The 2020 coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It has taken my life as I knew it and thrown it in a blender.
Aside from the fact that I can’t leave my house, the most unbearable part is there are no live sports on television. The National Basketball Association was the first to postpone play. While that was upsetting, what came next broke my heart. The National Hockey League postponed their season.
The St. Louis Blues chance to repeat as Stanley Cup champions has had to be postponed to a later date. I’ve watched Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals three separate times while in quarantine, and each time is as exhilarating as the last. Aside from watching it live, of course.
ESPN is releasing two hours of their new Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” every Sunday night. Sports Twitter finally has something we can all watch and argue about again. I think I speak for every fan of the documentary when I say they could release all 10 hours now and we would watch them consecutively. It is not like we have anywhere else to be or anything else to do.
I love watching the documentary with my dad, who is very stingy in believing that Michael Jordan is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). The documentary has not changed my perception of Jordan, just added to my prior thinking that he is a pompous jerk who gets away with being rude because he can put a ball in a hoop.
Watching old Blues hockey games and countless “ESPN 30 for 30s” is how I have kept myself sane during this difficult time. My personal recommendation for ESPN films is “Chasing Tyson,” which covers Evander Holyfield’s quest to fight the most polarizing figure in boxing, “Iron” Mike Tyson.
I also ran through multiple shows on Netflix, including “Tiger King,” “The Office,” and “That 70’s Show.” Every person who has watched “Tiger King” could fill up pages ranting about it. I won’t bore any of you with the details. I’m sure you’ve either watched it or already heard too much about it.
Nowadays, all my days are the same. Wake up and do schoolwork for a couple hours. Go on a bike ride in the afternoon, while wearing a mask with no contact with any other people.
After dinner, my family has picked up the habit of playing board or card games. The countless games of UNO get very contentious, so I prefer to play Yahtzee or even SkipBo. I even played in an online trivia match with my sister, which also ended up extremely contentious. Then, I stay in contact with my friends from Ole Miss and high school by playing PlayStation until I go to sleep.
Finally, I go to sleep and run the whole thing back the next day. There are no weekdays, or weekends. Every day feels like a Sunday with school the next day, except we go to school from the comfort of our own beds.
The highlight of my family’s quarantine is an easy one. We welcomed a new dog to the family. My sister, Madison, and her husband, Alex, purchased a chocolate lab puppy a few days ago. They traveled to Oxford from Washington, D.C. to get the last puppy at the shelter.
Archie, the eight pound newest member of the family, has brought much needed laughter into our household. With three dogs and six people, our house is getting extremely cramped. But the new dog has given us a break in our monotonous quarantine lives, and is quite possibly keeping the outbursts to a minimum.
There are plenty of things I miss about being on campus at Ole Miss. It would be nearly impossible to pick just one. But if I was forced to choose one, I miss the walks through the most beautiful campus in America the most.
I miss seeing people and conversing every day. I have not even seen my roommate in seven weeks. We lived together for months, and at the drop of a hat, we no longer live together.
Easily, my least favorite part of transferring to mobile school is the online classes. I took multiple in high school and swore I would never do it again.
Online classes are not for everyone. I personally do not enjoy them. I do not feel as if I learn the material, and I would rather have my teachers telling me to do my work than my mom. You get so used to a certain way of life, and then you leave for spring break and never come back.
In the end, quarantine life is not so bad. We might not have sports or personal interactions. But we have a lot of streaming services and a new puppy.
Cole Catalano is a freshman at the University of Mississippi, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. While Ole Miss was an obvious choice after moving to Oxford at age 17, he has multiple reasons for choosing this university.
His grandfather was a professor at the university for over 30 years. His parents both graduated from Ole Miss, as did his older sister. He has been attending Ole Miss sporting events since shortly after birth. He includes the 2016 Sugar Bowl and 2013 Music City Bowl as some of his favorite sports memories.
Catalano is a journalism major, which also played a role in his decision to attend the University of Mississippi. He decided at a young age he would like to be a journalism major after realizing how much he enjoys writing and covering sporting events. His dream job is a sports reporter or sports blogger.
Growing up in St. Louis, he has a passion for hockey, specifically, the St. Louis Blues. He was lucky to attend Game 6 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final and the 2017 NHL Winter Classic. He includes these as some of his fondest memories.
Catalano transferred to Ole Miss the spring of his freshman year after attending Northwest Mississippi Community College to play football. He is still hoping to continue his football career at a four-year university.
While only a freshman, he is focused on earning his journalism degree in four years. He hopes to earn a specialization in sports while minoring in sports administration or sports rec.