DJing Beach Volleyball

Slate has the scoop on one of the strange DJ gigs ever – Djing beach volleyball at the Olympics:

Attending beach volleyball matches in Beijing raises a few inevitable questions: How is it possible for the wave to circle an arena five full times? Where do all those perky, underdressed Chinese cheerleaders come from? Did I really just hear “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)” at the Olympic Games?

To solve these mysteries, I turned to a man named “Geeter.” If you’ve watched any of NBC’s beach volleyball coverage, you’ve probably heard Geeter, who in civilian life goes by the less dude-tacular name of Chris McGee, shouting in the background. During matches featuring American teams, Geeter serves as the emcee—a role he often plays on the U.S. professional tour—introducing the players before the games begin and pumping up the crowd once play is underway.

In Beijing, Geeter has proved willing to meet the Olympic spirit halfway. When a point ends, he speaks for only half as long as usual—maybe five seconds instead of 10—to give his Chinese counterpart the chance to rile up the crowd as well. (The two announcers tend to say roughly the same thing, although Geeter gets a little more animated.) In this brief window, Geeter says something, anything to get the crowd cheering. (“This is a tough ticket to get! Let me hear you enjoy yourselves!”) In a nod to the audience’s unfamiliarity with typical beach volleyball parlance, he’s cut down on AVP lingo—you don’t hear much talk of a “UC state” or a “Kong.” Rather, he ingratiates himself by dropping in the omnipresent Chinese cheer jia you—literally, “more fuel”—several times a match.

And then there’s the music, which fills any time that’s left over. The song selection at Chaoyang Park suggests that the DJs have ransacked a teenager’s Case Logic from 1998. Reel Big Fish, Blink-182, and Smashmouth are in heavy rotation, along with “Uptown Girl” and (strangely) John Philip Sousa marches. (Most out-of-place song: “Sweet Home Alabama.”)

How many DJ’s can get away with mixing John Philip Sousa marches with Billy Joel and Lynyrd Skynyrd?


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