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Free For All Friday: Combating the Quarantine

JP and Jerry are back to tell you how they’re getting through their quarantine

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

JP: Oh Jerry, we’re in the midst of the apocalypse. This is an SOS. You alive? You survivin over there? How’s #quarantinelife treatin ya?

Jerry: JP, my friend, welcome to the Thunder Dome baby! As I am writing this, I am working my way through my first official week of #QuarantineLife. As someone that works in transportation/trucking/produce, we were an essential business and our team needed to be in the office to best communicate with farms, drivers, customers, etc. It was odd being one of the few people on the road and maneuvering outside of the home. Last Monday through Thursday, the numbers around us dwindled until it was literally nine of us left.

For anyone in a corporate office, imagine everything booming on a Monday and then every single day, half the people you’re so used to seeing/avoiding just... go away. It was like the Leftovers. The parking lot, once bustling, basically had tumbleweeds blowing in the wind. The white noise offices pump into buildings were basically burning a hole in my ears. The phones just stopped ringing.

So here I am, sweating from my first trip acquiring rations from our local Costco and Target and hoping my internet doesn’t collapse with my wife, my sister in law, all of my TV’s, my X-Box, phones and now my work computer all running at once.

But enough about me JP. How are you? How is Quarantine life with not one, not two, but three children? How are you dealing with this?

JP: Buddy, I can’t think of a better way to describe this than Thunder Dome. I’ve now been working from home for nearly two weeks and it’s taken me almost a full week just to get back to you. As someone in the financial industry, the last three weeks or so have been a complete and utter sh*t show. Working in an unfinished basement with three kids under 5 not understanding that you’re not just home to play is less than ideal when financial markets are blowing up one day and then ripping higher the next is…. less than ideal.

Word to the wise: don’t look at your retirement plan for a few months. Seriously.

And if you’re stuck at home with the wife and three kids, pick up a drinking habit. It’s keeping me afloat both figuratively and literally (I’ve probably put on 8 pounds so far on this journey thanks to an inability to continue fasting when surrounded by snacks and no time to run). It’s to the point my two year old just asked me, mid-afternoon, if he could get me a beer. He proceeded to go to the mini-fridge which has been strategically placed next to my desk and grabbed me “a blue one”. He’s a good kid.

Drink and pray for good weather. Our good days have been those where Mother Nature has allowed our kids to go outside for any meaningful period of time. Unfortunately, that’s been all of like 2 days and I totally relate to this dude:

In all seriousness, I may be going slightly mad from the 16-17 hour days I’ve been spending logged in trying to keep up with work, but there have been some major benefits. I’ve gotten back the hour+ I typically spend each day in my car (listening to SpoCo Radio, of course) and have spent more time with my kids the last two weeks than I typically would in two months. I watched my youngest crawl for the first time and taught my oldest how to ride a bike – both things I would have missed while in the actual office. Now, if we could just get this whole thing resolved in the next couple weeks so I keep my sanity and we don’t have to lie to the two year old about when his birthday is.

Jerry: If only my puppy could focus long enough for me to teach him how to get me “a blue one”, this quarantine would be much, much better.

Can I just tell you real quick how I’ve had to get creative filling my time at home? So far I’ve:

1. Painted the house

2. Bought and built a basketball hoop

3. Taped out lines to show me where to shoot free throws and college three pointers)

4. Played with my dog

5. Grilled

6. Laundry

7. Played Madden, got bored of Madden, played Star Wars, got bored of Star Wars

8. Shot free throws

9. Bathed my dog

10. Shot more free throws

11. Drank beer

12. Worked

13. Read a book

14. Talked about finances with my wife

15. Fluffed pillows

16. Watched any college sports rerun that has been on TV

17. Shot more free throws

Again, JP... it’s been less than a week since I’ve been WFH and I’ve already burned through pretty much everything I could think of to keep me busy. Outside of learn Mandarin, I don’t know what else I should be doing. I’m worried that if I’m still in this house with a return date of May that I might honestly go insane. Hell, it might have already happened because during my rewatches of classic college games, I’ve started to realize officiating is hard work and that those guys are just trying to do there best.



