Bimbi vs Boredom: How Loyola Women’s Soccer Coach Created His Own Game Nights

Courtesy of Barry BimbiThe Bimbi family plays a game of Monopoly.

There may not be any NCAA or professional sports going on during quarantine, but that didn’t stop women’s soccer head coach Barry Bimbi from playing his own games. To combat quarantine boredom, Bimbi created a “40 Nights of Games” for himself and his family, running from March 14 to April 21.

Bimbi shared each evening’s events on Twitter for all 40 days, with games ranging from classics like Monopoly to an outdoor game of bags.

He said he and his family were looking for a creative way to pass the time, and they found their answer while cleaning a closet. 

“Probably week two when we were home … you’re cleaning the house and you’re running out of things to do, and all of a sudden you open up the closet that’s full of games,” Bimbi said. 

Courtesy of Barry Bimbi The Bimbi’s game closet is filled from the floor to the ceiling with various board games.

Bimbi is in quarantine with his two kids — ages 9 and 13 — and his wife, who he said has been working hard in her human resources job during the pandemic. He said he thinks the game nights were a good escape for everyone from schoolwork and other stress.

“It kind of got us looking forward to something every night … once we kind of got through our day,” Bimbi said. 

Bimbi said some games were more entertaining than others — and some like “Taboo” were more difficult for his youngest, Lena — but most were pretty easy for everyone to follow and enjoy. He said everyone’s favorite was a game called “Watch Your Mouth” where players attempt to speak with a plastic device in their mouths. 

Aside from these games, Bimbi has also been committed to his soccer team and spends time checking in with the players, which has included weekly team Zoom meetings. He said the coaches and trainers have also been reaching out to players individually to check in and keep them connected.

He added it has helped that the players are all very committed even while in quarantine, and therefore they don’t need constant reminding to keep up with workouts or schoolwork.

“They’re just motivated girls altogether, and we’re blessed like that as coaches to have a group like this,” Bimbi said. 

Now that his quarantine game nights have come to a close, with the final tweet on April 21, Bimbi said they have no concrete plans for future activities. He said they, like most families, are waiting for the weather to improve so they can all spend more time with outside activities.

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