russia?
— I wrote for television in Los Angeles for many years and Sony International helps produce TV shows here and a friend was working on it and asked if I would like to as well and the opportunity came here to work on the Voronins and that was a great experience and they asked me back. So I'm here for another couple of months working and it's just great.

— So just like «Zenit» and «Spartak» are big rivals, there is more than a bit of competition and rivalry between the two cities St. Petersburg and Moscow. Which one do you like more?
— Well obviously I know Moscow better, I don't know that's a tough call. Because it's so beautiful here, I've heard that Moscow is the business center and this is the artistic and intellectual center. With the arts and being a writer I think maybe I feel more of a kinship with St. Petersburg. But Moscow is a pretty neat place too. They are both vibrant cities, alive. So that's cool.

— This is your first time in «Petrovsky». What did you expect to see here tonight and is there anything that surprises you?
— Well as for the game the first half was pretty close, but I don't know the coach must have said something at halftime because we came out and really were aggressive and then boom, one goal and the next and the next. I thought it might have been a bit of a closer game than it is.

— Now I know just like myself, you were born and bred on American football, so what do you think about your experience here in coming to «Petrovsky» and how does this compare to your experience in American football stadiums?
— Well American football fans get excited, but these guys here haven't stopped all night! There's a lot of passion here and it's really fun. Also, college football in America is a lot like this because it's more regional, more local and there is pride and passion. Professional football, fans get into it but it's not the same kind of way that fans do here. There aren't any fireworks there that's for sure.