Al Pacino's character in "Any Given Sunday" emphatically reminds his players that football is a game of inches. No player knows this so well as the kicker who is often called on to score valuable points and even to win games. An inch in one direction or another can be the difference between a winning field goal and a painful loss.
Fortunately for the Bears, Alex Norocea '14 keeps careful track of his inches, having scored on 31-of-45 career field goal attempts. In Saturday's 20-0 win over Yale, Norocea was 2-for-2 in field goals, one of which was the 12th longest kick in University history at 46 yards. Norocea was also named the Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. In light of his impressive performance, Norocea has been named The Herald's Athlete of the Week.
Herald: What are you concentrating in and why?
Norocea: I'm concentrating in Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations, and I felt it was the most applicable major. I felt like it gave me the best opportunities to go into whatever I wanted after college.
When did you first start playing football?
I first started kicking my freshman year of high school.
And so you started as a kicker - you were never any other position?
I played as running back my freshman year but I wasn't very good in it. They tried to make me quit because I wasn't very big. But I switched over from soccer pretty much my junior and senior year. I started taking football more seriously.
How did you settle on coming to Brown to kick?
I always wanted to go to Brown because I did the Summer@Brown program between my sophomore and junior year ... so when I found out that they wanted me to kick for them, I knew I had to come.
How does it feel to be named Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week?
It's great ... I'm always just really happy that I could help out that week and that I get some recognition.
What are your goals for senior year?
For senior year, I want to get an Ivy League Championship most of all. We've gotten second my freshman and sophomore year and we're hopefully going to win out, beat Dartmouth and Columbia and so we'll probably get upper-middle again. So I just really want the Ivy League Championship and then hopefully just do the best I can to become all-Ivy again.
Do you have any role models that are professional athletes or otherwise?
I'm not sure - that's a hard question. Can I come back to that one? I want to think about it.
Ratty or V-Dub and why?
V-Dub. I can make this chicken quesadilla with this wrap at the salad bar, and I put Thousand Island dressing and the chicken in it, and it's the best thing there.
Are you a member of Thete?
Yeah, I'm the first kicker to join Thete in like 15 years.
What's your favorite part of being in the fraternity?
Just being able to walk up to any room on any of the three floors and be able to hang out because everyone in the whole building is your friend - you know everyone.
Any thoughts on the inspiration question?
My favorite soccer player is Clint Dempsey. He always works extremely hard and always does his best to win. So one of my favorite athletes is definitely Clint Dempsey.