FC Dallas forward Zdenek Ondrasek is as bored and stir-crazy as the rest of us, but the man better known as "Kobra" is doing his best to provide us with the content we could all use during these times.
Kobra is quarantined with his fiance and his mini-Australian shepherd, Buddy, at their apartment in Addison, Texas, and with all the time on their hands, the trio have joined the masses in passing the time via TikTok. And Buddy has emerged as the star of the show, even if he doesn't know exactly what's going on.
"It's actually unbelievable, we found it two weeks ago and we knew the videos we just didn't know about the app," Ondrasek said on a Tuesday conference call via Zoom. "We spent five hours straight on it, to be honest, five hours straight just TikTok and it was great. So, that's our new hobby. It's fun. It's for free, why not? You have to be home, so why not? It's fun, if you have dogs or cats or puppies, get them involved so they are happy when you play with them and try something new. I love it, that's our new hobby."
When he's not creating dog content, Ondrasek is playing lots of Apex and Call of Duty and streaming shows, much like the rest of the country, and shared a few takes on the content they're currently consuming.
"It's crazy, I never imagined this would happen," Ondrasek said. "To be honest, without my girl, dog and PlayStation I would be crazy, even more than I am. So I'm happy I have them here. The days are pretty much like everyone's, I guess, just walk the dog, PlayStation, work out, and watch TV.
"We watched Ozark, we started to watch the new ones, but it didn't take me like before. Before we were watching it like a normal TV show, you know, 'Ok, one more, it ended well so one more' and it's on until 3 am. But the new ones, they didn't take me in as much as before. We watch Vikings. I love Vikings. Dalia is still for Game of Thrones. Maybe I didn't like it as much because I loved Vikings too much. Game of Thrones — I don't know. It's dope, of course, but I just didn't watch all of them. I was disappointed in Vikings my second-favorite character died, so I said I will never watch it again."
The MLS season suspension has also afforded Ondrasek some more time to recover from dental surgery he underwent just before the postponement.
The origin of the issue is actually a crazy story: When he was 15, Ondrasek was playing soccer with friends in his home village in the Czech Republic. While running full speed and taking a shot, he crashed face-first into a nearby wheelbarrow, knocking out four of his teeth. The only dentist that would perform the procedure he needed was 60-70 miles away, forcing him to make the commute. Two years later, a couple more teeth in his bottom row died, probably due to the same hit, requiring more surgery and implants.
He needed another procedure before the start of the 2020 season, but opted to wait until and international break, and played in FC Dallas' first two games of the season, notching two goals and an assist. The surgery was performed just before the season was suspended and Ondrasek said his recovery is going well.
As for his message for the young fans and soccer players throughout the country who are missing the game as much as he is, Ondrasek said it's simply about taking the guidelines in place seriously, and that soccer can come back faster if everyone commits to doing so.
"I would just say, I know it's not easy, you can't go out and play soccer with your friends," he said. "But you can still do what you like to do, you can work out, you can kick the ball in the bedroom, you still have the ball, you can be happy. Just do what makes you calm, what makes you happy and try to just do what everyone says, to stay home, wash your hands and that's the way to get through this tough time. And then we can go back to our jobs, the things we love to do outside that we used to do everyday.
"I know it's not easy, but it's better to stay home, sitting on the sofa for a few weeks or months straight and then go back to normal life, then [not to commit to it], and it gets worse and it's just doing to take longer. So, I would say do whatever you can love to do, do it at home, there is always something you can do. Stay fit, work out, that's the best thing to forget about everything, focus on your body and how to get better and we will get through this. But the question is how long it takes, it's just up to us people."