While preparing to head to Beijing in a month, the men representing the U.S. of A on the indoor volleyball court have been fighting another battle entirely: embarrassment over the comparatively tiny shorts they’ll be donning in August, per governing body regulations.
Heck, they even tried to raise a bit of cash in an effort to pay a $10,000 fine for wearing their preferred knee-length shorts:
Outside hitter and team spokesperson Reid Pritty explained the rationale to the NEW YORK TIMES.
“Volleyball is a European-dominated thing and they really like these fitted, cute little outfits, so that’s what we have to wear,” he said. “But our style is more X-Games, beach kind of stuff. I have tan lines past my knee to prove it.”
The FIBV mandates a 4-inch mid-seam on all game shorts, which the team is “mortified” to wear, having grown up and played in an era where volleyball shorts for dudes have grown at the rate that board shorts and basketball shorts have. Priddy even refers to the team wearing spandex undershorts, much like NBA ballers in the 80s.
I remember how well that went when a particular NBA team tried to embrace the short shorts look for a throwback earlier this season.
Despite the Laker fan nature of that video, note that the Lakers changed at halftime, and wound up losing the game.
Oof. Let’s hope the bunching of material around the groin and the unsightly tan lines aren’t what keeps the U.S. team from performing well enough to hit the medal podium in a few weeks.