If you haven’t had a chance to read my last column, I strongly urge you to do so now. If it’s not available, bear with me. The premise behind this piece is, shockingly, still quite simple.
The top 32 players on tour have been cloned. Obviously, this is volleyball in the far-off, distant future. The seeds have been blindly drawn from a hat, the bracket is set, and it’s time to see who the single best volleyball player is on the AVP!
Okay, that’s a tad misleading. Phil “The Thin Roast Beast Feast” Dalhausser is the best player on the AVP. That much is certain after he blocked Jaws from “The Spy Who Loved Me” 327 times in the third game of the Olympic gold medal match.
But that’s not what we’re trying to determine here in the almighty Groveler’s Report. No sirree. We’re here to figure out who the best player is on the sand if their partner was, you guessed it, themselves? Would Phil be Phil if he had to play with Phil?
I personally think that Phil was on the court all by himself for long expanses of time during this most recent Olympiad, so maybe he’s the only guy that wouldn’t need to clone himself. He could just play one-on-two. Everybody else, however, would be forced to hit their own sets and play ‘D’ behind their own block.
This is a daunting task for even the most self-confident athletes on tour – I’m not naming names – and one that I don’t think would last very long for a player like me. Hence, my absence from the draw. One questionable call from the official and Defender Hans would no doubt lose his mind, punt a ball into the San Diego Bay, shove Blocker Hans for even attempting to settle him down after receiving his first red card, causing Blocker Hans to punt a ball at defender Hans, garnering a second red card and automatic ejection from the tournament. Hans 1 and Hans 2 would then proceed to some level of elementary grappling on the court. So, no need to waste your vote on someone like me. I’ll leave the referee defamation and possible disqualification to a guy like Nick Lucena.
And that’s what this is all about, if you’re wondering. You, the fan, the weekend volleyball warrior, the rabid reader of DiG magazine. You are the deciding factor as to who will, in fact, win the 1st Annual AVP Clone Challenge Tournament. How, you ask? Don’t worry, I’ll ask the questions for you…
Well, first, run like the wind to the nearest computer and log on to www.KindaGood.com. Then, cast your vote for the winner of each match, all the way to the finals; where the champion will no doubt take home the mysterious and all powerful CROCS CUP!!! Just kidding. We all know the Crocs Cup doesn’t actually exist. And if it did, what exactly is it? And what does it actually do?
Wait. Let me back up, rephrase that, and state it again. Kinda Good is the hub for all things cool and entertaining in our glorious little cult of a sport, and they’re kinda nice enough to be the platform for the greatest tournament in beach volleyball history. As for this whole idea? Well, it’s the brainchild of a part-time AVP player named John Braunstein and his team of creative geniuses at Z3 Media.
If you’re still lost, here’s the bottom line: This tournament is being run for the pure enjoyment of the fantasy based sports fan that lives for the hypothetical. Or for all those loquacious folks who love to dialogue endlessly about volley.
The match ups are right in front of you; and, believe me, there are some good ones. Fred Souza-Fred Souza vs. Jose Loiola-Jose Loiola. Casey Jennings-Casey Jennings vs. Todd Rogers-Todd Rogers. Are you kidding me? All in the first round because of the blind draw! I’m going out on a limb to state the obvious: the defense in that Todd vs. Casey match might be beyond ridunculous.
Go to www.KindaGood.com right now and vote for the winners. There will be additional volley verbiage accompanying each match-up, better helping you to make a solid decision as to why, say, Stein Metzger-Stein Metzger might beat Scott Wong-Scott Wong. (They both went to the same high school, and Steino owns him like an intricately designed Le Sportsac handbag.)
The Groveler’s Report in the next issue of DiG will recap the results, analyze the outcome and crown a clone champion.
It’s in your hands now. I beg of you to make the right decision. Log on, check it out, and let your voice be heard. If you think Braidy Halverson-Braidy Halverson can beat Jake Gibb-Jake Gibb – no chance in hell – then let it be so.
Make your vote count!!!
As seen in DiG Magazine, Issue #5 2008