Tuesdays with Avatar: Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal
It’s that time again, Internet. Time for me to pretend I am contributing to the growth of professional beach volleyball by asking the best players in the country questions that no one cares about but me. (You’re welcome) But think about if you were in my shoes… (Which are a pair of size 17 Crocs; again, you’re welcome) If you are a fan and have this kind of unfettered access to all these players, wouldn’t you ask them ridiculous things? That’s what I thought.
This week’s team is none other than the American Dream team, Sean Rosenthal and Phil Dalhausser.
Phil Dalhausser, AKA “The Beast”, has been on the tour since…you know what, I’m not going to bother. Phil has won everything. If you know of a professional beach volleyball tournament, Phil has won it. If you’ve ever heard of an accolade or award for beach volleyball, he’s won that too. (Except for “Best Defender”, but I think that is just because he hasn’t tried playing defense…yet) As for Sean Rosenthal, AKA “Son of Jor-El”, he’s the most ridiculous athlete in beach volleyball and he qualified for his first pro event when he was 12. (That’s a joke, but not by much. He honestly did qualify when he was 16) He makes digs and swings that don’t seem possible (with either hand) and plays so relaxed that it makes you wonder if he is in an international final or a game of 4’s on 8th street in Hermosa Beach.
Avatar: Gentleman, thank you for taking some time to talk with me. Phil, let’s start with you. You won 3 FIVB events and 1 AVP event (where you narrowly edged out some 7-foot guy) last season. What are some goals/expectations for you and your team this year?
Phil Dalhausser: Going into this 2014 season, I would like us to be more consistent. It would be nice to make more finals on the AVP and more semi-finals on the FIVB.
Avatar: Rosie, being a veteran of so many years, what (besides Red Bull) do you use to push yourself to continue to improve and get better?
Sean Rosenthal: I’ve been to 2 Olympics and have not won a medal, I want to go back and bring back some hardware.
Avatar: Phil, you have your second child on the way. Is it frustrating knowing that your baby is going to be born with more hair than you?
PD: Technically, I might have more hair than both of my babies combined if you where to include my back, shoulder and chest hair.
Avatar: I have noticed that luscious “V” of chest hair you’ve been sporting at practice this year. I only brought up hair because I know how important grooming is to you after stumbling across this article in OUT magazine. (Don’t worry about why I was reading OUT magazine)
Did your wife have any follow-up questions when you told her you were being interviewed by a magazine dedicated to openly gay men and women?
PD: Recently, I have been lucky enough to land a Gillette sponsorship and they setup an interview with OUT magazine about “manscaping”. Luckily for all the ladies, (and some men) I will be clean shaven from head to toe for the entire season.
Avatar: So no more “V”? (A single tear rolls down my cheek) The coconut oil was a great call though. I use it whenever I shave. (Which is about once a month, I look better as a lumberjack) Rosie, your fan base is known as “Rosie’s Raiders” and have caused a disturbance from Manhattan Beach to the stands at the London Olympics. What does a fan need to do in order to join the best “third man” in beach volleyball?
SR: That’s pretty easy; You bring them a beer or a 12-pack and have a great time heckling (and it better be good) while watching Phil and I play on the AVP tour and FIVB tour.
Avatar: Pretty cheap dues for such a distinguished club. Beast, what is the best play you have ever seen Rosie make? (Either as your teammate or against you)
PD: The hit he had on Sean Scott where he did a complete 180 in the air in Santa Barbara a couple of years ago.
Avatar: Ah, the SB Reverse Feast. (https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10151241370928162)
Rosie, same question…What is one play of Phil’s that sticks out in your mind?
SR: It’s not just one play, it was the whole 3rd set in Beijing Olympic final. He dominated that game and it was the biggest stage to do it on.
Avatar: Eh, he only had like 12 blocks in a game to 15. Personally, I thought he underperformed. I, like most volley fans, have loved some of your big (or creative) hits. How about you give us an idea of what was going through your mind right before these classics?
SR: Nothing, I blacked out.
SR: Manhattan line… I was just in a groove that game, just had a great trouble set and swung away
SR: Just trying anything I can to get the ball past all you giant blockers out there.
SR: Swing high and hard. Also, he shouldn’t have been standing there.
Avatar: Excellent Happy Gilmore reference. Phil, you’re known as a big fan of video games. What is your game of choice right now?
PD: FIFA 2014, Sean plays as well.
Avatar: Oh, a soccer game. How European and boring of you. Rosie, you became a father in the off-season. (Congrats) How high can your little girl jump? 30 inches? 35?
SR: First off thank you. She is amazing and when she takes her first steps, I’ll check on her vert.
Avatar: Well, she’s adorable. Phil, what is one thing a casual fan wouldn’t guess about Rosie?
PD: He’s a really nice guy, almost to a fault.
Avatar: Rosie, same question…what don’t people know about Phil?
SR: That he listens to Howard Stern non-stop. That’s all I get to listen to in the hotel, but it is funny so I don’t mind.
Avatar: I thought Howard was really funny in his episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Phil, what do we have to do to get this Under Armour commercial re-made starring you and Rosie?
PD: I’d have to gain 75 pounds of solid muscle. (Which would never happen unless I went on Barry Bond’s workout regiment)
Avatar: Don’t worry, I know a guy. (Wink, wink) And Summer Boss can make a cameo as the squatter who starts screaming for no reason. Rosie, the legendary Dodd-father (Mike Dodd) has been your coach for years. What is one thing you have tried to learn or take away from his experience and insight?
SR: I’ve really tried to improve my defense. He just knows so much about the game. He’s been more then just a coach to me, he’s been a good friend, my realtor and even sort of a father-figure. Also, he evolved with the game and the players.
He’s one of a kind, and our sport is lucky to have him. Thank you to both of these guys, and I wish them the best of luck this year in the other half of the bracket. (Oh please, let them be in the other half of the bracket) Feel free to check out Beast’s Red Bull Athlete page (which is pretty cool, even if the blurb on the side sound like it was written by a 6-year old, http://www.redbull.com/us/en/athletes/1331580261550/phil-dalhausser) and Rosie’s bio as a member of the USA Beach National Team. (http://www.teamusa.org/Athletes/RO/Sean-Rosenthal) Be sure to root for them in the upcoming AVP event in St. Petersburg, Florida starting on May 30th, as Phil is a native Floridian. (Floridite? Floridiegon?) Of course, my partner Nick Lucena is from Florida too, so don’t be afraid to send a couple cheers my way.