Like everyone, Tyrann Mathieu is adjusting to a new normal. He's practicing social distancing, staying in the house, and trying to get ready to play football in the Fall. With so much uncertainity and sports on hold for the foreseable future, this new normale is hitting everyone, including professional athletes. We had the opportunity to catch up with Tyrann to talk about how he's dealing with this new reality, how he's going to get ready for the season, why it's important to stay inside, and much more.
Mathieu is taking the entire situation in stride, while getting to spend more time with his family and getting ready for next season. He's not only urging everyone to stay inside, but to also be safe and practice social distancing so that we can all get through this together. "I just hope that this right here really opens everybody eyes just on a fundamental level of taking care of themselves, taking care of their loved ones, being mindful not only for themselves and their loved ones, but for the environment," he said over the phone.
Check out the conversation below.
What was your first reaction when you saw some sports leagues getting shut down?
I'll be honest with you, I knew it was serious, but at that point, I was working at the facility probably for the last month, a little bit over a month. Everything was going normal like any other regular off season. Then, I got with a few guys that were at the facility, we were told to stay away until everything cleared. Other than that, for us is, for me, it's been a regular off season outside of the Coronavirus. Just spending time with family, traveling a little bit. Pretty normal outside the virus itself.
Have you been able to still do your normal workout routine from home? A lot of guys were posting their workouts, trying to figure out how to stay in shape and everything.
Some guys have the luxury. They have probably enough money to be able to afford a home gym. For the most part, most of those guys live in condos and they don't have any backyards. Most of them are 20, 21-years-old, 22-years-old. They don't really have the luxury some of us veterans have. Even me, I just moved into this house in Kansas City and I got a make shift gym. It's not always set up so even me, I can't get the work that I need to get done because although I have the equipment, it's just not what I'm normally used to using.
I saw Case Keenum said he's throwing the ball to himself in the backyard because he just has no one to throw to so it's definitely different times.
Yeah. I'm used to working out with coaches. I've never been the guy to go with my groups, train with groups. I've always just stayed back and trained with my coaches, but it's tough working out by yourself, man. It's different. Keep yourself into it and like I said, just trying to work out in your basement, trying to workout on carpet, it's only so much you can really do.
How weird do you think it is for draft prospects? Obviously, when you came in you were able to go through the full combine, pro days, all that kind of stuff. They did the combine, but now, no pro-days or anything.
Yeah, it's weird. I really can't imagine what those guys are going through. Especially with the uncertainty. I'm pretty sure a lot of those guys expected to be millionaires by May. We don't know if that's going to be possible. I think about it from a lot of different perspectives. A lot of those guys took out credits, they're going to have to pay back their agents one day and you don't know who is taking care of these guys as the situation continues to develop because obviously they don't have the income yet. I worry about it from a lot of different angles. A lot of guys in the league look at me like the young veteran guy because I worry about that kind of stuff. I think it's going to impact not only guys in my position.
Yeah, I was about to bring up the financials of it. It's just such an up in the air type thing. NBA guys don't even know if they're going to get the second check in a few weeks.
Yeah, absolutely. I was worrying, not worrying, I was praying last night that just that these uncertain things don't roll over into family life. It is a lot going on. I don't know a lot of guys in the NBA, but I know a lot of guys in the NFL and I couldn't imagine if this happened in the NFL, during the NFL season. A lot of those guys, I don't want to say they live check to check, but they need that next check. Obviously, NBA players get paid a lot more, but still. I think the point is still the same. I think it's going to really impact people. I just hope it doesn't roll over into family life.
Have you begun to pick up any hobbies or anything with all this time in the house?
Actually, I got pretty lucky because I have the iPad so, I'm able to track and I'm able to stay focused and watch old games and different stuff like that to keep myself and try to keep myself locked in on what I do for a living. I think, for me it was really just spending time with the family, man. Not that I didn't before, but we've been getting closer. Even with my youngest son, he's a big football fan, he's into sports all the way around, but now it's like we've reconnected on a different level because I have really had the time to be with him every single minute of the day. It's been good. I've enjoyed it. Obviously, I wish he would take a couple more naps during the day. Other than that, for me I try to look at it as a positive, gain from it, take from it. some air. Then, I got a newborn too. I got a four month old. Whether, or not things are going on in the world, I still be at home. It's been fun spending a lot more time with my newborn and my fiancé as well.
Is it weird to turn on the TV and not see sports right now? People have been talking about Tom Brady for two weeks on sports shows because there's nothing else to talk about.
Yeah. It's weird. I was watching ... I got on my phone yesterday. I was on Twitter and I saw Joe Buck calling Twitter videos. I just could never imagine a world without sports. Sports has always been an escape, for me personally. It was our sanctuary were we could get away from everything. Go have a drink, excuse to go get something to eat, get away from whatever and nobody has that anymore. Maybe they impact lives or maybe they don't impact lives, but they were always somebody we could look forward to for something. We don't have anything to give them. I appreciate that I have a foundation and I'm able to impact them through there because 90% of my life has been about impacting people through sports and inspiring them through big plays and overcoming injuries. It's definitely different. It really put my purpose into perspective the last couple of weeks because if I don't have football, can I still impact people the way I want to? I'm very blessed to have a foundation. To be able to continue to impact people because I think this event is a realization that hey, we could live in a world without sports one day. How will we be able to react to that?
It definitely seems like a very much eye opening experience into how much do we don't control a lot of stuff when it comes down to it.
Oh, absolutely. I was thinking about it the other day. I just came off a Superbowl and you just feel so good about yourself and then real life things like this happen and you're like, I'm not as big as I thought I was. I'm not as impactful as I thought I was. I can't save people like how I thought I could save touchdowns. That's what I think about. I think this event is going to help push my foundation a whole lot further.
I think it's been very important for people to hear athletes talk about how important it is to stay inside, wash your hands, stay safe, practice social distancing. Have you felt like you need to use your voice to spread those things to help us all get past this?
Yeah. Well, I think is important. I think anytime we get good information and share it with people, that's never a bad thing. It doesn't matter what position in life you are in, you have good information you should always share that. I think this whole ordeal puts us back to our fundamentals of life. If you go outside and come back inside, wash your hands. It's just little things like that, that we tend to take for granted. I just hope that this right here really opens everybody eyes just on a fundamental level of taking care of themselves, taking care of their loved ones, being mindful not only for themselves and their loved ones, but for the environment. I think we all have a responsibility to protect the environment as best we can because we all live here and if any little thing goes wrong, it can affect all of us. I just hope that people understand that. I hope that I understand that a lot more.