As a member of the men’s soccer “Elder Council,” senior defender David “Dubs” Dubow leads the reserves both on and off the field. Dubow recently sat down with the ‘Prince’ when he shared his wisdom not only about his experiences as an athlete on campus but also of goprincetontigers.com’s real purpose, Italian Renaissance art, movies and more.
Q: Where are you from, and what is it like there?
A: I’m from Bryn Mawr, Pa., which is right outside of Philadelphia, and it’s a small town. Pretty similar to Princeton, actually. Lived there my whole life.
Q: What do you like most about playing soccer?
A: Here or in general? In general, it’s the most popular sport in the world, and I love following the leagues overseas. And I like the MLS as well because some of the guys from the Princeton team are there and so I follow them. And here, I love the guys on the team, the coaches — I don’t regret it for a second. It’s been great.
Q: When did you start playing soccer?
A: I was about 5. I didn’t start playing competitively until I was 9, but my mom signed me up for one of those leagues where you don’t really compete, but every week they shuffle the teams. Co-ed.
Q: If not soccer, what sport would you do?
A: Does athletic ability matter? Because I probably can’t play any other sport out there. I would probably play baseball because my roommate [senior outfielder] Johnny Mishu can do it, so I can probably do it.
Q: What is your dream job?
A: Probably an anchor on SportsCenter. It’s tough to get that because they usually give the job to professional athletes that retire. You have to fight through that, and it’s pretty tough.
Q: So you’re planning on becoming a professional baseball player and then retiring for the SportsCenter job?
A: Yeah! If Johnny can do it, I can do it. I mean, if I had started at a younger age, I could have totally made it happen. There’s still time!
Q: Who is your quirkiest teammate?
A: I’m pretty quirky. But I would say it’s gotta be [sophomore forward] Cam Porter. He’s always doing strange things. He kind of has a quirky style of play on the field. He’ll have three people on him and then two seconds will pass and he’ll get past those defenders. You’ll have no idea how he did it. He’s magical. He can do a handspring backflip because he did gymnastics, so sometimes he does that in practice. He’s tough to explain. He’s a really good athlete. And really quirky.
Q: Does the team have any odd rituals?
A: So ... I’m mainly a bench player. And I wear two pinnies because there’s this big competition on the team: the starters versus the reserves. The reserves surprisingly win most of the games during the week in practice. One day in the beginning of the season I wore two pinnies by accident. We won. So I have to wear them every game, and I have to wear them every practice to ensure that we win. I’m superstitious. The two-pinnies thing is definitely why we’re doing so well this year.
Q: How do you and the rest of the guys feel about your British fans? What is your favorite chant of theirs?
A: We LOVE them. [Senior] Antoine Kerck was my roommate sophomore year — great guy. They have great cheers; our coach loves them. I also want to mention Will Minshew, Luke Bertke and Noah Krimm. They’ve been there every game with the Brits to support the team. It’s been great for us. It’s really helpful when we have home games and they’re behind the goal. My favorite cheer ... I really like giving them a wave when they say, “Dave Dubow, give us a wave.” But my favorite song has to be “We’re gonna bounce in a minute.” And then they bounce. And it’s fun. The double pinnie and those guys are the reason for our success.
Q: Do you GPT (goprincetontigers.com-search) any other teams?
A: Oh, of course! Mostly girls’ teams. I don’t know if girls know what GPT is really for, but looking at a player picture or two is definitely what it’s there for. I don’t think they understand that it exists for people to check out the incoming freshman class.
Q: Almost all of your teammates mention you in interviews. You might be the favorite. Who of your teammates do you want to praise in this public forum and why?
A: Oh, I’m not the favorite! Don’t put that on me. I’d say the Elder Council — which is me, [senior keeper] Max Gallin and [senior forward] Will Booz — [is] really wise. We really make sure everything off the field is going well so that everything on the field goes well in a game. So I’d like to give a shout-out to Max and Will for being there and coming to practice every day, working hard to make sure the starters do well and making sure everyone is really into it on the bench and ready to go if they go in the game. We’re like the triumvirate.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when not practicing soccer?
A: I like to play cornhole. I play with the three guys — Will, Noah, Luke — who come to every game. We play at Cottage all of the time and just hang there. Luke made sets, and we play. We go by the “Sac Guys” because, like, we play with sacks. And Will and Noah go by the “Bag Guys,” like bad guys. We can play for hours. One Sunday night we played until 5 a.m.
Q: What is your most embarrassing moment at Princeton?
A: I know there are so many embarrassing moments out there. Hm. I guess I would tell readers that if you want to know more about my embarrassing moments, you can contact me at email@example.com. I can tell you, but I can’t have anything in print in case I one day run for public office.
Q: Do you have any quirky nicknames?
A: People call me Dubs. It was a self-made nickname that got picked up. In an ideal world, I would like for everyone to call me Dubs.
Q: If you were in a movie and you were the star and everyone called you Dubs, what would your theme song be?
A: Right now, I would come in with a nice car with “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line playing. Top down. Red ’59 Corvette. It would be me, some blonde beautiful actress and then any one of my friends. Just one. Only one. With a brunette actress who’s also beautiful in the back seat. We’d roll in like Matthew McConaughey. You know how he just rolls in, runs his hand through his hair and drives off? That would be my ideal movie with “Cruise” as the theme song.
Q: If you could have your own reality show, what would be the show’s focus?
A: Probably on my feeble attempts to pick up women with cheesy pick-up lines. I’d have to use cheesy pick-up lines, and I could only speak in them. Then I’d see how many girls would fall for them. It would probably be really unsuccessful. I’ve never used a successful pick-up line, so that’s why I would use the show to see if it’s possible.
Q: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened during a game?
A: Probably when I scored two goals. I’m not a goal scorer, but last year against Seton Hall I was playing and on the first corner I headed the ball and almost scored. I was surprised, sort of; I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I told Colby Hahn [’12], “I’m gonna score on the next corner.” So the next one was a long throw from [senior forward] Mark Linnville. The ball hit someone’s head, and I headed it into the corner [of the net]. I seriously blacked out. I didn’t know what was going on. Some of the guys on the bench got mad at me for not coming to celebrate with them because I had been on the practice team earlier in the year and then I earned a starting spot. So I actually scored again on a corner with my right foot, which was the weirdest because I’m left-footed and I never score with my right foot. That time I instantly ran over to the sidelines. I knew what I was doing the second time.
Q: Who is your professional athletic role model?
A: Antoine Hoppenot [’12] is definitely my role model. I look up to him and try to emulate his lifestyle on and off the field. His attitude is great. He tries hard to be a professional athlete and to do the right thing. That’s what I want to do. He’s doing well with [Philadelphia] Union.
Q: Lastly, what do you want Princeton to remember you for? Or do you have any parting words of wisdom?
A: I want to be remembered as more of an all-around person beyond soccer. I obviously want to be remembered for that, but also for my academic life, my social life, everything. Sometimes athletes are pinned at this school as being a “type.” And just a fun and outgoing guy — I hope I’m known by that, but maybe I’m an uptight guy? I’m not sure. Words of wisdom: Do whatever you have to do to have a good time here, and the rest will follow.