October 11, 2007

10 Questions with Nathan Ford

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Before the football team renewed its annual Homecoming game rivalry with Colgate this Saturday at Schoellkopf Field, Sun Assistant Sports Editor Lance Williams tossed the rock around with junior quarterback and two-sport star Nathan Ford. Williams is still trying to recover his fumble.
1. So I talked to you a while ago and you said that the football team would win the Ivy championship, but then you guys lost to Yale and Harvard by pretty wide margins. What happened?

Well what it came down to is that we didn’t execute in those two games. In our non-league games, we executed and put a lot of points on the board, we went with our bread and butter basically. But when it came to Yale and Harvard, we didn’t. We kept trying to do other stuff that wasn’t our bread and butter because we weren’t executing our go-to plays.
No bread and butter, fair enough. Is the Ivy League title still within reach?
It is out of our hands now, the only thing we can do is go out and win six games in a row.
Classic cop out. What about a smaller prediction, will you guys win on Homecoming this Saturday?

It’s going to come down to execution again …
[Interrupts] You’re not going to say yes! How could you not say yes?

We’re definitely going to win.
OK thank you, that’s all I wanted.

It is just going to come down to the little things.
Do you need to bust out the clichés so early? What is the score going to be?
I feel like we’re going to put up some points. I would say around 30.
Alright and what is Colgate going to score?

Zero, our defense is good.
I like that, 30-0, the team leader is confident. Are you going to rip a few shots before the game just to get into the festivities?

Maybe a little tailgating outside the stadium?

Yeah you’ll see me out there, hanging out for a little while.
Nice, I mean just to relax you …

Exactly we’ve got time before kickoff so it should be fine.
Yeah you’ve got hours, people start drinking at 9:00 a.m. so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Tell [head coach] Knowles I said it was fine and I’m sure he’ll have no problem with it.
2. So I talked to a few of your boys and I heard you were pretty straight edge. Is it true you were doing engineering homework on Slope Day?
[Laughing] Umm, this past Slope Day?
Any Slope Day.
I’m going to have to sell someone out here. That might be true but I was waiting for my roommate to finish his homework first.
That might be true? Well first off, who was your roommate?

[Junior] Tommy Bleymaier, wide receiver.
And you need to wait for him to do everything. Does he help you go to the bathroom too?

Yeah usually.
[Laughing] Nice, you got me there. So it wasn’t you doing homework it was …

Right it was just me being a Good Samaritan.
I see. Now the way it was described to me was that two gentlemen by the name of [seniors] Colin Nash and Ryan Blessing dragged you out of your house, I’m not sure what time, and you were doing homework.

[Laughing] It was about 1:00 p.m.

That’s embarrassing. What were you thinking at that point, give the readers a play-by-play?
Obviously not very well, I feel like I made up for it the rest of the day though.
There you go.
3. Would you rather go out or watch SpongeBob SquarePants on TV?

