We meet again, Internet, for another episode of “Tuesdays with Avatar”. I apologize for the lack of a post last week; I was incredibly busy and just didn’t have time to write something up. (Does anyone actually believe that? I don’t have a real job or kids or any other responsibilities, but I didn’t have a free hour to write up some nonsense? I literally played the original Nintendo version of The Legend of Zelda for eight hours last week) But I believe that this post will be worth the wait, as we sit down with the current #1 ranked men’s team on the AVP tour, Casey Patterson and Jake Gibb.
I have to be honest, I haven’t been looking forward to writing about these two guys. While they are inarguably one of the best beach volleyball teams in the world, they are also two friends of mine that will gladly rub it in my face that I had to interview them and say how good they are. (Casey is laughing diabolically right now as he reads this, while Jake is letting a smug grin spread across his face) 2013 was a great year for this team, as they won 4 consecutive AVP events as well as some big international tournaments. “Mr. Boom” was named the AVP’s Best Offensive Player for 2013, while “the Big Nasty” won Most Valuable Player.
Avatar: Gentleman, thank you both for joining me. Casey, let’s start with you. You’ve been called “C-Patt”, “Mr. Boom”, “the 6’6 Ninja”, and “the King of the Cutty”. Why do you keep giving yourself so many different nicknames?
Casey Patterson: You forgot “Thor”, “Sea Horse”, and “Vision Quest”. “Vision Quest” was actually given to me by Geeter in 2009.
Avatar: Once again, Chris McGee nails it. (Casey next to his Vision Quest idol Louden Swain)
Jake, your middle name is Spiker. Is that just incredible foresight by your parents, or did you pursue a career in volleyball because of your namesake?
Jake Gibb: My mother’s maiden name is Spiker. All of my 5 brothers have the Spiker middle name.
Avatar: Casey, you have always played with an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm. What prompts your spontaneous outbursts or emotion?
CP: I always played with passion and fire because I was not born with a ton of natural athletic ability (You know all about that, Ryan) Just great hair and great hand-eye. The fire helped me compete until I gained my athletic ability. I also hated watching matches of guys that didn’t look like they were having any fun. I loved it when players showed emotions and passion when they played. It inspired me to get better. It’s also a lot more fun.
Avatar: Yes, I do know about your lack of athletic ability. (See how I flipped that around on him? I may not be athletic, but I’m witty) And also yes, you do have great hair. Spiker, you are a cancer survivor. (Fans: If you haven’t seen the video on www.JakeGibb.com, take the next 5 minutes and watch it. It’s very inspiring) Has there been any major change in your perspective or approach to life after going through that experience?
JG:Yes, I’ve had cancer twice actually. I was diagnosed with skin cancer melanoma in 2004. That’s the reason for the nice pasty look that I rock now. I usually train with a shirt and SPF arm sleeves for sun protection. The arm sleeves are basically what you see the NBA players wear. Great to keep you cool while blocking the sun. The right kind of sunblock is really important for everyone that spends time outdoors. If you don’t know what to look for when buying sunscreen then feel free to message me on Instagram @jakesgibb or twitter @jakegibb and I’ll tell you. Having said that, I can’t believe I don’t have a sunscreen sponsorship.
I had testicular cancer in 2010. I feel very blessed to be happy and healthy now for many years. Did it change me? Yes of course. It rocked my world. But in a positive way, I feel. I couldn’t be happier with where I am in my family life and career.
Avatar: I’m as surprised as you are that you don’t have a sunblock sponsor, especially since all those cool NBA guys are copying your arm-sleeve look. Casey, are there any moments in your career that really stand out as special or memorable?
CP: All of the 2013 season was pretty amazing but beating Phil and Todd in 2012 with a 7-footer on my back would have to be my biggest accomplishment.
Avatar: No wonder you weren’t jumping high back then, you had 220 pounds on your back. Jane Gibb and Lexi Patterson can often be found playing volleyball down at the Huntington Beach pier. Both guys, do you ever play against your wives? And if you do, do you talk as much trash to them as you do to the rest of us?
JG: Yes I love playing beach with her. She has a very special talent of mis-hitting the ball with her tiny hands. I’ll talk trash to her and anyone else trying to win a Jamba Juice off me. I feel like it’s in good fun and I never cross the line. Jane sees it differently, and the game usually ends with her telling me “she doesn’t know how I have any friends because I’m such a [expletive deleted]”.
CP: I have had to step in as a 4th for the wives a few times this offseason and they get the same treatment as if I am playing in an AVP tournament. That’s why I made sure we bought the most comfortable couch in the store when Lexi and I were married.
