Team USA’s Most Enthusiastic Volleyball Supporter | Groupies


Matt Garthoff,
he’s a great guy. Matt is amazing! He’s the mascot. This guy has got so much
energy. He gets the crowd going. OK, ready?
Give me your best stuff. (MATT GARTHOFF,
VOLLEYBALL GROUPIE) My name is Matt Garthoff,
I’m 43 years old, On a day to day basis
I’m a creative director, and one day a week, I work for the World Series
of Beach Volleyball so I kind of get a bit
of a balance between what I need to do to
pay the bills and my passion, which is
beach volleyball. (MATT IS THE FOUNDER OF
VOL-B-QUE, A TAILGATING PARTY (HE THROWS ONCE A YEAR
FOR USA VOLLEYBALL FANS.) Vol-B-Que was kind of born out
of this tailgating tradition. I love going to tailgates
and I thought, why don’t we do
that for volleyball? People love to play
the sport of volleyball. They don’t necessarily love to
spectate. To compare that to what
happens in other countries, it’s unbelievable. Go to Poland, they fill
a 65,000 seat arena for a volleyball game. (SOPHIE GARTHOFF,
MATT’S DAUGHTER) When Vol-B-Que
isn’t happening at a game, there’s not as many people
there. It’s a lot quieter. And the reason Vol-B-Que
exists, really, is to kind of solve
a problem and that is, how do I get people to care,
how do I get people to show up? I met Matt, it was 21 years
ago, Memorial Day weekend. (CORINNE GARTHOFF, MATT’S WIFE) I was playing volleyball
with some of his friends. Since the day Sophie was born, we’ve put a little plush
volleyball in her hand and… So volleyball is like
central to my family. So what are you doing
on the last day of school? – Watching movies.
– You watch movies? You walk in your classroom,
you sit down, – and you watch a movie.
– Yeah! You get a couple months off,
that’s not enough. But we made ice cream
in science. I think from a young age,
I was always obsessed with California stuff. I surfed, I skateboarded, I was kind of looking for
something that could be my own. And just really gravitated
toward volleyball. The moment I started playing,
I was like, I love this. This is for me. I think there are seeds of it
way back in the ’80s. 1984, the US Men’s team
won the gold medal. I mean if you can think back to
the ’80s, it was all bright neon,
you know, it was everything I
thought was kind of cool. The George Washington costume – I honest to God don’t remember
the first time I did it. I felt like we needed to galvanise people, to signal to
them something was different. Matt is… very animated as
George Washington. In real life, he is a list
maker with check boxes. He’s a lot shyer, he doesn’t
talk as much to people. Oh, man, we got a lot
to do today. Between now and Saturday, it’s going to be a lot
of running around, getting everything finalised. – OK, see you.
– All right. – OK, chow.
– Bye. See ya. – All right.
– All set? I think so. What’s happening? – I’m Matt.
– Tori. (TORI DIXON, TEAM USA) Good to meet you. And you’re doing
the Snapchat takeover? You just kind of go around
and videotape what’s going on. If you had a one hour block,
I’d probably go like three to four. Use hashtag VBQ5,
use the geo filter. Awesome. Thank you, guys.
See you Saturday. See ya. (ALISHA GLASS, TEAM USA) Nobody knows, and it’s not
people don’t want to come, it’s just that they don’t know. If we don’t sell it outside
I’m going to hurt someone. I won’t tie up
your entire afternoon but thank you so much. And we
will, we’ll see you Saturday. Great. The volunteers are at my
house right now, doing bag stuffing. So you just take a bag, and you
just put a banga banner in it. OK, show me how it’s done, man. I’m holding up the line,
I’m holding up the line. Sorry, James, I lapped you. It’s amazing it’s taken
five years, but it’s starting to get
a little of that… momentum and expectation. Hopefully Vol-B-Que
will become a tradition. Vol-B-Que day is packed with
all kinds of great little activities. We just introduced
a new one last year, which was the pepper marathon. It’s the showdown
of just two left. We do a grand marshal parade. Give it up for
Tayyiba Haneef-Park, a three-time Olympian. The costume contest… We bring you the man,
the myth, the legend… (COACH KARCH KIRALY,
USA VOLLEYBALL) What’s it going be like to be here, back in
the United States, with, not only the Vol-B-Que
crowd, but a packed pyramid in red, white and blue? It is not going to get any
better than that, thank you Vol-B-Que! I am kind of like a
little quiet and reserved in my day to day, and so it gives you
a little alter ego to get out all that crazy
passion and enthusiasm. The George Washington
costume… There’s kind of a moment
when you transform like, you put on your
superpower cape and you charge into the arena,
a switch kind of gets flipped. They’re looking to you like, “What do we do?
How do we cheer?” Once I see a bunch
of people show up, that’ll be all the incentive
I need to get fired up. Oh, my God! The team bus greeting,
that’s probably my favourite. It is the one time
players and fans interact. That’s like a metaphor
for the whole thing. Whoo, what a day!
Oh, my goodness. We haven’t even
gotten to the match yet. We all scream the national
anthem, we don’t hum it. And that sort of sets the tone. Like, we’re here,
we’re the United States. and I do everything I can
to cheer my brains out and get everybody else
to cheer their brains out. # For the land of the free
and the home of the brave. # Play ball! We will have the Ace Girls,
which is the USA volleyball’s like cheerleading squad, actually have a little secret
routine planned with them. It’ll be a surprise for the
folks in the stands. Well, say goodbye to Vol-B-Que. Goodbye Vol-B-Que! – Now let’s…
– Let’s go home. Let’s go home. Hitting! Oh, come on,
you don’t look ready. You don’t look ready at all. I have a very specific memory
of what it was like before of me going to a USA
event that was lightly attended,
not enthusiastically cheered somebody’s got to change that
and that’s part of what Vol-B-Que is trying to do. For one day,
for one key match, I can make it feel
like they’re at home. If everything goes according
to plan and it’s a great day, there’s an amazing feeling
of satisfaction. Just look at all these people
having fun and go, we did this. Like,
we caused that to happen. Like, that’s a perfect
day for me.

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