[Laughing] For the record, go out.
10 Questions is always on the record. O.K. so on the public record you would like to go out, but privately …
If you ask any of my roommates, they see me on the couch a lot so they would probably say SpongeBob SquarePants.
The only reason I ask is because I heard you have a very interesting favorite TV show which is what?
[Laughing] That would be SpongeBob.
[Laughing] Man this is too easy. SpongeBob SquarePants; I’m speechless.
I’m trying to lay off it a little bit recently but I’ve got to get my fix every once in a while.
[Laughing] Do you want to explain yourself, how did that come about?
Do you have a little sister or brother or something?
In my defense I do have a little sister.
O.K. that’s a start and she likes it?
Yes, she does.
Do you like it more than her?
Probably. Actually it’s probably equal. I’ve gotten called out for this a lot already.
[Laughing] I would hope so. So when you’re alone in your room after a long day on the practice field, nothing relaxes you like a good episode of SpongeBob SquarePants?
It sets the mood right, you know?
No I don’t know. But I guess it’s possible. It definitely takes you to a different world.
So are there any mind altering substances involved with this show?
No it’s pretty straight up man, it’s just for the enjoyment; I love the show.
What exactly intrigues you about it?
I guess my sense of humor is not exactly college level …
And I’ve got some maturing to do before I get out of here, so that’s probably a big factor. So you like the comedy of the show. Not making fun of it but actually what they intend to be funny, you find funny.
You’ve got to watch it.
Oh, I’ve seen it. I have some little cousins that I’ve watched it with and I just wasn’t feeling it.
They throw some jokes in there you know?
Yeah they do throw some jokes in there, but it’s also a Sponge telling them. And it’s extremely loud, obnoxious and intense.
True, true.
So that’s not necessarily my style but I could see how someone might be into it. Especially the quarterback and All-Ivy third basemen of a Division I school.
4. Let’s talk about center-quarterback exchanges. Last year the offense was mainly a shotgun offense but this year you take about 80 percent of the snaps under center, if I may say so.
Yeah that’s accurate.
Good, so you’re a lot more up close and personal with the center this year. Which one do you prefer and why?
[Inquisitive] Huh.
Huh, indeed.
That’s a good question man. I’m going to have to go with my roommate [senior] Ted Sonnenberg just because I get the most reps with him and I am most familiar with his undercarriage …
[Laughing] Undercarriage? Well that was actually going to be my next question. The first question was do you like the shotgun or under center more?
Oh, definitely under there. I like giving Ted the business.
So you’re trying to say that Ted is your favorite guy to bend over in front of you as well?

It’s true. We actually had to make the sleeping arrangements so he is exactly right on top of me.
Wouldn’t that crush you?
Well we just like to get that feeling when we’re sleeping that I’m still right behind him, you know? So it keeps everything consistent.
I gotcha. Do the other centers get jealous at all?
I don’t think so, I think they’re pretty happy with whoever gets back there. As long as you know how to work it a little bit you can pass off.
What’s the proper technique would you say?
Delicate but firm. As long as you don’t get too up and in on him. If you go too far you’ll run into a little trouble there.
[Laughing] I wish the readers could see the hand motion to go along with “up and in on him.”
The butt pat helps too.
Oh yeah, what exactly is the purpose of the butt pat? Is it like saying “good job buddy” or is it more a signal, like two butt pats is draw?
Well last year when we ran the shotgun I would always have to tap his butt to let him know I was about to go under. It’s more of habit now, I just kind of tap his ass right before I go under every time now. Give him a nice little love tap.
[Laughing] Just for kicks?
Yeah you’ll see me do it all day on Saturday.
Nice, I’m actually going to watch for that, it sounds intriguing.
You don’t want to just shove your hand in there either, you want to give him a little heads-up, here I come type of thing.
A little foreplay.
Yeah exactly, if you will.
I will. 5. This relationship is not all physical though. You have taken the O-line on quite a few dates. Tell me about those experiences.
You know we try to keep our relationship multidimensional, on the field, off the field; we need to keep that relationship strong. So every Thursday night we try to go out, get a nice little dinner.
And where is this dinner?

We hit up Chili’s most of the time actually.
So my question is this. These guys protect your life out there and obviously you all are very close mentally and physically, the whole nine yards. The best you can do is take them to Chili’s?
[Laughing] You know John Thomas is usually booked.
Maybe you’re not as nice of a guy as everyone says you are. Or they are cheap dates.
Probably a little bit of both. But we go for the company not for the meal.
Fair enough. I like Chili’s I’m not going to hate on Chili’s; it’s a good time.
6. Who is your favorite NFL quarterback?
Growing up I was a big John Elway guy.
I’ll accept that.

And of course growing up in California, you can’t help but love Joe Montana. Kind of opposite players but I would go with those two.
Who would you say you model your game after the most?

I would hope to say Joe Montana just because he was so mental, he didn’t need the arm strength to do all of his stuff. He was more about being smart enough in your offense to be able to run it and win a bunch of Super Bowls.
7. I hear that you wear these half T-shirts in practice a lot. What’s the deal with that?

