I first saw
Phil Dalhausseron a random cable sports station a couple of years ago, while furiously flipping, as
Jerry Seinfeldsaid, "to see not what's on, but what else is on."
I was captivated by the pair, Rogers a no-nonsense warrior and Dalhausser a 6-foot-9 athletic freak. I remember thinking "This is the perfect team. Who in the world can beat these guys?"
Now I know. Nobody.
Rogers and Dalhausser won gold in men's beach volleyball at the Beijing Games, dispatching a similarly sized Brazil duo 23-21, 17-21, 15-4.
I loved watching these two play. Rogers, 34, is the brains of the operation who still is on top of his game (they call him The Professor). Dalhausser, 28, is the pupil but full of tremendous ability to go with an imposing frame. In the decisive third set, he owned the match with five blocks that killed the Brazilians' chances.
It was also interesting to watch the relationship between Rogers and Dalhausser, which was clearly mentor-protege (as opposed to gold-winning women
Kerri Walsh, who were more equals). I wondered if Rogers and Dalhausser even liked each other, especially after Rogers' obvious disgust during a pool-play loss to Latvia.
Of course, after Dalhausser stuffed Brazil's last gasp, securing the gold, he ran over to Rogers and tackled him to the sand, the two of them screaming in joy.
Any possible animosity was nowhere to be found this time. A gold medal has that power.