Friday, October 12, 2007

2007 AVP Awards

by Jason Schock at 1:34 PM

The AVP will be handing out awards on October 18. Categories include:

  • Best Offensive Player
  • Best Defensive Player
  • Rookie of the Year
  • Most Improved Player
  • Most Valuable Player
  • Team of the Year

Not that there's much science to it, but here are my picks:

Best Offensive PlayerPhil DalhausserKerri Walsh
Best Defensive PlayerCasey JenningsMisty May-Treanor
Rookie of the YearWill StricklandChrissie Zartman
Most Improved PlayerBrad KeenanTyra Turner
Most Valuable PlayerPhil DalhausserMisty May-Treanor
Team of the YearRogers/DalhausserMay/Walsh

I think some recognition should also go out to:
  • Angie Akers and Brooke Hanson: Made it to their first final this year, and had several big wins over big teams
  • Anthony Medel and Fred Souza: These guys both stepped up their game immensely this year


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Beach volleyball season ends with Brazilian exclamation

by Jason Schock at 2:03 PM

Top-ranked Brazilian men's team Emanuel-Ricardo put the hurt on Americans Rogers-Dalhausser, 21-13 and 21-15, to end the 2007 beach volleyball season. Ouch.

Rogers and Dalhausser have beaten the Brazilians before, but it's been a solid rivalry all year. Seems like a poignant indicator of the battle to come in 2008 international competition, especially the Olympics.



Saturday, September 8, 2007 TV and videos from Vegas

by FatSpike at 7:45 PM

I bit the bullet and paid $10 to get a subscription to TV. After previewing it earlier in the season, I'm happy to say that the camera work is better than it was. The camera dudes are zooming in on scores often and generally keeping the play in-frame.

Technology-wise, it still sucks.

Here's why:

  • Video tends to be jerky, especially on a Mac (using Flip4Mac plugin) so you miss key moments
  • Quality flip-flops from 400k to 700k for inexplicable reasons, and still looks crappy on both (I have a super-fast connection and no network traffic)
  • Audio and video get out of sync, so you hear a play before you see it
  • Video just dies, forcing you to reload the whole thing
  • These, when you should be seeing games:
Windows Media format just absolutely sucks for streaming video. I've never seen it work well: there have always bugs, poor quality, embedded player & plugin issues, compatibility, etc. It's just so Year 2000, and not in a funny Conan O'Brien sort of way.

I'd really love to see AVP TV bring it into modern times and go to a standardized format, like streaming Flash (FLV) video, ala YouTube. After all, I want to be able to watch AVP on my iPod Touch while cruising Europe. Can't do that with WMV.

So I don't think AVP should expect to make much money off the streaming video endeavor until it's a lot easier to watch.

For all my crying, I still managed to capture a couple few highlights from some Vegas matches, though.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Tyra Turner just dropped a notch in my book

by Jason Schock at 10:55 PM

Tyra TurnerIn Vegas for the AVP tournament, Tyra said, " ... we're going to see Celine Dion on Saturday night since it's her last year. I'm so excited!"

No no no. No.

It's only a small notch. She's one of the smiliest (word check) women out there and a solid player to boot.


Deal to take AVP private terminated

by Jason Schock at 3:08 PM

Shamrock Holdings terminated its agreement to purchase AVP, Inc. today after a major shareholder indicated it would vote against the merger. The $37 million buyout would have given shareholders about $1.23 per share — barely above market value.

AVP has been struggling to turn a profit since Len Armato rebuilt the tour and took it public in 2001.

Net income:
  • 01-02: -2.95M
  • 02-03: -0.85M
  • 03-04: -1.10M
  • 2004: -2.87M (8 months)
  • 2005: -8.96M
  • 2006: -0.34M
  • 2007 (Q2): -1.24M
Depending on how well the events do July-September, the AVP may yet show a profit in 2007. I'm guessing this would probably give it a significant boost in investor interest, especially with the 2008 Olympics less that a year away and American teams poised to do very well.

Despite the financial shortcomings, I think most folks would agree the tour is looking better than ever. The challenge now is to get the level of interest up. Hot scene in Top Gun 2?


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Karch tributes continue (sick yet?)

by Jason Schock at 1:02 PM

AVP is milking the Karch Kow for all it's worth (surprise). I'm honestly getting kind of tired of all the tributes. It's certainly deserved; it's just feeling played out now.

Karch's professional career officially ended in Cincinnati this past weekend, and with a bobble-head tribute rather than any actual matches due to his month-long injury. Bummer, but sometimes that's the way it works out.

That said, here's a video tribute to the King if you're still game. Aside from the narrator, who sounds like a bad "In a world …" guy, it's pretty good.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The real reason Misty is missing Vegas tourney

by Jason Schock at 6:34 PM

Misty MayThe AVP reported today that Misty May-Treanor would be missing the upcoming Vegas tournament due to an "undisclosed injury."

The story has been updated to cite an "undisclosed reason" for the absence.

However, according to a message from Misty herself on a Yahoo fan group:

My knees are a bit sore and I just need the rest. This actually is the right tournament to do so. Then I can get ready for San Francisco and the two other FIVB events. Out of this whole season, I am very fortunate that my body has held up the way it has.

