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: