2008 Olympic Gold Medalists

2008 Olympic Gold Medalists
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Monday, June 4, 2007

Traveling Sucks

Why can't every tourney be at Hermosa or Manhattan or better yet, East Beach in Santa Barbara!! I am already sick of traveling having racked up about 35,000 air miles and still have about 100,000 more to go.

After Louisville, where I missed my original flight to Dallas and then on to SB, I caught a later flight to Dallas and then had to weasel my way on to a flight to LA. Got in around 11pm and took the SB airbus up to SB. Took a taxi to the airport to pick up my car and then drove home around 2am.

After Tampa it got even better. Took a 3rd so wasn't super happy guy. (sounds kind of bad, doesn't it?) Changed my original flight at 9pm to Vegas to 5pm to Phoenix on USAir. That was the choppiest flight I have had all year. Not the worst ever but in the top 10. Got in late to Phoenix, rushed to the gate to SB and of course we are delayed because we have no pilot. 2 hours later they cancel the flight. Announce they can get us to SB by Tuesday!!! Not okay with that. Look at all the options. Fly to Vegas and then to SB? SB flight is oversold. What about flight to LA? Gate agent says I have a chance as I will be second on the standby list. Go over to that gate and hold my breath. My name is whispered by the gate agent there but fortunately I am standing 5 feet away. I get on so I am stoked. But that flight doesn't get off the ground until 10:10pm and we get in to LA about 11:30 which is 5 minutes past the time to catch the shuttle to SB. Grab a one way rental car and charge up to the SB Airport with a bottle of water and some sunflower seeds. Drop the car off and grab my car for the 40 minute drive to home. 2:30am I got in. Then of course my kids are charged to go at 7am. Oh how much fun those mornings are. Love to see the kids but can barely do so with my lids mostly shut.

Tampa was just not the greatest tourney all around. Phil and I played poorly for the most part. Had a bye first round and then played Jewell and Loiola. We won 21-9, 21-18. Good second game as we had the sideout advantage and then Phil got a stuff and I scooped and put away for game.

Next day the weather was horrible. Tropical Storm something or other decided to start the season off on the second day of Hurricane season. Drowning down poor in the morning and all games were canceled. Got going again around 11am. Thought we would play around 1pm and then Phil calls me in the hotel and says we are up. Take a quick warm-up and fall behind to Hyden/Keenan 10-4. Struggle back to 19-19. They side out and Brad raps an ace to Phil's angle. Impressive that Phil even touched the ball. Lose 21-19. Second game is a back and forth battle in gnarly wind. At about 15 all Keenan decides enough is enough and nails 3 straight untouched aces. First one was to Phil's hard angle and he punished the ball. Second one he took a little off and it dropped off the table in front of Phil. Third one he unloads on and you can read Wilson the entire way. Phil lets it go by him and it is in. The bottom line, they played well and served exceptionally well and we did not step up to the plate. We lose the second 21-17.

Drop into the losers bracket for the first time all year and play Mark and Casey. The wind was still howling. We played well enough to win 21-18 and 17. We got lucky the next round and received a bye vs. Canyon and Chad Turner. Chad hurt his shoulder.

On Sunday we played Larry Witt and George Romaine. Good battle. In the first they scored some points off of me in the beginning and the score was 11-10. I cleaned it up and we were able to pull away 21-16. In the second at about 11-10 they started serving Phil. Then it was 16-10. Bit of a melt down by Phil. We lost that 21-18 or so. Third game we came out strong up 7-0. Most of them on Phil blocking Larry. We took the game 15-5 I think. Nice tourney by big George and Larry.

Next game we played old pinky hat and the Wall of Wong. They systematically put me into a pretzel. They were good and I was really bad and that combination spelled our worst one game loss of the season 21-14. In the second I got a little bit better but not enough to win. Karch scooped me for the billionth time and smacked match point off of Phil's block. Match over 21-19. They deserved to win in a big way and they did. Kudos to Kevin for continuing his amazing season with Karch and others. Congrats to Karch for making it to the finals.

Overall it was not a fun tourney. Not very focused and lost my poise and cool several times over the course of the tourney. Reminded me of old Rasheed for those few of you who remember those days. I will have to clean it up.


Anonymous said...


I really loved these posts of yours. They are so much more interesting than anything that appears on the AVP website.

I appreciate your humility and how you respect the other players. I was just curious if you and Dax are still good friends.



Anonymous said...


Thanks again for the post and, especially, for your honesty. It did look like you were out of sorts and pinky seemed to be in the right place to dig your shots (I guess those two are related).

I was flabbergasted (to use a word from my Mom) and excited when I heard that Karch was in the finals. Man, I wanted him and Wong to beat Gibb/Rosie so bad! Too many mistakes by K/K, though. Rosie seemed to clean up his act after 2 or 3 early errors. That surprised me. Seems like he's good for 5 or 6 hitting errors against you guys.

Best of luck this week in Atlanta. I hope you experience less "turbulence" on and off the court.


Dave in San Diego

Scott said...

Great posts - very informative.

I think we all have a good idea of how this years AVP tour is going to shake out and some of the personalities involved.

I am very curious about your views on the FIVB tour as the Paris grand slam is just around the corner.

I know it is a stronger deeper tour, but I look forward to your insights on some of the intricate differences between the two tours.

Looser hand setting, more aggressive serving - any styles or tendencies from different parts of the world. i.e. do the Brazilians have a distinct style from the Germans etc.
What are your thoughts on some of the newer teams?
Who gives you and Phil the most problems besides the Brazilians?
Who do you hang out with on the FIVB tour? Why is Fabio a jerk? Maybe it is just because of his name…
How do you think the other U.S. teams will fair?
So many questions...

Don't worry about responding specifically - if you blog about the FIVB stops as you are doing for the AVP stops you'll likely hit on all these topics.

Todd Rogers said...

Anonymous- I am still good friends with Dax. We don't hang out a ton but we still chat almost every week or so.

Dave- Nice call on the "turbulence", gave me a chuckle.

Scott- FIVB is a stonger tour and I will post on that when we get over there. To answer some of your specific questions: I think all the USA teams will do well. Not to say some may have bad stops but I think you will see a USA team in the Final Four every weekend. At least I hope so. Fabio is actually a pretty cool guy off the court. I have run into a lot of people like him before. Total jerks on the court because they are really intense competitors and are angry and aggressive all the time. Really nice and mellow off the court. Also, he is really working hard to understand english and be able to communicate with all the other guys on tour. He is also a quiet guy in general. I personally like him. Phil and I will hang out with pretty much everyone and then some. Have no real enemies. Use to hang out with Julien Prosser alot when he was on tour. Swap surf stories and the like.