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judiz
07-16-2010, 11:02 PM
Sorry if this is alittle off topic, but if the USFS didn't put their backing behind Johnny, how did they decide between Jeremy (the current national champ) or Evan (the current World champ)?

Cheylana
07-17-2010, 12:37 AM
Sorry if this is alittle off topic, but if the USFS didn't put their backing behind Johnny, how did they decide between Jeremy (the current national champ) or Evan (the current World champ)?
I guess we'll never know if Evan was a clear #1 or if he and Jeremy were co-#1s since Jeremy took himself out of the running at the Olympics :( but I would guess that Evan, as the reigning World Champ and GPF champ, would have been seen as the #1 guy. Jeremy beat Evan at Nationals by a lot of points, but Evan was deliberately trying to peak at the Olympics; meanwhile Jeremy - much as I love him - is not reliable as a competitor.

aftershocks
07-17-2010, 09:08 AM
They gave him an awful lot of chances when he was winning. When he didn't keep winning (and it wasn't just US judges), when he DID mouth off to the media, when he made excuses in Torino, when he ran around wearing a Russian team jacket at international events, when he complained about not being appreciated and how it was all USFS hating on him--yeah, they're going to get fed up. Lack of COP-friendly programs was just icing on the cake. What were they going to do by the last warm-up in Vancouver?

If he'd medaled in Torino or won a Worlds, they would have swallowed most of it. ... But when he stopped winning, didn't learn to maximize the judging ... they moved on and backed other skaters who got results without being difficult. You only get away with the artiste/prima donna act if you win. That goes for any sport.


I can't argue with your view of things, but I do disagree with many of your assumptions and with the high-handed tone of your critique, which doesn't allow for the fact that s**t is often more complicated and messy/ smelly than we assume or care to realize.

Yep, I think you're right about that last part. But I don't think the irrepressible Mr. Weir could ever be more of a "prima donna" than the famously tantrum throwing Sonja Henie. Certainly, Mr. Weir never won as many championships, so of course he can't get away with that "act" of his, and he definitely hasn't gotten away with any "undeserved" medals, despite his fans often calling him wuzrobbed. :wuzrobbed

Ahem ... hey Johnny, you go gurrrl... go on with ya baaaddd self!
:yikes: Oh gosh, forgive me for enabling that f**k up. Just BGJW

REO
07-17-2010, 03:38 PM
LOL yeah, I think this issue was hashed through about as much as most of us can take in that last 1000 post thread. There will never be agreement on all this. People think what they think and minds around here are pretty much made up.

aftershocks
07-17-2010, 04:25 PM
LOL, REO, it does all get so weary wtf déjà vu after awhile. What will be Johnny’s epitaph I wonder? Of course, he’ll probably write it himself. :cool: Meanwhile, everyone can ignore my below repetitive thesis. ;) The high-handed critics just give me so much food for thought.
:violin:

I totally disagree with the apparent assumption that it was Johnny who just stopped winning. And what is meant by “they gave him an awful lot of chances when he was winning…” Please provide links to Johnny “complaining about not being appreciated” and saying that “it was all USFS hating on him.” Johnny has been criticized, teased, and asked to conform throughout his career, well before his eventual success at U.S. Nationals. There was always lackluster support for him. Then, after the disaster in Dallas, he came back stronger with gorgeous winning programs and performances that could not be denied, and he rose to the top. Yes, because Johnny’s extraordinary talent could not be ignored, he has won a fair amount of medals, but even early on USFS knew they had other talented skaters coming up and didn’t have to “put up” with Weir’s so-called “act.” Circa 2004-2005, USFS began promoting Evan Lysacek as an up-and-comer with all the goods. Lysacek was primed to move into the front runner spot as long as he continued to prove himself. With his great coach, and his dedication, and the simultaneous explosion of the Blackbook photos, Evan moved past Weir for good. IMHO, there are many in USFS who probably saw the BB photos and decided “that’s it” for Weir -- “no more U.S. Championship gold medals for that effeminate prima donna.” Absolutely, Evan deserved to win Nationals in 2007. And, IMHO, Johnny deserved to win a 4th U.S. championship in 2008, but the majority of powers-that-be who call the shots, were having none of that – again yes, IMO, the famous “tie” was largely a political outcome.

It’s interesting how the media ambushed Johnny after his iconic sp performance at the ’06 Olympics. There were articles questioning his sexual identity and statements suggesting he should just come out and admit to being gay. Yeah, he famously “missed the bus,” and said he wasn’t feeling “his aura.” Well, Johnny was a 21-year-old at his first Olympics, and he has admitted that he was distracted by first-time Olympics jitters. However, he knew his sp like a second skin, and performed it beautifully. Then, after missing the bus and having the media throw him underneath the bus, Johnny revisited the Otonal lp, which he’d reconstituted under critical pressure after Nationals’ “boring” Mrvica Fallen Angels program (IMO, it was the Mrvica music that was the main problem). ’06 Olympics was the first time Johnny had performed Otonal in at least 12 months. With raw nerves and little muscle memory, Johnny faltered big time, and the vultures closed in, oh so eager to pounce. But even before the ’06 Olympics began, the media was going bat-s**t crazy over Johnny’s off-hand response to questions about his costume; famously having compared it to an “icicle on coke.” Check the actual clip, and you will see that Johnny was not “mouthing off” to the media, he was responding in a humorous way to clueless questions.

