MINNEAPOLIS  – When Blair Walsh and Jeff Locke aren’t together kicking a football at work, go figure, you’re likely to find them together hitting a cue ball at home.

“Our room is just a little too small for the pool table,” Locke said with a laugh. “We’ve gotta open a window to break.”

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Just two single guys, with one house between them.

“He’s the cook,” Walsh said of his roommate. “He’s always fixing something.”

“He’s really good about keeping the place clean,” Locke added.

You’d have to really like your co-worker to want to live with him.

“Yeah, because at work we also spend every moment together,” Locke said.

But Locke and Walsh, they go way back. They first met almost ten years ago, as high-schoolers on the recruiting path.

“We both had some different hair styles going on when we met each other,” Walsh said with a laugh. “This guy was rockin’ a bowl cut, and I’m pretty sure I had the blowout.

“It’s funny how our paths sort of brought us back together at this point.”

And when they did, given the jobs they have: “Yeah, we sort of made a conscious effort to just sort of make sure that we were connected on more than just the work level,” Walsh said.

It didn’t take much effort. Now they’re best friends.

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So in May, they got a place in Eden Prairie together. Saving on the rent, spending even more time together.

“Our place is kind of perfect for us because it’s actually two floors,” Locke said. “So if we don’t want to see each other, we don’t have to. But we really haven’t ever got to that point where I’m like, ‘Stay upstairs, I’m going downstairs, I don’t want to see you.’ It hasn’t ever come to that.”

The key to keeping the peace?

“Not bringing work home,” Locke said, with Walsh echoing his agreement.

Besides football and pool, there’s another thing they do together – visiting kids at Children’s Hospital.

Every week.

“We’re on the same page in how we feel about community service and helping out in the community,” Walsh said. “And this is something that we share and that we do together, and it’s important to us that we make this impact and that we go there and let these kids know that we’re thinking about them and that we’re pulling for them just as well as everybody else in the hospital.”

“And we can kind of play off each other in the room too,” Locke said. “I think it’s a little easier to get smiles and laughs when you’ve got two guys in there doing it.”

Back at home, there’s no shortage of smiles or laughs either.

As Walsh records a billiards victory and chalks it into the ledger, they chalk it all up to friendship. Between two single guys, with one house between them.

“I literally can’t get rid of this guy,” Walsh said with a laugh.

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“Nope,” Locke said. “You’re stuck with me.”