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Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Blizzard or Bust?

by Jen Polvogt

Ah, springtime in Colorado. The corner has finally been turned, and Coloradans are looking ahead to temperatures gradually rising into the 60s and 70s. We finally get to break out of our houses and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Hiking, biking, taking leisurely walks, going to the park, playgrounds and the mountains. All of those activities are available during colder months, of course, but it’s not nearly as pleasurable to experience until the spring. And, after a long “COVID-19 winter,” we were especially excited to get outside.

Then, bam!

Out of nowhere, we were hit with a record-breaking blizzard this past weekend. It was the fourth largest in Colorado history, and we found ourselves stuck inside, again. We all expect one last big storm in the spring, but it’s generally a quick falling of the flakes that melt quickly. Blizzard snow is quite different, however. It’s wet and heavy. It knocks out the power and breaks tree limbs. It takes days to dig out of and comes with hours of back-breaking snow shoveling.

The news stations were abuzz with predictions prior to the storm. Some weather models were showing possibilities of anywhere from 10-60 inches. We prayed for the 10 inches but prepared for the 60 inches. Our 3-year-old son was slated to stay the night at my parents’ house, so we packed extra clothes just in case we got snowed in. It’s a good thing we did because he ended up staying two nights.

We hit up the grocery store and the liquor store (priorities, right?), and the shelves at the grocery store looked eerily similar to the same time last year when the world went into lockdown. But we stocked up on essentials and hunkered down in anticipation of a major snowstorm.

We woke up on Sunday morning, and there was a light dusting. What? Where was all the snow? We had food, booze and toilet paper to last us a lifetime, and there was no snow to reward us for our frenzied attempts at preparation. It continued to flurry as we eagerly watched the news and saw a myriad of closures scroll across the bottom of the screen. Churches, schools and government offices were preparing for doomsday and closed their doors for two days. But, why? There was barely any snow!

I checked in with my parents (who live five miles away), and they were experiencing the same weather. And then it happened. The snow started falling harder and with the speed akin to a rainstorm. The winds started picking up, and the snow was swirling like a tornado. The inches of snow stacked on each other quickly, and we realized the weather people were finally right and their predictions were coming true! We still didn’t know how much snow we would get, but we measured every hour or so. Two inches, then six inches, then 11 inches, then 16 inches, and by the time we went to bed, we were sitting pretty at 24 inches.

Our patio furniture with 20″ of snow.

It continued to snow throughout the night, and we woke up to 27 inches of snow. As mentioned previously, it was the fourth largest snowstorm in Colorado history, and we had the pleasure of digging ourselves out of it. The snow was too heavy for the snowblower, so we were stuck shoveling by hand.

When we purchased our house, one of the selling features was that the driveway had enough parking for 11 vehicles. That’s great and all, until you have to shovel an 11-car space worth of snow. Nonetheless, we got after it. One hour and 28-minutes, 640 burned calories, broken backs and seized arm muscles later, we were done. The driveway was finally cleared, and we were able to brave the streets to go get our son from my parents’ house.

All-in-all, we actually had a great time. We never lost power. We watched movies, ate popcorn, slept in and enjoyed each other’s company. We turned the blizzard of 2021 into a positive situation and will have fond memories of our weekend. My parents had a great time with our son, and we were able to commiserate about shoveling the snow. Again, we turned lemons into lemonade. We should be done with the snow until after the summer and are looking forward to warmer weather in our future!

Now that we’ve hung up our shovels for the season, we’re free to concentrate on the futures of NFL free agents and their landing spots. Without further ado, let’s talk about some football.

Jen’s Friday Night Insights: Talking NFL Free Agency Moves

NFL free agency started this week, and a lot has happened already. First, let’s take a look at the New England Patriots.

New England Patriots

Holy cap space, Batman! New England had the second most cap space in the league heading into NFL free agency. Head coach Bill Belichick wasted no time going on a shopping spree of talent for his team. Focusing on bolstering the offense first, the Patriots signed Hunter Henry (tight end, three years, $37.5 million), Jonnu Smith (tight end, four years, $50 million), Kendrick Bourne (wide receiver, three years, $22.5 million), Nelson Agholor (wide receiver, two years, $22 million) and another $132 million in defensive contracts.

That’s insane! However, after last years’ debacle when the Patriots went 7-9, there’s no way Belichick was going to let Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers show him up again. It’s no surprise that the Patriots are strolling down the “Rodeo Drive” of the NFL and spending all their money. I believe they will be a force to be reckoned with in 2021.

Next up, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB, Washington Football Team)

Who doesn’t love Ryan Fitzpatrick? Nicknamed “Fitzmagic,” the guy has started for eight NFL teams, a record for quarterbacks. He’s also thrown a touchdown for each team, which is also a record. I love this move for him.

After he ended the season with the Miami Dolphins and wasn’t invited to come back for the 2021 season, Washington snatched him up. I’m excited to see what he’ll do with head coach Ron Rivera, as well as his new offensive line.

Washington also picked up wide receiver Curtis Samuel for three years and $34.5 million. That means Fitzpatrick now has some outstanding offensive weapons, also including Logan Thomas (tight end) Antonio Gibson (running back) and Terry McLaurin (wide receiver). Fitzpatrick still has gas in the tank, and while he’s a bridge for Washington to find their “forever” QB, he’ll prove to be an asset.

I always end my columns with a game day drink, and this one is no different. 

I’m here to join the conversation, drink in hand and watch these NFL free agency announcements unfold. Cheers! 

Drink Recipe for the Month:

Mommy’s Ready for Spring

  • 1.5 oz Chambord
  • 1 oz raspberry-flavored vodka
  • 3 oz white wine
  • Sprite
  • Combine Chambord, vodka and white wine in a wine glass with ice and top with Sprite
  • Garnish with 2-3 raspberries

Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter for more motherly and fantasy sports advice @JenPolvogt.

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