With those unassuming words, defensive lineman Carl Ehrlich introduced himself to the outside world as the internal voice of Harvard football.
Since last season, Ehrlich has written a blog that he updates every few weeks on the Department of Harvard Athletics website. Peppered with stories and his sense of humor, Ehrlich has showcased his trademark antics and quick wit, already a staple of the Crimson’s locker room, to the internet.
“He’s hilarious,” senior quarterback Chris Pizzotti says. “Always keeping everyone loose through his blogs, cracking jokes in the training room, in the locker room. He brings another aspect to our team, and we’re really lucky to have him.”
For all his hilarity, Ehrlich was initially hesitant about becoming a public face for the team.
“I really wanted to do it, but I was kind of nervous,” Ehrlich says. “The whole blog thing is kind of unnatural in the football realm, because it takes on some semblance of individual importance, which is really looked down on in this team-first thing. I kind of sat on it for a while, and then after a couple of weeks…I said I’d do it.”
The world is glad he did. Even his coaches are on board.
“I’m a fan,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy says of Ehrlich’s blog. “The stuff that comes out of his blog, he’s good at it, he could make a living at it…. he’s a guy who can keep the locker room loose. At the same time, he’s a very good player, very highly respected in terms of his work ethic and overall, but we get something a little more from Carl, and that’s what we appreciate about him. The blog, his sense of humor, his whole personality—that’s hard to quantify, but it adds to the team chemistry.”
Ehrlich’s on-field production, meanwhile, has grown at the same time he’s written more prolifically. Ehrlich has started every game this season, recording 28 tackles and half a sack.
“Teams focus on [captain] Matt [Curtis] in their gameplan,” senior corner Andrew Berry says. “I think a lot of teams this year are starting to realize what a great player Carl is. He’ll be a force next year as well.”
It’s no mistake that Ehrlich is a defensive lineman. The strapping Maryland product was injured and sat out his freshman season, and it was unclear for a while whether Ehrlich would end up playing offense or defense in Cambridge.
“I was recruited as an offensive/defensive lineman, and the first day I came in to Harvard, I had an offensive jersey in my locker,” Ehrlich recalls. “I was so nervous that they were going to move me to O-line, I just started going to the defensive line meetings, and I kept going to the meetings, I was hurt, I wasn’t playing, and I figured that if I just laid low and kept staying to the defensive line meetings I’d be alright.”
While Ehrlich avoided a move to offense, he still had to face down a final challenge: winning free b. good burgers for life by being named the “cousin” of the Harvard Square store.
“It was perfect,” Murphy says. “For a defensive lineman, what could be more perfect? I told him if he ate too much at b. good he was going to be on the offensive line, and that was enough.”
“I ended up gaining about 30 pounds freshman year, and there was definitely tension,” Ehrlich says. “I was nervous they were going to ship me over to O, but I’m glad I stayed.”
Ehrlich will be staying put more than most people realize, as he plans to take the spring semester off and come back next season for his final year of eligibility to terrorize Ivy offensive lines once again.
—Staff writer Brad Hinshelwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.