Jerry, this quarantine business is doing wacky things to everyone’s brain, but that’s where I draw the line. You’re taking the side of officials now? Come on, man! Has it really been that long since you watched Luka Garza get pushed all over the court and fouled 3, 4, 5 times before making a bucket, only to get called for some ticky tack BS on the other end? Have you forgotten how Big Ten teams defended Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick the back half of the season? Those guys were dragging stage 5 clingers all over the court and somehow CJ is the one getting called for an offensive foul at Illinois. You’ve got Illinois players trying to elbow Connor McCaffery in the face and Connor is getting T’d up.

Now, as to the list of accomplishments, I’m impressed with your productivity. I’ve accomplished basically nothing around the house. We have a long list of things that need repaired, updated, etc. and I just haven’t gotten to any of them. But on that list is adding a new basketball hoop to the driveway. I can’t think of a better stress reliever right now than getting outside and letting some raindrops fall.

My only question is what the hell you’re doing shooting free throws? Those are worth 1 point buddy and ain’t nobody calling fouls in noon ball. Get outside the arc and let’s see the splashdown baby!

Jerry: Yes it’s been that long Jonah. I was watching on average probably 1.5 sporting event per day (and thats on the low end) for the last, what, 20 years (if not more). That’s nearly 11,000 games. 11,000, JP. I’m not saying I understand anything about addiction, but if you do something 11,000 times in a row and then take it away for a week, you become a different person.

And I’m shooting free throws because it keeps my form good. Going to the line and making 80% at 31 years of age is something I can be proud of. Now don’t get me wrong, i’m still working on other things, but as you can see, I need competition. And shooting 20 freebies at a time and pushing myself to be at least 16/20 every time keeps me sharp. It’s all about keeping my frame of my mind in the game.

Speaking of keeping your mind in the game, I know you ran a mini-combine with your two boys. What were the results and do we have some future Hawkeyes in the JPinIC household?

JP: Desperate times, Jerry. The weather in Eastern Iowa was less than ideal last week and my kids have way too much energy to burn. So yes, last Saturday we conducted the first annual CVL (CoronaVirus League) Draft Combine. There were only two participants after the 7 month old fell asleep during weigh ins.

As for the other two, I let them choose positions and we ran the gamut of measurements, vertical leap, broad jump, a “40 yard dash” which turned out to be a ~30 feet dash, a 5 pound bench press and a shuttle drill. The 3 cone drill was scheduled to be the final event but was cancelled due to in-fighting between prospects over who got to run the 40 first.

Here’s a look at the results:

RB1 (the 5 year old)

Ht: 44”

Wt: 39.5 lbs

Left Hand: 6.25”

Right Hand: 5.75”

Wingspan: 44’

Bench: 21 reps

Vertical: 6”

Broad Jump: 39”

40 (30 ft): 3.0

Shuttle: 4.2

LB1 (almost 3 year old)

Ht; 38”

Wt: 30.0 lbs

Left Hand; 4.75”

Right Hand: 5.25”

Wingspan: 37”

Bench: 8 reps

Vertical: 2”

Broad Jump: 10”

40 (30 feet): 3.19

Shuttle: 6.19

I think it’s safe to say neither is going to be a hoops star with those verticals and candidly, they are both well below 50th percentile for height and weight so unless we see a massive improvement in those 40 times, I’m not holding my breath on getting out of paying for college. The baby, on the other hand, is much more like I would have guessed with a 6’ tall wife and the amount of junk in my trunk. He’s off the charts big and weighs almost as much as the nearly 3 year old. Fighting for his life with the two older ones seems to bode well for his toughness and work ethic. Maybe we just get him going on the Frank Garza regimen now and he can support his older bros?

Jerry: If that’s the goal, which I fully support by the way, ship him to Jersey now. I’ve got a month and a new basketball hoop. I’ll have him doing lane slides with motivational bricks, using his left hand, perfecting the sky hook and yes, shooting free throws in no time.

Stay safe out there everybody... until next week, Happy Friday!