COVID-19 #1: Peter, Jim, and Joe

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Peter Andrews is PSP’s managing editor and Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief. He has reported on the Union and U.S. national teams from fourteen different venues in the U.S. and Canada, and writes a regular column for PSP. He is a member of the California Bar, a Colorado resident, and a Delaware native. Follow him on Twitter @pfandrews.

Jim O’Leary is a freelance writer and social media savant who grew up in the Lehigh Valley but now opines on Philly soccer from upstate New York. Follow him on Twitter @thejimoleary, but be warned it’s only 60% soccer.

Joe Bertucci is a physical therapist working in the Philadelphia area out on the Main Line.  He grew up in South Jersey playing club soccer and played for four years at Arcadia University.  He later attended physical therapy school at Arcadia as well, and currently plays locally in the Casa League for South Philly United and at Starfinder in Manayunk.

These are their stories.

Peter Andrews
Six weeks ago I drove to Dallas to watch the Union’s season opener.  Stayed in hotels, ate at restaurants, interviewed Ale Bedoya from about two feet away.  Now the only soccer in my life is tossing squishy balls for my cat to chase around my apartment.

The cat is also the only living thing allowed within six feet of me.

Jim O’Leary

I work from home anyway, so strictly speaking my day-to-day hasn’t changed much. I get up at the same time I always did, wear the same clothes I always did, and do the same work I always did. Only real difference is my wife is here now, working in the living room. Which taken out of context is a nice change. My “real” job away from PSP is as a writer, working primarily in the outdoor industry. Short-term my clients are proceeding with business as usual. Online retail, product reviews, they’re all still proceeding as “normal”. But I know long-term there’s tremendous uncertainty. Will ski season be effected this winter? Will there be a ski season?

Maybe that’s why I’m not sleeping well. I say maybe because this isn’t the expected “sit up and worry” sleep problems I’m having. My evening routine remains unchanged. I shower, I read for a bit, I turn off the light. Except now instead of going right to sleep, I sit and think. Not about my family members who are in high-risk categories for COVID-19, not about the economic uncertainty I’m likely to face in about six months. Instead I’m thinking about how I could build a replica U2 spyplane in Kerbal Space Program (KSP, along with Age of Empires II, has become my go-to way to fill my all too abundant spare time lately). Maybe I’m getting myself too excited about the way I figured out to replicate the wildly impractical high-altitude jet, but that doesn’t seem to be it either.

Whatever the case, I’m not sleeping right. So during the day I’ve taken to working out a lot more than usual. At first it was an attempt to stay in shape for my recently promoted co-ed rec soccer team. When we started the shelter-in-place order up here in NY over a month ago, I was unquestionably the least fit player on my team. I hoped that I could avoid getting even worse, or maybe even catch up a little bit, with a few weeks off. But it’s been a few weeks since I thought of my runs as training for Team StickerMule. Now I’m doing it because physical exhaustion is the best sleep aid I know. So I run three miles, or ride my bike for thirty; that way when I go to bed at night I’ll actually get to sleep, making the next day a little bit easier to face.
Joe Bertucci

2 months ago it was flipping trough NBCsports, NBCSPhilly, ESPN, FS1 on TV and, PSP, ESPN FC, on the internet.  Now I find myself checking in for a few minutes once or twice a day at most, usually just scrolling by those channels since there is no sporting news to be seen.  Definitely a difference for me pre/post virus.


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    I could write for a long time about this and that and life and footy and and and… generally speaking I’m going to try to comment about how they are interrelated on this page.
    Hopefully nobody responds with the ‘there is more important stuff in the world answer.’
    No shit.
    Let’s all agree… that is a given …so save us the righteous indignation. If you’re visiting this page still— its for a semblamnce of normalcy and if the commenting isn’t constructive go pound sand and tune in to the mass media driven insanity instead. Likely where you are best served. There. I said it.
    Now…. for the important shit. Whatver world football decides is fine by me as regarding the current season champions and relegations promotions, UEFA Champions League etc etc.
    Here is one thing I am sure of…. Liverpool deserve to be Barclay League Champions for one inarguable factor and one factor only. If they were to lose EVERY remaining game of a continued season, they would STILL have a one point margin of victory as the champion atop the standings. That sort of utter domination in a shortened-pandemic fuck all of a season is different than any other league leader.
    Award Liverpool the title they have shown beyond reasonable or verifiable doubt they have won. I like Liverpool and don’t even consider me a Liverpool supporter. But right is right. Thank you.

    • Jim O'Leary says:

      I don’t follow your logic. If Liverpool were to lose their nine remaining games, and Man City were to win their ten remaining games, Man City finishes five points ahead of Liverpool. Leicester could also pass them. On paper at least.

      I’m with you on the “Liverpool was obviously the best team this season” front, but your math just doesn’t support your claim that their position is inarguable.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Quite possible Jim. Thought I figured it out that Liverpool could lose every game and still win the league. If I’m wrong then good on you for calling it.

  2. I’m hope we get some live footy at Subaru Park. But if not so be it! Yes …just give Liverpool the dang trophy!
    I have been doing lots of little projects around the house. Mostly because my bride is in health care and the changes help her mood. Also I shop for my Mom. She’s 87 so she’s not out in this.
    I truly hope that everyone stays safe. And Pete…keep throwing the ball to the cat…his/her positioning in the pic looks pretty good!

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