Thursday, July 20, 2006

Guess I'm Not a True Blogger

Oh well, it has been over two months since my last post. Lots of things have been happening but I have not taken the time to write about them. Where should I start?

Junior Olympic Nationals - The national tournament has come and gone again. As usual, the "Cali" teams dominate the older age groups. A few different Midwest and east coast teams did make the gold brackets this year. A few of the past year powerhouses seemed to be down this year and didn't make much of a showing. The JO's are always something to see. Court after court with teams from all over the US and a couple of countries/territories. Rivalries and friendships are made and they look forward to seeing each other "next year". For the top 17 year olds, it’s all "where are the scouts". "Is that really Al Scates and Marv Dunphy?" At the 16's level, the scouts are just getting names and making notes to look at them next year. Of course, the scouts are also looking for a few extra pickups in the 18's. The DII, DIII and NAIA schools still get a few players in the summer. The DI schools attempt to get some players to "walk-on" at their school. With only 4.5 scholarships, they do not have a lot to work with. A player with great grades really helps out the coach, especially at the DIII level.

Men's Volleyball on TV - I finally dumped Comcast cable because I have been waiting for two years for them to offer CSTV. I finally got DIRECTV and had CSTV immediately. I enjoyed watching the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF championship matches live and the semi-final round of the NCAA Final Four live on ESPNU. Got them taped for future viewing…

World League - The world league started last week. I watched both matches live on CSTV. The USA had a few moments but didn't look like a #5 in the world ranking. Lots of errors, especially in serving. It was disappointing to say the least. Reid Priddy was the highlight of the USA team. I did notice the Mizuno practice jersey he had during his warm-up and post game interview. I gotta get one of them. Looking at the Mizuno USA website, I do not see it listed. However, looking at the Japan Mizuno site, I am pretty sure I saw it there. I need to get a Mizuno rep to find a couple for me. I am sure the top clubs in the US would love to have those practice jerseys.
Mizuno Practice Jersey
The USA plays in Japan this weekend. The matches will be shown on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting Station) but I don't see anyway I will be able to get it. I did not see it in the international offerings of DIRECTV. If I did, I would be tempted to purchase the Japan package for one month to watch and DVR the matches.

Next weekend, I am driving up to Minneapolis to watch the World League matches in-person. That should be great viewing and hopefully, they will win both of them. I plan on getting some action videos and perhaps a few quick video clips/interviews of some of the players. I am thinking about keeping the questions simple and ask them about their high school and/or club days. I’ll see if I have the nerve to ask.

Video - I was able to get a hold of the CSTV 20 second commercial for the World League matches and get approval to post it on middlehitter.com. I really appreciate the help I got from my USAV contacts on that one. I have a question on whether CSTV will allow a highlights video of the past two Poland matches to be posted (on CSTV, USAV or middlehitter.com). I would think those who cannot get CSTV would love to view a few highlights.


AVP – This Saturday, I am going to the AVP here in Chicago. I am bringing my camera and plan on taking some photos. Hopefully, the weather will be nice and I can get some good shots. I’ll try to catch some of the recent college graduates who are playing if they survive to the Saturday rounds. I see Rooney and Hildebrand are playing on Friday. Check out middlehitter.com sometime Sunday or Monday to see the results.

Alright, I have gone on too long but I had a lot to say because I waited too long. Maybe I will have some day-by-day reports from Minneapolis.

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