Jared Cooper

Coop’s Corner: Motivation the name of game for Bercovici


Maybe it’s the crowd, or the music, or maybe it is something more than that. Motvation can come from anywhere, and sometimes, motivation comes from unexpected places.

In the game of football the x-factors can make or break games. For example, whether a team is home or away could be an x-factor. When a team is home, they have the home crowd on their side, cheering as loud as they can so they can help their team and hurt the opponent.

A player who has had experience in many different atmospheres is redshirt junior back-up quarterback, Mike Bercovici. Seeing some action in 2013, he has predominately been the place-holder on special teams and occasionally coming in at quarterback for mop-up duty. Although he may lack the starting experience, he has been able to travel and get experience being around the team for home and away games.

“I’ve traveled pretty much all across the country. A home game when we have ‘Maroon Monsoon’ or a ‘Blackout’ game, there’s no better environment,” said ASU backup quarterback, Mike Bercovici. “For our defense, there is no better twelfth man.”

A great college football fan base cannot be great without a dynamite student section. “Just from the start, sometimes it’s easy to come out flat, you’ve got jitters flowing throw your stomach, but when you see them roaring, it gets you juiced up,” Bercovici added.

However, when it comes to being on the road, Bercovici says, “that’s what makes or breaks college football teams because of how many variables there are.” Whether it’s the opponent’s deafening crowd or the atmosphere change, there are different x-factors, positive or negative.

Mike Bercovici in the shotgun formation at practice.

Mike Bercovici at practice. Photo by Jeff Vinton

In order to combat these potential obstacles, players must motivate themselves to continue to strive for greatness. For Mike Bercovici, he looks towards his family.

“I have great support from my mother, my father, and my sister as well. Being the back up, you don’t always get the glory but my dad always continues to ask me how’s practice going or I talk to him about the looks of the teams that we are playing.”

Not only does his family drive him, but he is an educator in his own way. “It’s kind of teaching my family members what’s going on throughout the week that kind of motivates me because they know that at any time I’ll be ready to go.”

No other x-factor could be bigger for a player than the rituals they perform or the food they consume prior to a game. Eminem is the musical choice for Mike, but he also says that he gets the same meal every time before home games at Don and Charlie’s with the team. “Chicken with lemon butter, vegetables and potatoes.”

At the most unexpected times, the unexpected happens. Motivation may come from within or it may come from outside. There are always variables but maneuvering through them is the key. For Mike Bercovici and ASU, what lies ahead is something we just have to wait to find out.

About Jared Cooper

Jared Cooper

Jared is an Intern this season for ASU Devils Den. He is a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications studying Broadcast Journalism with a focus in sports broadcasting. In addition to interning at ASU Devils Den, he works in the Marketing Department for the Phoenix Suns. Jared is a former Sparky the Sun Devil, ASU's mascot, from 2011 to 2013.

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