You can exhale now if you were holding your breath. The champ just needs a break.


Todd Rogers: A little loco?

by FatSpike at 12:23 AM


Todd Rogers' latest blog entry (here, too) is titled Airport hijinx. Excerpt:

A United rep. comes up to me nervously and tells me I need to calm down. I laugh and tell him I am very calm, just really pissed off. I was getting some pretty good looks from the people about to get on their plane.

I dunno, doesn't sound like wacky hijinx to me. Granted, United is probably the worst airline I've ever flown. But if people have to ask you to calm down, you're probably looking a little crazy.

At the Brooklyn Open two weekends ago, the otherwise-stoic Professor lost his proverbial shit on a controversial call, almost pulling down the net like Karch did back in the day. Karch's meltdown was on game point, though, which is a little more understandable.

And at the AVP Georgia Open, Rogers couldn't take some heckler's garbage and threw up the middle finger in front of the whole crowd. (He apologized via his blog.)

Todd is painted as kind of a dull guy, but when you look a little harder it's obvious he gets fired up, whether it's in airports or at a match. Keeps me interested, anyway.

Rogers goes bonkers at Brooklyn:


Friday, August 31, 2007

Gold medalist Fonoi bows out

by FatSpike at 1:30 PM

Update: Fonoi is planning to play in one 2008 tournament in order to hit $1 million in winnings. He's currently at $999,997.

Olympic gold medalist Eric Fonoimoana has played his last professional match with Kevin Wong today, losing 26-24, 21-14 to Ty Loomis and Hans Stolfus.

He'll no doubt still be a familiar face in beach volleyball with his Dig for Kids endeavor, though.

See you around, Fonoi!


Boss-Ross in finals at St. Petersburg

by FatSpike at 12:19 PM

With May-Walsh in Cincinnati this weekend, Boss-Ross have worked their way to a final against Brazil's Larissa-Juliana.

By Olympic points:

  • Larissa-Juliana officially ranked #2
  • Boss-Ross unofficially ranked #25

Looking at average points, though:

  • Larissa-Juliana #2 (463.6)
  • Boss-Ross #5 (410.0)
The Boss-Ross score is skewed by their big upset earlier in the season, but we know they're capable of digging deep.


Brazil takes it in three games.

The Americans can hammer the ball, but they're bigger and slower than the Brazilians. If Boss-Ross are on their serving game, the matches will be close. But Larissa-Juliana are second only to May-Walsh in athleticism. They can scoop and shoot with the best of them.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Beach volleyball for Indian women

by FatSpike at 11:00 PM

Indian girls are going to start playing beach vollebyall, some dude in New Delhi hopes.

In general, Indian girls don't really do it for me, but if they can get any players nearly as hot as Aishwarya Rai, you can count me IN as a regular follower.

The most interesting thing is that this story is on a site called "Indian Muslims", which you'd probably expect to be a setup for a riot, but no signs as of yet.

Are Indian Muslims more chill with girls in skimpy clothes doing athletic stuff?

Link: Women's beach volleyball comes to India


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Karch at Manhattan Beach

by FatSpike at 10:00 PM quietly reported that Karch Kiraly has withdrawn from the Manhattan Beach Open this upcoming weekend.

Which kinda sucks for fans, as well as AVP ticket sales (if word gets out). Sure, Manhattan Beach is the premiere event, but will it be a nihilistic, elbow-throwing frenzy without Karch there for his grand finale?


And I was really looking forward to whacking dudes over the head with my giant camera in a fat media scrum.

Update: LA Times reports it's due to a "pulled muscle in his left calf."


Sunday, August 5, 2007

ThAnKs 4 dA ADD!! LOLOLOL!!1111oneone

by FatSpike at 11:14 AM

I kinda gave up MySpace a while ago for reasons that I won't detail here, and no, it wasn't because I was addicted (there's better things to be addicted to.)

But it's hard to deny the marketing power of Rupert Murdoch's evil little piece of the Intarwebs, and I'm a total whore for driving traffic to my site -- short of spamming, anyway.

So without further ado ...

FatSpike's MySpace profile:


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Where in the hell is ... Klagenfurt?

by FatSpike at 2:53 PM

To heathen anglophones like us, Klagenfurt might sound like just another embarrassing bodily function that we've been made aware of in an episode of Jackass.

In fact, it's a real place, and a real live city, no less! And it's here where they hold a FIVB Grand Slam beach volleyball event every year, on the edge of the picturesque W├Ârthersee.

A couple years ago, I was on a train through the Alps from Vienna to Ljubljana, Slovenia and I passed along the W├Ârthersee. This pretty much means nothing to anyone, but I thought I'd mention I'd been there. It's really a fantastic place.

Check it out:
Google Maps: Klagenfurt, AUS
Google Earth: KML file


Video clips from Gstaad

by FatSpike at 2:19 PM

Rogers-Dalhausser defeat Russia in finals:

Rogers-Dalhausser defeat China in semis:

May-Walsh defeat China in finals:

May-Walsh defeat China in semis:


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Added new Olympics section

by FatSpike at 1:20 AM

I've got a beta version of my Olympics section up and running.

