On October 28, the Tartan football team won its first University Athletic Association (UAA) title in nearly 10 years. The game against Washington University in St. Louis went into overtime, and was finally won by a 22-yard field goal by senior kicker Nat Greenstein. Following the game, Greenstein was named UAA Athlete of the Week. Last week, Greenstein met with The Tartan to talk about his success and the Tartans’ season.

Tartan: When did you start playing football? How did you end up as a kicker?
Greenstein: I started playing in high school to get girls. No, actually I was a soccer player, but I was on vacation and missed tryouts, so I ended up going out for the football team. I was a backup at a couple of other positions, but really just stuck with kicking.

T: Did you always plan on playing football when you went to college?
G: I was not really sure, but then my high school team won states, and schools started looking at me, and I was getting recruited, and then I kind of decided it was something I wanted to do.

T: How do you handle Carnegie Mellon’s academics combined with football?
G: I am a physics major, so I really spend basically all of my free time working. It is pretty hard.

T: Any rituals or superstitions you have before a game?
G: I have to do the same stretching routine before every game, and I have to find the same people, and kind of spread out the same for stretches. Then we all stopped getting our hair cut building up to the UAA championship game. That gets pretty crazy; some of the guys ended up with really giant hair.

T: How do you focus and handle high-pressure situations like in the game in St. Louis?
G: I think of my roommate, Mulhurn, naked.

It is really hard, a lot of people come up to me and just tell me to relax, tell me that it is an easy kick, or that I will make it without any problems, but really I just do not want to talk to people. I try to pretty much just stay to myself, kick into the net, and try not to dwell on whether or not I can make it.

T: Any accomplishments that you are particularly proud of?
G: Well, I have had some pretty good-looking dates, but I would definitely have to say winning the UAA was something I am really proud of. Plus, it is my senior year, and everything just seemed to fall into place; it was really nice.

T: What’s your favorite place that you have gotten to travel to with the football team?
G: St. Louis was fun, but Chicago is always a good time. I do not think anyone has ever gone to Chicago and not had fun.

T: How do you relax at Carnegie Mellon between football and school work?
G: Really I just hang out with my roommates, who I would like to shout out to. Mulhurn, Jon, Kevin, Annie, Lisa, and Kasey — they are really a lot of fun and help me relax.

T: What are the plans for the rest of the Carnegie Mellon football season?
G: Well we would like to keep a steady pace for our last couple of games, and then obviously do well in the playoffs. We head into the NCAA Division III playoffs, which are single elimination, and really tough.