Beach Volleyball Is The Next Great American Sport

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Every four years, Americans set aside their pretentiousness and talk of being a quarter Irish to watch their country kick ass at sports like samba dancing, synchronized diving, and dressage. The Olympics are a sure way to bring people together through the glory of competition. Whether or not you’re happy with the direction in which your nation is heading, the Games make things seem brighter for a couple weeks. In addition to the aforementioned goofy sports, there are definite headliners. Gymnastics and swimming capture our hearts in indescribable ways. Basketball becomes a perfect metaphor for “Made in the USA.” Then, there’s the crown jewel of the competition. It comes in the form of sand volleyball.

For some reason, beach ball doesn’t get any airtime outside of the Olympics. Maybe it’s because the athletes are just too chill to focus on tangible things like notoriety and endorsement deals, or because the stupid Earth decides to be cold for half the year. Go away winter, you’re harshing our mellow. Regardless of whatever godawful reason the sport doesn’t get its due, every time it hits the screen I’m hooked. Folks chilling on a beach and swatting some balls around is the hottest thing on television. It’s like Baywatch without the fake tits, Hasselhoff, or chance of drowning.

How chill is beach volleyball? So chill that watching it without a Hawaiian shirt will make you wildly uncomfortable. Those guys and girls are wearing the kind of attire people reserve for Fourth of July cookouts. If you don’t match their getup, you’re failing your country. Despite the serious good vibrations that the sport puts out, it still manages to be chock full of hustle. While commoners will bitch about a little sand in their grundle, these brave souls relish it. It’s well known that Phil Dalhausser can only sleep if he is buried up to the neck in the stuff (source not found). How many people willingly dive face first into a dry, scratchy substance? Beach volleyballers and meth heads are the only ones about that life, and only half of that demographic is actually proud of it.

Naturally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the amount of bikini-clad international talent the game gives us. Kerri Walsh Jennings, who I respect far too much as a mother and an icon to objectify, is one nice lady. Foreign broads don’t get that privilege, though, so women like Marketa Slukova (Czech Republic) and Barbara Seixas (Brazil) keep the needle moving while Kerri and April Ross physically dominate them. It’s a wonderful mix of sport and sexuality that keeps you focused on the game and interested in the athletes. The Man Show taught us that everything is better with some jiggle, and putting it on international TV makes it moral to do some ogling.

Unless you’re one of those assholes that thinks the beach is lame, chances are sand volleyball gets you going. Once you’re done watching our people stuff some shit on the world’s biggest stage, call up some babes and find a court near you. Sweet summertime is dwindling and winter is coming, so take advantage of a chance to get your cardio in while in a fun environment. Pretty soon, the television powers that be will restrict our access to the high-flying, gritty action to broadcast pointless shit like NCIS. Relish the chance to cheer on your countrymen (and women), and then get set to go for some gold of your own.

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Karl Karlson is TFM's self-proclaimed cartoon expert and your best buddy. He resides in the mountains of NC where he wrestles black bears and attempts to grow a beard. Karl gave up liquor following an unfortunate incident involving tequila and a vacuum cleaner, but he isn't above a nice stout on the porch.

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