Junior Mark Steiner will be starting his ninth consecutive game at right defensive tackle for the Harvard football team this afternoon. Alternating at the position with senior Ed Sadler in last year's first four games, Steiner's performance against Ed Marinaro and Cornell won him the starting job.
"His job is to slash in, and he does it well," one former teammate said.
Last year Steiner could be seen overpowering the opposition; this year he is doing things a little differently, using head fakes and agility to slip in.
Although Steiner estimates football takes more than 20 hours Monday through Friday, he is more than ambitious scholastically. An Ec major, he does not make things easy on himself-he takes Ec 1510, a rough B-School course, and last year took Ec 21, the honors advanced theory course.
Outside football, school and beautiful girls, Steiner's big interest is sailing. Currently he takes an Independent Study with two other undergraduates in astronomy for navigational purposes. This involves long hours at the Harvard Observatory and field trips to Cape Cod.
He spent most of last summer on a 55-foot boat in the Great Lakes, competing in such off-shore races as the Port Huron to Mackinac and the Chicago to Mackinac.
"Sailing is a lazy sport," he says. "You just sit around and drink beer. If you exert yourself it's for all of ten minutes. I have to run and lift weights to stay in shape for football."
He hopes to use his navigational and crewing abilities to get a job on a charter boat in the Mediterranean or Caribbean for a couple years after graduation and before a B-School career.
At Cranbrook School in Michigan, Steiner won three letters in hockey and two in football. He probably could have played either at Harvard, but he "enjoyed" football more.
"At Harvard you have to enjoy football, because no one is forcing you to play," Steiner says. "That's why so many people quit. A lot of people have been forced to play, and then all of a sudden they don't have to.
"It's not all that cool to play football. You're not a big hero. Very few people know if you play. In fact it even can be degrading to be a football player. People think that if you play football you don't know too much and that you are not sensitive to the world. It's amazing so many do play football here.
"There may be people who think there's a gulf between an athlete and someone who's not, but that's their problem. I'm not going to set them right. Some guy with intelligence would not feel that way."
Steiner's main gripe with the media, and especially the CRIMSON, is the criticism of Yovicsin. "People say Yovicsin is not doing this or that, but if guys are not doing their job, nothing will committee that is picking a new coach work."
Steiner has offered suggestions to the Although he won't divulge any names, he would like "the type of coach like at Princeton or Yale: young, no-nonsense, an intense type of person. Someone who wants to play good football, and who knows how to keep track of and talk to the players. I'd like someone who wants to win football games."