No football means more time for college classes, gardening

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From professional football to little league baseball, athletes of all sizes and skills have had to adapt to life without their respective sports.

FC Cincinnati should be well into their Major League Soccer season, but the novel coronavirus pandemic has kept players off the pitch with plenty of free time at home.

Midfielders Fatai Alashe and Caleb Stanko spoke to the media via conference call on Thursday and they each painted an interesting picture of what their daily lives look like.

Both still stationed in Cincinnati, they try to make the most of their time at home.

The extra time off meant more time for TV and video games, and of course, keeping fit, but it also allowed Alashe and Stanko to continue their education.

Both take online courses. Alashe, who holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Michigan State University, is taking two online courses from the University of Cincinnati, toward earning a master’s degree in business administration. Stanko is taking an online course through Liberty University as he pursues a degree in corporate finance.

“I know we both took lessons during pre-season, so it was never really an issue when it came to time management,” Alashe said. “It’s more about taking some of the free time I had before and trying to put it to good use.”

Stanko said: “I have more time to focus on school, so that part is nice. My grades have gone up a bit, but like what (Fatai) said, football is number one. C It’s our job, so it’s always come first.

Stanko has also cultivated a gardening habit recently to go along with his responsibilities as owner of two rental properties.

“I gardened – I plant vegetables,” laughed Stanko. “My mom kind of pushed me into this. She loves gardening.

“It’s my first time owning it. I bought the house in November and the guy renting it is actually a professional Bengals football player.”

Stanko, who also rents out Airbnb property, didn’t disclose which Bengals player was renting to him, but said he was super nice.

Play without supporters?

As people try to figure out what the sports will look like when they return, many have wondered if they will be played without fans in the stands.

It’s a strange situation due to the fact that players want to compete and start playing their sport again, but what if it’s at the cost of an empty stadium.

“I don’t think any football player wants to play without fans,” Stanko said. “I thrive on having fans… playing without fans would definitely be a challenge. It would almost feel like a friendly or a youth game, so I wouldn’t like that, especially during the season, playing for three points.

“I see Germany will probably do it. I’ve spoken with some of my friends there and they’re all saying the same thing too. They’re finishing their season so it’s going to be weird… but I think it will be for the short term, so hopefully we can get the fans back as soon as possible.”

TV recommendations

Stanko said he and his fiancé recently finished “Tiger King” on Netflix and “Hunters” on Amazon, both of which he loved.

Alashe, who is working on improving his Fortnite skills, recommended ‘Money Heist’ and ‘Formula One: Drive to Survive’ on Netflix. He said he also watched “Love Island” a lot with his girlfriend.

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