The Gut Check for March 24, 2020: Pandemic Edition Part 2
Hope everyone believes that Adam Silver is doing a better job at crisis management than the POTUS, this is the Gut Check. My name is Shawn Cripps and I’m a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) by day and a DFS player by night. I’ve been playing DFS for the past 5-6 years, mostly on FanDuel, but I’ve started to dabble a bit with DraftKings. I’ve played mostly NFL, NBA and MLB but have tried other sports like XFL, WNBA, PGA and MMA. I’m not a high stakes player by any means, just really doing this for the fun of it (at most, probably $50-$200 a night with most of my action in GPPs). I’ve won a few GPPs with my approach over the years and hopefully you can take something away from what I write! I find that this blog is a great way to start your day. Now let’s get started!
That first paragraph has been my introduction to you for the better part of my blogs. It’s almost surreal that it’s been 12 days since my last blog post. I happened to read Mike’s (Mr. sochoice) two blog posts from a couple of days ago and it really is therapeutic to write sometimes. We’re all in the same boat here with COVID-19. I happen to live in the small province of New Brunswick, one of the eastern Maritime provinces in Canada. As of today, we have only 17 confirmed cases out of a population of roughly 770,000 people, but we have also been just testing those who have recently travelled out of country so that confirmed number should be much higher. I live in a small local service district called Tabusintac (try saying that quick 5 times) and I happen to have my workplace and office about 50 minutes away in a small city called Miramichi (again try saying that quickly 5 times). Our politicians have had non-essential government services (which I am a part of) shut down for the past 7 days. Small businesses, bars, theatres, malls shut down relatively soon after that. In Tabusintac, I am actually considered a “mayor” by proxy as I’m part of a local advisory committee of 5 residents that can make decisions that impact our community on behalf of the Minister of Environment & Local Government. I am considered the chairman of this committee and residents have even called me the mayor. So I’ve had press releases and emails and other communications since the outbreak has taken shape.
Day-to-day life for me has been for the most part working from home but I have had two out of the seven days where I’ve driven the 50 minutes to my office in Miramichi. As an accountant, I still have responsibilities with outside auditors to get financial statements done. Evidence is needed to be collected for auditors to do their job and most of that stuff is in Miramichi unfortunately. The organization that I work for is not necessarily considered a provincial government organization but it is funded by neighbouring municipalities and our organization takes care of planning/building permits and our garbage/recycling programs. We’re called a regional service commission and there are 13 such organizations around the province that handle these programs. We’re fortunate to work from home for the most part but also able to be paid our regular salaries while we’re in isolation. I’m also the one who pays those salaries for my fellow employees and pays the bills to our small business providers, so there’s a heavy burden on my shoulders during the downturn. All the while, making sure we receive the monies from municipalities (who are also working with a skeleton crew) to be able to pay the bills. A delicate balance indeed!
Besides the “mayorial” responsibilities and my main job responsibilities, I also have a side business where I have several small businesses as their bookkeeper and also do about 40 personal tax returns at this time of year. The DFS timeout and this downturn has actually helped me find the time to do all of that. I’ve had this side gig since my days as a public practice accountant (joys of being a CPA in public practice) where you build a certain level of trust with your clients, so much so that they follow you wherever you go. With the crisis and the levels of federal/provincial programs that are becoming available in the coming weeks/months, I’m in a unique position to offer advice to my clients and others in this downturn.
I do all of this while having a loving wife and three young children at home, ages 11, 9 & 6. They haven’t had school for close to two weeks now, so they’re running a little ragged at times. But we are all doing our part, going out to play once in a while, but also only going out for essentials like groceries and medications (and not as a group). My trips to Miramichi have happened to accomplish that goal for groceries/medications along with some work. We should all heed that information for the time being, going out only when necessary.
As far as to how long I think we’ll be without sports, I remain the eternal optimist. I’m thinking NBA will start back up but probably not until early May at the earliest. I would think MLB will start regular season games in late-May, early June and probably with a reduced schedule. I don’t think the NHL will totally cancel their season as I would love to see the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but I’m thinking a May startup. If things go well, the NFL should be able to start up on time. But again, I’m the eternal optimist.
Stay safe everyone, looking forward to when we start back up again. Thanks for reading!