LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville City FC midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo and ACC Network reporter Katie George share an apartment and a love of competition. So, when DelPiccolo’s USL season was delayed and George’s job with the ACC Network was put on pause when the league canceled spring sports due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, they still found a way to feed their competitive drives.
"We have created the next big thing in the sports world," George joked. "It’s called Spatula Tennis, AKA Spatnis."
Spatnis is just what it sounds like. DelPiccolo and George use spatulas as rackets and an ironing board as a net.
"Katie and I are both quite competitive, so we needed to go against each other," DelPiccolo said. "It was never going to be, ‘Let’s create something (or) let’s do a puzzle together,’ because you can’t compete in that."
DelPiccolo is optimistic he will get to compete on the soccer pitch sometime this season. The USL delayed the start of the 2020 campaign until at least May 10.
DelPiccolo believes that season will start … sometime.
"I think it will," he said. "I think, whether it’s with no fans for a while, I think there will be some soccer played this year."
George, a former WDRB Sports Reporter, was covering the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, when the conference announced that the tournament was canceled due to concerns over the new virus. The decision came as no surprise to her after other conferences had already chosen to do the same.
"I had heard from multiple people that some teams weren’t even going to show up on Thursday," George said. "Coaches didn’t feel comfortable bringing their teams to the coliseum."
When she returned to Louisville, George had hoped to see her brand new nephew. Instead, she’s staying put at home.
"I can’t see my parents right now," she said. "I can’t see my brother and sister-in-law because they just had a newborn baby, so they’ve technically quarantined me from my family for 14 days since I’ve been traveling so much with ACC basketball."
So, while the sports world waits to resume, George and DelPiccolo will keep passing the time on the Spatnis court, which is a rug in their living room.
"The game for sure gives us some kind of normalcy, brings some laughter, fun and some light levity to the situation," George said. "You can only watch the news, I think, for some many hours to keep up to date, because at some point it just gets sad and it’s a little scary."
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