Wednesday, 7 June 2023

International Volleyball

John Sutton, Phil Dalhausser and the real story of the Porsche Panamera Turbo

John Sutton, Phil Dalhausser and the real story of the Porsche Panamera Turbo

John Sutton at AVP New Orleans/Rick Atwood photo

Yes, there was this Porsche, a 2017 Panamera Turbo.

Phil Dalhausser really, really wanted a Porsche Panamera.

John Sutton didn’t exactly give Dalhausser that same 2017 matte gray Porsche Panamera Turbo so he could play on the AVP with him.

But it didn’t hurt that he had one he wasn’t using.

And Sutton?

John Sutton is living the American dream and, along the way, playing with house money. He’s handsome, athletic, and retired, so to speak, at 40. He’s also been Phil Dalhausser’s AVP partner four times, most recently two weeks ago in New Orleans.

“I live my life under this idea that if you don’t go for it or ask for it, you’re never going to get it,” Sutton said. “You know what I mean? I’m not afraid to ask somebody to do something. When everyone else was like, ‘I wouldn’t even ask Phil to play with me.’ I did.”

And you know what?

“It’s my best sponsor to date,” Dalhausser said with a laugh. “That car is worth quite a bit of money and in four tournaments I haven’t gotten that type of money, per tournament, in my career.”


Dalhausser, 43, is in the discussion of the greatest big men to ever play beach volleyball. He’s won every FIVB and AVP award imaginable, played in four Olympics, two with Todd Rogers — they won gold in 2008 in Beijing — and two with Nick Lucena.

The “Thin Beast” retired from international competition after the 2021 pro beach volleyball season. He said then he planned to still play some AVPs, both because he wanted to and to fulfill sponsor obligations.

So last July when Dalhausser announced that his partner for AVP Denver was going to be a guy named John Sutton, pretty much everyone asked the same question:

Who the hell was John Sutton?

John Sutton had, in fact, played on the AVP before. In 2017 and 2018, he and Joe Keller lost in the first rounds of the Manhattan Beach qualifier. In 2019, they tried again and lost in the qualifiers in Huntington Beach, Seattle, the MBO again, and, finally Hawai’i. You can’t say they weren’t persistent: Sutton and Keller got into the 2021 AVP Atlanta qualifer, and — you guessed it — lost again.

So it was understandable if even the most diehard AVP fan hadn’t heard of Sutton when he teamed with the legendary big man.

But how?

It started on a plane in 2019.

Dalhausser played most of the last seven years of his international career with Nick Lucena.

The 6-foot…

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