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Player Profile - Tom Spear

Profile: If you ask the Old Sweater, truest fan of the game there is here in Denver, who the best player ever is…without hesitation he’ll answer with Tom Spear. Despite Robby or Rico or Billy dominating events on tour, there is a select group of people that believe Tom Spear is the greatest player ever to play this game. It’s been a debate on the forums before, but one comment I will always remember is another elite Master David Gummeson saying that if you were to lock Fredrico, Billy, and Spear in a room together for a week…Spear would emerge as the champ. In his prime, I would definitely agree with that. Let the controversy begin!

Best ever, top 5 ever…does it really matter? Even though he doesn’t play like he used to, he will always have the respect of his peers for what he can do on the table (off the table is another story! Lol). His 5 bar is pure insanity; he’s a machine…a surgeon. Many CO foosers adapt his simple stick series as their own, but what they will never fully achieve are all the little hitches, fakes, and instincts that Spear has. He can pass 100% a game…a match…a night. Lol. If for whatever reason a player did manage to get on his stick series, Tom could shift into a brush series effortlessly and pass with the same high percentage. And just to assert his dominance, he might even go to a brutal far wall series just to alleviate his boredom. There’s no rhyme or reason to why he does what he does…but when you can change to whatever shot/passing series you want…who is the rest of foosball peons to question?

From the 3 bar, Tom’s best shot is a smooth pull. He’s a master of the game and will work the straights and insides until you give up the long. He’ll also switch to a roller which doesn’t have the explosiveness of Robby’s, but is still accurate.

On his opponents drop, Tom’s got Einstein-like smart defenses on the 5 and in goal. He can shoot pulls and pushes from the pits. When you put together all the pieces of his doubles game – you get a sick methodical singles game. If you expect to beat him, you need to bring you’re “A” game and a rabbit’s foot. If you make a mistake, you can count on losing a point. There are a lot of players out there with “I almost got Tom” stories…but honestly…he probably just gives just enough effort to squeak out a win.

One story that always blows my mind is the time where Spear broke his shooting wrist rollerblading. At the time, he was raping Denver tournaments, and for him to lose his right hand would basically mean he had to quit foosball for a few months. Uh…Wrong! Lol Spear proceeded to dominate the tournaments shooting a left handed pull kick series on the 3 bar! It wasn’t lighting fast, but he just knew when people would jump or sit still. Even against the top double pro teams, teamed with a newbie who sponsored him…Spear would win left handed. Yes…in real tournaments. Pure insanity.

In Spear’s Denver hey day, he would pretty much win every tournament there was. Even with his beginner partners…he was master of “switch the bitch” lol. I’m not exactly sure why he liked playing with newbies. Maybe because they paid for him, but more than likely because he could do whatever he wanted and call all the shots. As great as he was though, Tom’s been known to cheat, cause major distractions, score on his partners intentionally and sometimes just roll over. Who knows why? That will never be understood. Still, Tom is a Hall of Famer and will always be considered one of the best of the best.

Strengths: Phenomenal all around player, one of the top 5 bars ever, off the charts foosball IQ, can carry a total beginner and beat a double pro master team, can shoot/pass any series, great at head games, a foosball legend in every respect.

Weaknesses: Doesn’t play as much as he used to, will sometimes unexpectedly shut it down (give up) in the middle of a match, head games push the limits of rules and sportsmanship on a regular basis

Last Updated: 8/21/2014 3:21:00 AM