My personal philosophy is that if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
[Laughing] So you’re flaunting the abs to your teammates? I feel like there aren’t many girls on the premises when all this goes down?
No, that’s pretty accurate.
So you’re showing off your abs to your boys. Now the O-line I can understand with how special your relationship is with them. But for the rest of the team? That’s questionable.
That’s true. It’s mainly for the O-line I guess. I’ve got to show them a little something-something. Plus you never know when that girl will be walking by; you always have to be prepared.
I see what you’re saying — the flyer. You’re running by looking all buff.
Yeah exactly, she’s just running around on the track and is like “oh.” Then she makes that double take.
[Laughing] “Oh, who is that?” And then her friend says, “I think I heard he’s the quarterback.”
[Laughing] Yeah, exactly.
Does the O-line ever do the same thing? Do you get them to wear the half shirts as well?
Teddy [Sonnenberg] is a big fan of it actually. It must be our connection.
Is that right, how is he doing in the midsection region?
He could probably get a few more ab workouts in him, but he’s doing good. He’s got a pretty good physique for an O-lineman.
[Laughing] That’s kind of an oxymoron.
8. In [senior] Luke Siwula’s 10 Questions last year, he said that he would be OK with you dating his sister. And I’ve done a little bit of research on the topic and I was wondering if you took him up on that offer.
[Laughing] I did not.
You did not?

I have not dated his sister.
O.K. you haven’t dated his sister so let’s clarify this.
Oh no.
Have you had a relationship in any form with his sister?
Ummm, I’ve met her.
Is that right? What was the story behind you meeting her?
Well the whole Siwula family comes up to a lot of games, they’re a great family. They’re just real nice people so I like hanging out with them.
[Laughing] I’m going to keep asking questions until I get some straight answers, just to let you know. I will lead the witness right now.
Did you or did you not ask Luke to hook up with his little sister?
I wouldn’t say hook up.
[Laughing] What exactly would you say then?
I supposed I might have kissed her one night.
And before this supposed kiss, did you ask Luke if you could kiss her?
I did.
And he said yes?
He did.
Wow, good guy.
Yeah he’s a great guy.
How old is his sister if I may ask?
She’s in college now, I believe.
OK so you’re good, well done.
Thank you.
9. Who would win in a football game, Georgetown – who you guys beat 45-7 in their house – or the best Pop Warner team in the nation?
I’d have to say Georgetown. They’re having a tough year obviously…
I mean, they always have a tough year.
[Laughing] Yeah that’s true, but they do have a good basketball team. They made some plays against us but it just wasn’t enough. We executed pretty well that game.
They do have a better nickname than us though.
I like the Hoyas.
Exactly and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but we’re the Red.
Yeah, a primary color. It is Big Red though.
Big Red or not, it is still a pretty BLANK nickname.
10. This is probably going to be a harder question for you than most people, possibly a little conflict of interests. Who is the hottest women’s team at Cornell?
Sticking with the theme of the conversation, I would first just like to say that the hottest group of Cornell athletes has to be my O-line.
No doubt.
I’d have to encourage all of the ladies out there to take care of the O-line.
O.K., a little cushion for their pushing.
But for the hottest female team, I would have to go with women’s basketball.
Now that is a very smart answer.
Thank you.
It’s also a very unusual answer …
Is it?
It definitely is, in my tenure here I haven’t heard that one before. So why might you say the women’s basketball team.
They’ve just got that athleticism.
You’re judging it based of their athleticism or their attractiveness?
They’ve got some cute girls on the team.
[Laughing] See now you’re getting warmer. Anyone in particular you’ve taken an interest in?
Well let me say this, when I heard you were dating someone on the team, I was licking my chops for this question because I was pretty sure you weren’t going to say women’s basketball. Basically you would have been [censored], when you presumably said some other team. But you actually went with women’s basketball.

I had to.
Very impressive man.
[Laughing] It was well played.
Well played indeed.

10 Questions with Lance Williams will appear every Thursday unless the Siwula family sues Lance for emotional damages. Lance can be reached at [email protected]