Jack Youngblood, NFL Hall of Famer, on how coronavirus has changed his daily routine

Apr 14, 2020


Quarantine Routine is a regular feature that asks political, business, sports and entertainment power brokers how their daily lives have changed -- and how they're still doing their jobs -- during the coronavirus crisis.

Just like everyone else across the United States, Jack Youngblood is dealing with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Youngblood, the No. 20 pick in the 1971 NFL Draft, played his entire 14-year career with the Los Angeles Rams during the '70s and '80s. He was a first-team All-Pro selection five times, and is only one of five players from the 1971 draft class to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Youngblood, who was famously known for playing the entire 1979 playoffs, including the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl, with a broken leg, told Fox News on Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything in his daily life.

Youngblood went into more detail about his life in a Q&A with Fox News.

Former University of Florida great, Jack Youngblood, is honored during a pregame ceremony Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida on September 30, 2006. (Photo by J. Meric/WireImage)
Former University of Florida great, Jack Youngblood, is honored during a pregame ceremony Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida on September 30, 2006. (Photo by J. Meric/WireImage)

Fox News: How has your daily routine changed since social distancing measures began?

Youngblood: We are here in Winter Park, Fla. And the most that it has done for me, it has slowed down my life. Usually, you hit the floor running and you have 16 different things to do. I’ve got stuff that I’m doing down here in Orlando, and I have a farm up in Jefferson County [Florida] that I’ve had all of my life. But now we can’t handle all of that stuff at one time.

It really pushed us backward. Not just me and my family, but this whole country. Everybody has got it back into first gear. They don’t have the gas pedal to the floor anymore. That’s the big thing that I see. And that’s not America. That’s not us. We are going to change this thing, and turn this thing around. And I firmly believe it’s going to be phenomenal what we do when we finally get ahold of this invisible thing that is killing us. And stop it and kill it. And get it out of the way so we can continue on being the country that we are.

Fox News: What are the biggest challenges in doing your job during this crisis?

Youngblood: I’m basically retired. I don’t have a job. I have the farm up in Monticello, my old hometown. I have 200 acres up there, and it takes some time to take care of something like that.

My wife Barbara, she has complicated lungs because of pneumonia. She had pneumonia three times in a row, within the course of a year and a half. I have to stay here with her just in case. I don’t want her to be by herself. I’m about two and a half hours away from my farms. Every two weeks I’d run up there, spend 3-4 days up there and then turn around and come back.

Fox News: What do you miss the most about how you did your job before this began?

Youngblood: The lack of control. It’s like somebody has a collar on you. And it has a short leash, and you have to obey. Those are the main things. It has changed how we live our lives. Every aspect of it.

Fox News: What surprised you most about how life has changed?

Youngblood: There’s going to be new things that come into play. It’s going to be similar to how we did things after 9/11. We changed a lot of things and a lot of ways with how we do business. It changed the way we traveled in this country. And I think this may be as bad, if not worse. The "man hug" will be out of the equation. That’s not going to happen. You can still be polite. And people know and will understand, and accept the fact that you respect me, and I respect you. So, that’s the reason we can’t do some of the fundamentals that we used to do.

Fox News: How do you blow off steam?

Youngblood: They closed my gym down. That’s like a stab in the heart. I’m a long-time player. I had a schedule every day of what I was going to do. And we trained and conditioned at 4 p.m. every day. And I’ve continued that until today in my life. I can’t run anymore, but I can get out and walk. The exercise is one of the big issues with me in my daily routine. I was still training like how I was playing, just not nearly as heavy with weights. You've got to realize when you’re 70, you got to slow down a little bit.

Dan Canova is a Sports Reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @DanCanova

Read the original article on Fox News.


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