If you're interested in tracking international beach volleyball competition and the road to Beijing 2008, this is the section to check out!



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

America, f**k yeah!

by FatSpike at 3:02 PM

Both the American men's and women's teams took gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship in Gstaad, Switzerland this past weekend.

Like a Rocky 4 redux, Todd Rogers and Phil Dalahusser defeated the Russkies 21-16, 21-14 in the final match. And this was after dropping the top-ranked Brazilian one-name-wonder team of Emanuel-Ricardo earlier in the semis.

Todd Rogers photo Phil Dalhausser photo

Misty May and Kerri Walsh, clearly angry over the widening trade deficit, spanked the Chinese team of Tian-Wang 21-16, 21-10.

Kerri Walsh photo Misty, Kerri, American flag photo

Hopefully it's a preview of the 2008 Olympics.



Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Long Beach: Saturday

by FatSpike at 12:46 AM

My ass got cooked like bacon in the hot sun today. I napped afterwards until about 10:30PM, then went to eat out at a concrete-ish village of chain restaurants in downtown Long Beach. While I scarfed CPK, a dude got shot less than a block away, and the whole street got shut down. Nice!

Misty/Kerri won the women's final. Kind of a given these days, I suppose. They're simply a league above.

Earlier, I watched Wacholder-Turner drop EY-Branagh after those two kinda self-destructed. Seen it before: Branagh seems to lose focus and pass like crap, and EY just gets craaaazy. Screaming and such. Yikes.

On the men's side, Medel-Souza put up a great fight against Gibb-Rosenthal. They should have won, but they started making silly errors, and lost their lead.

Couple few photos uploaded from today. Sleep now.

Misty May Big check


Double block!

by FatSpike at 12:40 AM

You don't see this every day. Lambert and Metzger tried to put up a double block on Phil Dalhausser during a melee on the main court.

The Thin Beast sill got it past them, and Phil and Todd went on to win.

Double block


Saturday, July 21, 2007

AVP Long Beach

by FatSpike at 4:30 PM

So I rolled down to Long Beach today (Friday) for the AVP tournament. God, traffic sucked. I guess it always sucks in LA. Eh.

I managed to only catch two matches, the newly-minted Tom-DeNecochea vs. Dodd-Minello, and the reunited Holdren-Scott vs. Lucens-Wiliams, yet another recent mash-up.

Holdren and Scott looked like they hadn't missed a beat since last year. Lucena-Williams looked pretty good, too, even though they lost.

So I realized who Lucena looks like: the baby alien that pops out of the guy's chest in Alien. I'm going to refer to him as Baby Alien from now on. Feel free to join me.

Baby alien=Nick Lucena

Logan Tom and DeNecochea seemed pretty solid for a new team, though they lost to the Lindquist sisters, whose no-block defense suddenly started working for them and got them into the semis. Tom and Dianne are both big girls, though, and not terribly quick. They rocked at the net, but they struggled with scoops. Should be interesting to see how this works out.

Logan TomTom hammering


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rio: WTF?

by FatSpike at 11:30 PM

Is it alarming to just me that they chose Rio de Janiero for the Pan American Games? Anyone seen City of God?



Bra burning finally pays off

by FatSpike at 11:29 PM

Apparently, the AVP and tennis (whatever their league is) are the only sports to pay men and women equal prize money.

Considering the women probably draw more spectators than the men (in both sports), you'd think they'd get paid more, too. But, hey, equality is cool.

Link: Equal pay in sports isn't about the money



by FatSpike at 11:20 PM

NBC will be airing five live AVP events, which is the bomb diggity.

I have nothing against FSN, but I can't imagine there are many people watching when the finals finally air on Sunday, 8PM PST. Not that there will be tons of people watching 1:30-3:00PM on Sunday (I'll probably be out at East Beach around then), but maybe the time slot is good for East Coast exposure, being 4:30-6:00 PM.

In any case, AVP on a prime network channel is a good thing. And does this mean it will be in HD?!


Long BeachWomen'sSat, July 214:30 - 6 p.m. ET/1:30 - 3 p.m. PT
Long BeachMen'sSun, July4:30 - 6 p.m. ET/1:30 - 3 p.m. PT
ChicagoMen'sSat, Aug. 44:30 - 6 p.m. ET/1:30 - 3 p.m. PT
ChicagoWomen'sSun, Aug. 54:30 - 6 p.m. ET/1:30 - 3 p.m. PT
Manhattan BeachWomen'sSat, Aug. 114:30 - 6 p.m. ET/1:30 - 3 p.m. PT
Manhattan BeachMen'sSun, Aug. 124:30 - 6 p.m. ET/1:30 - 3 p.m. PT
BostonMen/WomenSun, Aug. 1912 - 2 p.m. ET/9-12 p.m. PT
BrooklynWomen'sSat, Aug. 252:30-4 p.m. ET/11:30 - 1 p.m. PT
BrooklynMen'sSun, Aug. 262:30-4 p.m. ET/11:30 - 1 p.m. PT