Senior Tim Kingsbury is a linebacker on the football team and one of Princeton’s leading tacklers this fall. He made his presence felt in last Saturday’s victory over Yale, in which he recorded seven tackles, two of which were for a loss. He recently sat down with the ‘Prince’ to talk about Owl City, Mario Kart and this weekend’s bonfire.
Q: Where are you from, and what is it like there?
A: I’m from Palos Park, Ill., just southwest of Chicago. It’s a pretty standard suburb, except the only way to get out of it is either through a football deal or by entering a model rocket in the state science fair. I figured I had no science skills, so football was the best way to go.
Q: Do you have any nicknames?
A: Kids on the football team tend to call me “Kings” or “Sir.”
Q: How did you get into football?
A: I started out playing soccer when I was in first grade, but I failed miserably. So I picked up football in second grade, which made my mom pretty unhappy.
Q: How do you characterize your style of play?
A: First I try to tackle the quarterback. If he either hands it off or passes it, I then try to tackle that person.
Q: What has been the highlight of your football career?
A: Our victory over Harvard a few weeks ago was really special. It was great to be a part of one of the most exciting football games in Ivy League history. I don’t think any other experience can really compare to it.
Q: If you didn’t play football, what sport would you play?
A: I’m really into “practical” sports, so I’d probably go with fencing.
Q: Are you involved in any other groups on campus?
A: I am haphazardly associated with [Princeton Faith and Action]. I also sat in on a College Republicans meeting one time because my roommate [senior] Jacob Reses heads the group.
Q: What is the best thing about playing football?
A: In the immortal words of Alvin Mack [a character in the 1993 film “The Program”], “The best thing is when you dominate. That feeling when you hit a guy real good, really stick him ... You know it’s killin’ him, but you feel great. It’s just him and you, and he’s the one that’s hurtin’.”
Q: What is the worst thing about being a football player, especially at Princeton?
A: My number is 59, so I’m stuck in the locker room row with all of the players whose numbers are in the 60s. These players are generally the offensive linemen. If there was a football hierarchy, these guys are the lowest of the low. My most hated on-field nemeses are [senior offensive linemen] Hanur Kim and Alec Egan.
Q: Any pregame rituals?
A: We used to try doing chants and little dances, but everybody was just worrying more about having their feet stepped on. It’s basically developed into [senior wide receiver] Tom Moak’s guttural yells and [senior tight end] Mark Hayes’ Indian war whoops.
Q: Who is the funniest kid on the football team?
A: [Freshman linebacker] Joe Smith.
Q: Who wins in a cage match between you and him?
A: Probably Joe.
Q: If you were stuck in the desert, who is the last teammate you would want to be stranded with?
A: [Senior tight end] Stewart Ahlum, because the only thing he knows anything about is ski pants.
Q: What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
A: Two years ago, I got caught up in the two-week Owl City craze. I spent $2 of my hard-earned cash on two of their songs. Now they just give me headaches.
Q: What does it mean to you to have beaten Harvard and Yale in the same season?
A: It means a lot, considering Harvard and Yale are our two biggest rivals. We haven’t beaten them in the same season during my first three years at Princeton, so accomplishing that this season was awesome. I’m looking forward to the bonfire now; it’s a great way to close out my Princeton career.
Q: What was your reaction to the large Princeton crowd that showed up at Yale for last Saturday’s game?
A: It was great to see so much support. The noise from the Princeton crowd was awesome during the game. When the fans rushed the field, though, some guy ran into me with a huge camera. Nailed me right in the chest. So I just ran out of there before I got trampled.
Q: As the season draws to a close, where does your focus now shift?
A: As I get set to graduate in the spring, I’m primarily concerned with finding a job back in Chicago so I can be near my family.
Q: What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
A: I’m a pro at Mario Kart. I haven’t lost a game since coming to Princeton — I’m pretty much the de facto school champion.
Q: Who are your role models?
A: At Princeton, my roommate and teammate [senior linebacker] Kevin Navetta. He grows a great mullet and is the best blocker on our kick return unit. Back home, I most admire my parents and siblings.