Monday, May 18, 2009


From the Houston Chronicle:

Ross, Kessy upset top seeds to claim Open

April Ross and Jennifer Kessy sprayed champagne on a crowd of well-wishers after their finals match at Westside Tennis and Fitness. Then Ross savored what was left in her bottle.

It tasted too good too waste.

“It’s really, really sweet,” she said, smiling.

Almost as sweet as her team’s first AVP Tour win in 10 finals trips. Ross and Kessy upended top seeds Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs 21-17, 18-21, 15-12 on Sunday for the Houston Open title

More here.

Well, first off, congratulations to Ross and Kessy for their stunning win at the Houston Open. They worked long and hard to finally top their rivals, and I'm sure they will continue to bask in the glory of their triumph.

On the other hand, I continue to have great difficulty taking beach volleyball seriously. Sure, it's definitely a sport. I mean, they keep score and hand out trophies and all. And it's definitely volleyball, which has a century-long history as a legitimate sport. But I just can't get past the bathing suits and sand. What's it all about? Okay okay, it is "beach" volleyball, after all. I get that.

But I feel like we're all supposed to pretend that the exposed skin and party atmosphere don't have anything to do with why beach volleyball appears to be, like, a billion times more popular than regular old volleyball played in a gym. I mean, c'mon. The whole thing, culturally speaking, is about bringing MTV style spring break coverage to people who wouldn't be caught dead watching the real thing.

"No no, It's not sleazy at all! It's a sporting event."

Well okay, I wouldn't particularly call it "sleazy" myself, but it's definitely about T&A and beer. I imagine that women and gay men get something out of the half naked male players, too, but I suspect the whole XY side of the game only exists as cover for the XX matches--you know, it's not about sex; they show both men and women.


Anyway, don't get me wrong on this. I'm not saying beach volleyball shouldn't exist, or that people who enjoy it are stupid. I'm just saying there seems to be a sort of "Emperor's New Clothes" aspect to it that bothers me. Frankly, I prefer watching spring break idiots dancing around in next to nothing on MTV every March through May. It's more honest.

For similar reasons, I prefer trashy topless bars over Hooter's.

Elaine Youngs is blocked at the net by April Ross.
Photo by Bob Levey courtesy of the Houston Chronicle

MTV Spring Break Panama City Beach, 2009
Photo by Steven Brahms courtesy of MTV