Blogtober Day 1: Todd Rogers

Woohoo, day one! I figured it'd be appropriate to kick off my fan letters with some volleyball royalty since, y'know, I work there. And it just so happens it was this guy's birthday yesterday! So without further ado...

Todd's been holding it down on the men's side of the beach volleyball world for as long as Misty and Kerri have been around on the women's side. He was an alternate to the 2004 Olympic team and an Olympian in 2008 and 2012, winning gold in Beijing -- yep, the U.S. swept the beach gold medals, and I'll bet you didn't even know! He and former partner Phil Dalhausser are considered one of the best American men's beach volleyball teams of all time; they were the world champs in 2007 (and were the first ever U.S. men's team to win it), set the record for most consecutive FIVB matches won (40), set the record for winnings by a men's team in a single season ($387,700), won a total of over $1 million in prize money and won over 500 matches together. At the 2008 Olympics, Todd finished tied for first among all hitters with 125 kills in seven matches. So basically, even though he just turned 40, this is totally the guy you want on your team. He's the definition of a baller.

Todd's nickname is The Professor because of his mental approach to the game. He himself has said that he's not a great athlete compared to some of the guys he's playing against (and he's also considerably shorter than most of them), so he's had to, "change the game to one that is a match of wits rather than brawn to give [himself] a fighting chance." According to his new partner, Ryan Doherty (who has an absolutely hysterical blog, FYI), Todd can watch a guy play for five minutes and know his game inside out. Professor Todd ain't no run-of-the-mill beach bum!

Also, with his salt-and-pepper goatee, Todd looks far more like his nickname than his actual profession. And check out those shorts!

Todd isn't sure if he's going to try for a third straight Olympics yet, but after mentoring Phil to become one of the best players in the world, you can be sure that Ryan has the entire volleyball world in front of him. If Todd does decide to stick around, keep your eyes open for these two in Rio. My fingers are most definitely crossed!

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