@ August 13, 2008

Phil Dalhausser is an American beach volleyball player, and one of the most intimidating people I have ever seen.

Phil_dalhausser_with_ball.jpgHe's 6 foot, 9 inches tall.  He shaves his head to intimidate his opponents.  His nickname is The Thin Beast. If they ever make a beach volleyball-themed horror movie, surely this man will be the killer, dispatching his victims by spiking a volleyball through their skulls.

His playing partner, Todd Rogers, is also his coach.  The dynamic on the sand comes across as that of a man and his loyal pitbull who he has trained to ruthlessly tear out the throats of intruders.

During the match, we were told by the announcer that Todd Rogers as "unleashed the Beast", referring to instruction to Dalhausser that he should hit every serve as hard as he can and not worry about landing them in.

The Beast was unleashed.  I winced every time their poor over-matched opponents from Argentina received one of these monstrous serves.  I could almost feel the sting on my own arms.

During a typical match, you will see one defender block while the other steps back from the net.  However, neither Argentinian player seemed willing to go to the net and attempt to block Dalhausser.  They backpedaled furiously as he approached, the glare from his intimidating bald head blinding them as he attempted to lodge the volleyball in their faces with each mighty strike.

The only way he doesn't win a gold medal is if he kills one of his opponents with a spike on the court, or turns on his partner and tears him limb from limb in front of a horrified worldwide audience.  Even then, I imagine him storming the podium, ripping the gold medal from the unfortunate winners, and screaming with rage as Chinese authorities attempt to subdue him with high-powered rifles and horse tranquilizers.  Hmm.  Now I kind of hope he loses.



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