Mirsberger unlocks musical skills on national stage

Alex+Mirsberger+gets+ready+for+a+throw-in+during+Marquette+mens+soccers+win+over+the+University+of+South+Florida+Sept.+2.+

Photo by John Leuzzi

Alex Mirsberger gets ready for a throw-in during Marquette men’s soccer’s win over the University of South Florida Sept. 2.

Imagine winning $93,000 by guessing the title of a song in a matter of seconds. It seems not that simple right? 

That is unless your name is Alex Mirsberger. 

The fifth-year defensemen on the Marquette men’s soccer team recently appeared on FOX’s “Beat Shazam” with Jamie Foxx. 

The show, which is filmed in Ireland, is a game show that consists of three two-person teams that try to correctly identify the song played, faster than the two other teams.

Mirsberger said he found out about the show through a random Instagram direct message. 

“I actually had never even heard of the show and then in December, I got a DM from a random lady,” Mirsberger said. “And I was like, ‘there’s no way this is real’ so I looked into it and it was real. ”

When it came time to pick his partner, Mirsberger chose his friend Stephen Poorten, a former Marquette Track and Field athlete. He said they met each other during their first year on campus through athletics.

“When I was thinking of people, Stephen came right to mind because he has this game show personality,” Mirsberger said. “And then as we were studying, I found out that he was really good at music.”

Mirsberger said the two studied intensively for weeks by dividing genres and decades between each other.

“Stephen did like 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s music and then I was in charge of pop, country and rap songs,” Mirsberger said. “We would just throw our headphones on and listen to song after song. You know, for a good 3-4 weeks. So we’re listening to a lot of music.” 

Prior to the show, Mirsberger said he had not shown a lot of interest in music. 

“Personally, I’ve never been like that big of a music person. I obviously listen on game days and stuff like that or when I’m out with my friend but, I wouldn’t label myself as a music person,” Mirsberger said. “Once we got on this I was like OK I will become a music person.” 

Days before both Mirsberger and Poorton were set to graduate last spring, the two were flown out to Dublin, Ireland for the episode. 

Mirsberger said being on the show brings a lot of pressure as you have to remember all types of songs in such a short time.

“We were trying to dial in as much as possible (but) you have no idea what’s going to come or what song they’re going to play,” Mirsberger said. “I had a hard time remembering it, my mind just wasn’t clicking, especially at the end.” 

He said he can’t listen to any of the music anymore from the show. 

“I have nightmares from that music,” Mirsberger said. “I think the two we missed were ‘Lean on Me’ and ‘Could You Be Loved’ and when that song comes on, I’m like, ‘turn it off right now’ it’s so bad.” 

Mirsberger stated the first thing his doctor did when he came back was start singing “Lean on Me.” 

“I was like ‘come on, man,’” Mirsberger said.

His reaction is warranted, as their earnings on the show would have doubled if they guessed the song correctly.

“We were so shocked,” Mirsberger said. “I remember my face on the show when the title popped up on the screen and said ‘Under Pressure.’ At the end of the day, we made the right choice because we really had no idea what it was.”

The pair ended up taking home the guaranteed $93,000, which Mirsberger said would help both of them financially for college. 

Winning is something Mirsberger is used to as a soccer player, but what about as a contestant? 

“The hardest part of this whole thing was not being able to tell people we won when we got back. They would ask, but I couldn’t help smiling and just said it was a great experience,” Mirsberger said.

Mirsberger is currently working on earning his master’s in business administration with an emphasis on finance. 

He called the opportunity to continue playing on the COVID-19 extra year of eligibility and earn his master’s at the same time a “win-win.”

With it being his last year, Mirsberger said he has goals for both on and off the pitch. It includes bringing back the first Big East title to Marquette since 2013. 

“This could be our shot at a Big East title and that’s just an unbelievable experience that I’d like to have,” Mirsberger said. 

Mirsberger is back to living his life as a student and a soccer player, but he will always have the memories of winning FOX’s “Beat Shazam” with Jamie Foxx.

“If anyone ever asks what a fun fact about you is, I think I have a pretty good one to say,” Mirsberger said. 

This story was written by Catherine Fink and she can be reached at [email protected]