Amid the ongoing quarantine, we’ve often heard that athletes are getting by just like we are during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re forced to stay at home with their families, trying to ride out the storm away from the court, field or ice, where we’re normally used to seeing them amaze us with their athletic abilities.
Right now, they’re just like us, right?
Case in point: this video from Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews’ Instagram.
Yep, that’s Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen setting up Matthews with a rooftop assist on an alley-oop pool dunk. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t look too similar to the daily routine I’ve fallen into over the past six weeks.
The obvious difference between Matthews and the rest of us would have to be the gleaming, all-white mansion in Arizona that he calls home. From what you can see in the background of the video, it looks like a pretty sweet pad to quarantine in. Andersen, who is staying with Matthews after being unable to return home to Denmark, is probably just fine with the arrangements.
Even fellow Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell caught a bit of FOMO when he saw the clip.
“I love those guys, they’re awesome,” he said in a call with reporters on Thursday. “We’ve been texting once a week or so and just staying in the loop and it looks like they’re having a good time… I’m pretty jealous of Austin’s setup. I wish I had that here in L.A. but I’ll definitely be getting some laughs in with them soon.”
The second difference would be Matthews’ technique. Nobody knows how many takes it took the pair to get it right, but they make the rooftop alley-oop look easy. The way Matthews slams the ball down with conviction, sending it flying across the other side of the pool, is truly something to behold. Andersen deserves credit for the assist as well, putting it on a dime for Matthews to finish.
According to Andersen, the two were planning on trying to do some hockey drills at Matthews’ at-home sports court with the NHL season still on pause. Maybe they’ve been doing that off-camera, or maybe those plans got temporarily shelved in favor of working on these trick shots. Either way, it’s clear they’re using this free time to hone their talents in other sports besides hockey.
So the next time you hear someone say athletes are “just like us” during this pandemic, just remember: they’re not.