Avatar: I would like to remind both Jake and Jane Gibb that this is a family article and to please refrain from any further profanities. Casey, you and your “Suave-hawk” (patent pending) are sponsored by Paul Mitchell. Are you ever embarrassed by your partner’s hair? (Style that isn’t really born or groomed…)
CP: What?????!!!!!!! I want to change the answer to the previous question- My biggest accomplishment is: Being able to win with a partner who takes pictures like this on the beach.
Avatar: Jake, you’ve been sponsored by Wilson for years. For the fans at home that might not know, could you explain how the Wilson and Mikasa volleyballs are different?
JG: The Wilson ball is what we use on the AVP tour and is the best beach volleyball on the planet. I’m not just saying that because I’m sponsored by them either. Simply, it goes where you want it to go. The Mikasa ball, which is used on the international tour, floats and moves in a way completely different from the Wilson ball. It takes time to get used to it for guys trying out the FIVB for the first time.
Avatar: Agreed, I hate that stupid Mikasa. C-Patt, you have your third child on the way. (Congratulations) As a Mormon, does that mean that you are about 25% done making kids?
CP: Seeing as Lexi is the youngest of 11, I have applied to Law School at BYU this off season. I will only be able to survive playing beach volleyball for 3 more years or so and then I will win every Utah sand tournament to keep the dream alive.
Avatar: Spiker, what is one thing a fan wouldn’t know about Casey?
JG: People don’t know about C-Patt? He’s the poorest loser I’ve ever been around in my life. My first experience with this was in Shanghai in 2013 playing a ping pong tournament with Phil, Rosie, Nick, Casey, and myself. Casey lost to everyone and went to a place of anger and immaturity that I have never witnessed in a person above the age of 2. But, like I always say, show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.
Avatar: I don’t think Vince Lombardi had Ping Pong in mind when he came up with that line. Ninja, same question: what would be surprising to learn about your partner?
CP: He probably said I am a terrible loser. And since I know he said that I will reveal to everyone that I can bench way more than him. Let me know if you need a spot on those 65-pound dumbbells, Spiker….. Snifffffffff …. It’s adorable.
Avatar: Jake, with as much success as you have had in beach volleyball, (two Olympic appearances, tons of medals and hardware from tournaments all over the world) what one attribute do you believe has been the main reason for your stellar career?
JG:Well, it’s never just one attribute needed for success. But a physical attribute that my father blessed me with is good hand-eye coordination. I’ve had to work very hard for a lot of the athleticism and skills for volleyball but I always had pretty good hand-eye coordination for whatever reason. Just ask the guys involved in the Ping Pong tournament (Sniff!!!)
Avatar: What is going on with the “sniff”? Is that like you guys making the “pshh” sound? Casey, your team has been sponsored by Mizuno since last year. Do they just supply you with beach volleyball gear, or are they also going to be helping design your inevitable “Dancing with the Stars” costumes?
CP: Aside from Mizuno providing Jake and I with the best shorts I have ever played in, (Seriously…not just because they sponsor us) they are working on replicating Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing outfit for me.
Avatar: Nobody puts C-Patt in a corner. Jake, you have Tyler Hildebrand and Rich Lambourne as your coaches for this year. Do you plan on adding any other indoor volleyball superstars to your team roster? Maybe have Matt Anderson be your serving coach?
JG: Rich and Tyler? Funny, you see them as indoor guys but I see them as Huntington Beach Pro-Am champs on the beach. (Double sniff!) I actually didn’t even know Tyler as an indoor guy but I hear he was a pretty good bump setter. He played AVP for a few years at a very high level. As an undersized blocker he had to do some stuff that has been very important for me to learn. Rich, funnily enough, was winning all the Utah sand tournaments when I just starting playing. (He was at BYU at the time) He then decided to stick with indoor for a long career. Terrible choice… just ask his Gold medal.
Thank you to both of these guys for agreeing to share a little bit of themselves with the volleyball community. Anybody that wants to learn more about either of these two phenomenal players (or ask them what exactly they are sniffing) can follow the Facebook pages of Casey (https://www.facebook.com/caseypatt?fref=ts, he consistently posts inspiring quotes from famous people followed by ridiculous hashtags like #boomstagram or #nolookiecookie) or Jake (Bahahaha, I’m totally kidding; don’t follow Jake on Facebook. He isn’t very tech savvy, and didn’t realize that a Facebook “poke” was used for flirting. And once I told him, he just poked me more) If there are any questions that you would like to ask these two, (What, my questions aren’t good enough for you?) you can also reach out to these guys on their player profiles on the 220.127.116.11 website. And be sure to check back next week when I interview Emily Day and Summer Ross again. (Kidding, I have no idea who I am going to convince to do this going forward)