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Quarantine Q&A: Harrison Phillips


How are you staying connected with your family and friends?

My group chats are probably a little more popular than they've been in the past. FaceTime is a great way to stay involved. I know 'House Party.' I've done a couple 'House Parties.' On Mother's Day we did it with my whole dad's side of the family. So, just ways like that…Those are the things that I've been using.

What shows are you currently watching?

I binge watched 'Waco' in two days and obviously 'Tiger King.' But, currently, I'm waiting on Sunday releases of 'The Last Dance' and watching an episode or two of 'The Office' at night.

I know you were writing a book. Are you finished with that and are you reading any books?

Yes, the book for The Playmakers is done. It's in publishing. I think they said 60 days until completion is the last I heard. The books I've been reading, one is called 'The Captain Class' by Sam Walker. It's titled 'A New Theory of Leadership.' The other book I'm in the middle of right now is called 'Zero to One' by Peter Thiel – that's 'Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.' And then another book that I read was 'The Hard Thing About Hard Things.' 

When COVID-19 happened, I reached out to a few of my very successful mentors that I met at Stanford – one of them works of the biggest venture capitalist firms in the world. Another one is a vice president at Facebook and another one owns the business school at Nebraska. I asked all of them, 'Do you have a book that you suggest me to read?' So, they all sent me a couple of the ones I'm starting with.

How are you keeping up with the "extras" like haircuts, etc.?

For haircuts, my girlfriend, and her mom, I gave them the chance to do it. They did a good job. I did that about two weeks ago and I had them cut it short enough that hopefully I won't need another one for a couple weeks. I've been doing the grocery shopping for my family, just because I didn't want my mom and dad to go to grocery stores.

What's the first thing you're going to do when you get out of quarantine?

I would say, go to Ilio DiPaolo's [Restaurant & Banquet Facility]. Then, I'm a movie buff, so get back to the movie theaters.

What's the last thing you ordered online?

I'm not a big online shopper but the last thing I ordered was a book – one of those books.

What is your favorite room in your house right now?

I'm living in my parents' house – my parents are lower-middle class. This is a one-bedroom house. I live in a storage room. I tell people that all the time and they never understood it until I gave a tour of my house and my bed is on a concrete slab, pushed against brick walls with no windows or anything. It's literally a storage room. So, that's actually my favorite room because one, it's just hilarious because I'm an NFL football player. They assume this lavish lifestyle and I'm sleeping in a storage room. But number two, I get the best sleep I've ever gotten anywhere in my life – it's cold, it's dark and there's no sun that gets in. If I didn't have alarms to wake me up, I could sleep until three in the afternoon and think it's eight in the morning. It's incredible in there.

Do you play video games? If so, what's your go-to video game?

I do not play video games. I would not say I'm a video game guy. However, in Buffalo I have 'Fortnite,' but I'm not there. Here in Omaha, I dug out my Xbox that's 10 years old and I've been playing NCAA 2007. That's the only game that I've played this entire quarantine.

What's your go-to outfit?

Well, I wear sweatpants to church and to a fancier steakhouse and all the nice places. So, nothing's really changed for me. I wear sweats and a Bills shirt 99% of the days – I think I've even gone golfing in sweatpants. I don't own a pair of jeans to this day.

What's your go-to snack?

Some type of protein bar. I'm trying to put on weight right now. I like these protein bars that my mom gets. Otherwise, chocolate milk is always a good one.

What's your go-to social media platform?

Still Instagram for me. I'm proud to say that whatever quarantine day [we're on], I have not downloaded TikTok yet.

What's your go-to takeout meal?

My go-to takeout meal is probably Chinese food right now. We've got a really good Chinese spot here in Omaha and I don't have a great one in Buffalo, so I'm taking advantage of it before I go back.

How else are you passing the time?

The last thing is, my family, like I said, we fell on some hard times. My dad was unemployed for like two years, then lost his job again in '08. So, we had to move. Well, now they've been saving well enough that they just bought a new house. They're going to move into that house while I'm gone in Buffalo this summer – in a month. So, I've been boxing up a bunch of stuff. I filled two entire pods full of furniture and boxes for my family. We had a showing on the house that we're in now, so [I've been] cleaning. That's been taking up some time too.

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