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Q & A with Ben Mahdavi
Release: 09/04/2000
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Sept. 4, 2000

Talk about the two key plays you made in the game against Idaho. First the fumble recovery and then the blocked punt.

Mahdavi: "On the fumble recovery, it was probably the second play of the series, it was actually my second play at linebacker. The quarterback bobbled the ball and it fell on the ground and one of our guys tried to recovery it and it slipped out. While I was running to the ball, I thought, in practice we always work on recovering fumbles and how to do it right, so I was thinking about my linebacker coach, Tom Williams. So I just pretty much did what I've been taught. I bent over, bent my knees, picked up the ball from the side and then ran into the endzone. Thankfully, I had a bunch of guys behind me blocking. I didn't really have time to be nervous, I was just doing things instinctively.

"On the punt block, I remember Wondame Davis was to my left, and I remember the up-back on the punt team was telling the center to block right and that took the center away from me and then the up-back said `I have number 19 ' which is Wondame Davis, so I was thinking to myself that no one's going to block me, so I pretty much knew that unless they thought real quick to block me that I was going to block the punt. I knew beforehand, because they had no one assigned on me on the block, so I just ran through and blocked it. Once I blocked it, I saw a bunch of purple jerseys to my right, so I turned back upfield to block their guys and somehow our guys knocked it out of bounds."

Was there any similarity between the fumble recovery for a touchdown against Idaho and the one you had last year against BYU in the season opener?

Mahdavi: "I was a lot more tired this time because I was running, last time I just sort of fell on it. I thought this time was a little more exciting because I was playing linebacker which I want to play. I mean I like long snapping but I love linebacker. This one was more exciting because, rather than falling on it like I did at BYU, where I really didn't do much except for run down field, here, I had to scoop it and score which was exciting. I was in shock and I was tired. I think I was sick on Saturday. I was thinking about how winded I was and why I was so winded., I didn't know I was that sick but I was pretty sick. And I'm not used to running that far."

Coach Neuheisel put you on scholarship a month ago, what is that like to know he thinks that much of you, a former walk-on, to give you a scholarship?

Mahdavi:"It's a huge compliment to me, because my hard work has paid off. I'm working just as hard as I had been, but it's making things easier off the field, rather than having to work so hard off the field, I don't have to worry about a bunch of things, like bills and things. I'm always going to work just as hard as I have been. I'm never going to let up at all. I have one speed: work hard. I don't loaf or anything like that. I always just work at the same speed."

What motivates you in your life?

Mahdavi:"Just the mentality I've had since I was younger, because in wrestling you have to be the best to succeed, you have to beat the guy across from you. So, I've always tried to be the best, I don't really take anything other than the best. Because finishing second kind of sucks, I just really try to be the best."

How does long-snapping compare to playing linebacker?

Mahdavi:"As long snapper you get so nervous, no one knows who you are until you screw up. The nervousness is fading a little bit but its still there, because you're pretty much the goat. No one notices you unless you screw up."

What are your plans for life after football?

Mahdavi:"I like football so much that I want to play forever, but...I haven't really thought about any particular area of work but I have a lot of family connections and stuff like that. But I'd really like to start out doing something on my own, I don't know really what."

Are you glad you made the decision to become a Husky rather than going to Utah?

Mahdavi:"Definitely, because I'm definitely a Seattlite, I am not a Ute. Seattle is where I'm from. I grew up watching the Huskies and it's a much better feeling playing for them."

What is the best movie you have seen recently?

Mahdavi:"'Gladiator', definitely 'Gladiator'. That guy is tough. If you want to be a hero, that's who you look at."

Who is your favorite athlete past or present?

Mahdavi:"Junior Seau, linebacker for the (San Diego) Chargers."

What is your favorite color?

Mahdavi:"Blue"

Favorite food?

Mahdavi:"Thai food"

What is your idea of an perfect date?

Mahdavi:"Have a good dinner first. I don't know about a movie, because you don't always talk much on a first date. Talk at dinner then maybe go hang out with her friends at some sort of party or something like that, or maybe a movie, I don't know. You have to get conversation going on a first date, and if you just go sit in a movie you don't really get to talk much."

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