Q&A: Harvard Football's Alex Sarkisian

Q: What is your concentration?
A:  Government

Q: What do you hope to do in life once football is finished?
A:  I'm a Midwest guy, so I will probably head back that way and see if I can find some work to keep myself busy. 

Q: What's your favorite Harvard team to watch as a fan?
A: I really like watching the girls' soccer team. I jumped on the USA women's World Cup bandwagon this summer, and it's fun to watch our girls beat bigger schools like UConn and Boston College.

Q: If you could play for another team at Harvard, which would it be?
A: I would definitely play on the golf team- as long as I could get a special clause in my contract that allowed me to ride in a cart.

Q: What are the best parts of being a student athlete at Harvard?
A: Simple. You get the best of both worlds. I get to compete against the best students in the world in the morning, then cross the river and compete against some of the best athletes in the country in the afternoon. There aren't a lot of people who get to do that!

Q: What are the hardest parts of being a student athlete at Harvard?
A;  You really need to learn how to budget your time, and even when you do, there aren't enough hours in the day. But I try to look at it as a positive…I haven't been bored in four years!

Q: Who do you most enjoy lining up against in practices?
A: I love playing against Dan Minamide. He is fast, strong, physical, just an all-around great player.  I feel like he makes me better and if I beat Dan on a play I know I have done my job. And though he is always classy, I like to get under his skin with a little bit of trash talk after I get the better of him.

Q: What's the best part about a home football day?
A: Waking up. There is nothing like waking up on Saturday morning in October/November on game day. Every step of pre-game is so focused whether it be team breakfast, the walk down to the stadium, or warm ups. The perfect mix of anxiousness and excitement that you feel is why we play the game, and that feeling is never greater than during the lead-up to the game.

Q: Do you have any interesting/funny game day habits or traditions?
A: I like to think that I am not a very superstitious guy, but I am. I eat the same thing, get my ankles taped by the same person, listen to the same music, and say the same prayer before every game.

Q: Choose one of each: The song you are most proud of, and least proud of, on your iPod.
A: I don't know if proud is the right word, but I love "Mack the Knife" by Frank Sinatra. It's a real go-to song for me because I don't care where you're from or how old you are, Frank is as smooth as it gets. I admit that I am really embarrassed about how extensive my Katy Perry collection is but she is a fan favorite, and you have to play what the people want to hear!

Q: Who has the best nickname on the team and why?
A: My roommate Adam Chrissis has the best nicknames. He goes by the Crisis, Chrississippi, and Chaz. Each nickname is accompanied with a different side of Adam, and at any given moment, it's a toss-up as to which one you're going to get from him.

Q: If you could choose your own nickname, what would it be and why?
A:  A lot of people call me Shark, and I'm cool with that. Both my dad and my grandfather have gone by it at one point or another; it's kind of a family heirloom.

Q: What do you think of when you hear Harvard's mission statement of "Education through Athletics?"
A: I think it fits. There isn't a lesson that I have learned that Harvard athletics hasn't either taught or re-taught me. They aren't always the best lessons to have to learn, but there is no doubt that all of them will stay with me the rest of my life.

Q: What is your best moment on the football field?
A: I have to go with catching the go-ahead touchdown against Yale last year. It was exciting to make that kind of play in front of 40,000 people, and then to share the win with my family and teammates was something I will always remember.

Q: What is the best facility in which you have played?
A: I always enjoy playing in the Yale Bowl. The campus is always rowdy for the game, the stadium itself is historic, and playing your rival on grass at the end of November is the way football is supposed to be played.

Q: Where are your favorite places to eat in the square?
A: Anytime Chris Lorditch and I disagree on anything, we usually make a friendly wager a breakfast order of "My Three Sons" at Zoe's to settle the dispute. Until the day I die, I will always say that nothing tastes as sweet as a giant order of eggs and pancakes…on Chris' dime.

Q: If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
A: I would be my teammate Matt Lunati, for a couple of reasons. Anything he wants in this world he can get just by flashing his big beautiful smile. Simply put: Women want to be with him, and men want to be like him. At the same time, though, he's so wacky that I would get a kick out of knowing just kind of ideas are bouncing around in his head on any given day.

Q: If you could do anything for a day without any cost considerations, what would it be?
A: I would fly anyone and everyone out to a private island and fire up a 24 hour barbecue. Nothing beats sun, sand, and some good grub.