Matt Sabetti: Combining Both Power and Willpower

I'm a street-walking cheater with a handful of napalm,

I'm a runaway son of a nuclear A-bomb,

I'm the world's forgotten boy,

All I can do is search and destroy. --chorus of "Search and Destroy" by Iggy Pop

Before a football game, starting varsity linebacker Matt Sabetti cranks himself up by listening to Iggy Pop's album "Raw Power."


And although it may appear that all Sabetti can do during a game is "search and destroy," there is nothing raw about this power. Rather, Sabetti has worked to build up and refine his strength through his own desire and dedication.

When Sabetti first entered Harvard he had little trouble 5-ft. 11-in., and 185 pounds, he found the transition to the varsity team the following year very difficult.

"My sophomore year I played about 9th string and all I could do was just bounce off people because of my size. It was ridiculous and I just wasn't effective." he said.

"I wanted to play, and since I couldn't get taller, I decided that I had to get bigger," he added.

At the end of the season, Sabetti started working out two hours a day for five days a week with free weights at Mike's Gym in Porter Square and, by the time the 1978 season rolled around, Sabetti weighed in at 210 pounds.

Sabetti's efforts did not go unnoticed as he grabbed a spot on the second string; but since Craig Beling preceded him on the roster it didn't look like Sabetti would get his chance to break into the varsity line-up.

Then came the first quarter of the University of Massachusetts, when The Beling suffered ligament damage in his left knee and Sabetti was called to play in his first varsity game.

If the North House resident was nervous, it didn't show, and after the game coach Joe Restic described his performance as "super."

But Sabetti followed in Beling's footsteps a little too closely and at the Dartmouth game his fourth appearance of the season, Sabetti injured himself.

Calcium deposits in his ankle kept Sabetti out of the line-up until the last game of the season where once again his action was cut short.

Recommended Articles