It has always been the media flocking to Johnny and asking silly, provocative questions. Johnny tends to respond honestly (and not in a “mouthing off” way either). Johnny answers honestly because he can’t help being himself. Now, he’s older and wiser, but he’s still unafraid of what other people think of him. IMO, that’s brave and admirable, even though Johnny has paid a heavy price. And, :yawn: no Johnny is not a perfect angel. Yes, he made choices that didn’t always help his career. ... In any case, if you take an up close and personal look at Johnny, it’s obvious that he is a fun person to be around. Timothy Goebel once said that Johnny was the funniest person he knew, and that he always kept him laughing. I think it’s quite true as Johnny said in a press conference in Vancouver, that if his critics ever hung out with him and shared conversation over “a poutine,” they would probably get along with him and have a good time. Why can’t all the critics just get off their high horses and stop thumbing their noses at Johnny Weir? Sigh, I guess it’s like Johnny said recently – “I’m considered like this Russian spy ring that just got caught.”

DickButtonFan
07-17-2010, 04:34 PM
I don't even get why weir got 4th in Torino. Yeah he made mistakes but so did butle and lambiel.

aftershocks
07-17-2010, 05:12 PM
Actually, Johnny placed 5th overall in Torino, after being scored second in the sp, 10 pts behind the politically-favored Plushenko (not bashing Plushy here, as of course, a silver Olympic medal behind Plushy would have been considered a huge accomplishment for Johnny, had he been able to shake off those first-time jitters, meet the bus on time, overcome the media blindsiding, locate his aura, and perform Otonal as well as he had the previous season.) Obviously, he needed help from the judges, but that's a lot to ask if you're Johnny Weir.
____________________________________

It might be interesting to learn more about figure skating history, which often offers some perspective ... For example, in 1976, at least the media waited until after John Curry came off Olympic ice with gold medal in hand before they ambushed him with this well thought out stunner of a question, “Are you gay?” Curry reportedly smiled and said in a calm voice, “Yes, it’s true.” Perhaps he admitted this because he knew it couldn’t hurt his career. At that point, they weren’t going to take away his gold medal, so it made no difference, not that it should have made any difference at any point.



... when he ran around wearing a Russian team jacket at international events, ...

Please name all the events and specific times that Johnny wore a Russian team jacket. I recall Johnny at ’06 Olympics wearing a Russian team jacket that had been given to him as a gift from a friend - at what other events did he wear this jacket? Please also check out Toller Cranston’s book, Zero Tollerance. In Chapter 1, under the section “The Birth of the Peacock,” Cranston discusses a “big shindig the evening after the [1976] Olympics ended.” According to Cranston, “in those days (and even today), you traded your uniform with foreign athletes.” So, okay, big deal – Johnny may have picked the wrong time(s) to wear the gift of the Russian team jacket, but did wearing it, does wearing it mean he’s not proud of his own country? If that’s what you believe, how exactly have you reached that conclusion?



I guess we'll never know if Evan was a clear #1 or if he and Jeremy were co-#1s since Jeremy took himself out of the running at the Olympics :( but I would guess that Evan, as the reigning World Champ and GPF champ, would have been seen as the #1 guy. Jeremy beat Evan at Nationals by a lot of points, but Evan was deliberately trying to peak at the Olympics; ...

IMO, as far as USFS was concerned, Evan was their guy, and Abbott was the talented up-and-comer who found his mojo and was mostly workin’ it, which gave TPTB even more leeway to dump on that crazy, “Russian spy ring” weird over-the-top effeminate no CoP maximizing wacko, with “glue-sniffing” fans.



... meanwhile Jeremy - much as I love him - is not reliable as a competitor.

Yep, I guess the two-time National champion, and 2008 GPF champion is very “unreliable,” and he won’t be “reliable as a competitor” until he starts laying down consistently perfect programs, a la Michelle Kwan. ;)

You go, Jeremy! ... Personally, I'm not giving up on pigs being able to fly just yet. :cool:

REO
07-17-2010, 05:37 PM
Actually he got 5th. Evan got 4th and that was a nail in the coffin. I think the Torino Olympics was a huge deal in the rest of Johnny's career. Maybe even more than the Federation not being supportive. Before that the Federation was on his ass all the time about being "inappropriate" but they knew he was still their best shot and they gave him grief about the things he said, but I think they still politiked for him. After the LP, the press which had been up his butt and portrayed him as whacky but fun and smart, decided he was a loser homo who cared about shopping more than winning Olympic gold and the public bought into it so much that he got a mountain of hate mail and even death threats. Being the sensitive soul he is, he was thrown for a huge loop. Any 21 year old would be affected and Johnny's biggest hurdle has always been his own head. The next season was a disaster and he lost his National title to Evan. Deservedly so. Now the Federation has what they want. A by-the-book workaholic with no opinions of his own and little public personality. Johnny decides to pull it together. He has a great season until Nats where as Aftershock said he puts in a better performance than Evan. This cannot be tolerated thus the infamous tie. It took a long time for those scores to be posted that night. I will never be convinced there was not quick math going on. So Johnny goes to Worlds and wins the only US medal for which he is left off the World team the next year because he was dog sick at Nat's and still pulled 4th after a successful Grand Prix season. Even people who hold him in derision like Hamilton think he got rooked. The Federation makes sure he gets the nod for Vancouver because they know Ryan is going nowhere (sorry Ryan, I love you) and they don't want to take any chances especially if Jeremy or Evan happen to get sick or hurt. And the rest is underscored history. So to sum up I don't think the Federation are the only villains in the story nor the judges nor the press or the homophobic public but they all played their part.

psycho
07-17-2010, 06:00 PM
I'll never get the fuss over the jacket! What the hell was so wrong with a jacket?! Johnny's admiration for other culture and not acting like an "Ugly American" stereotype is one of the best and most endearing things about him, yet people throw that jacket in his face like one of his greatest sins. A jacket. Way to miss the point of Olympic spirit....

As for Torino, nothing amuses me more than how people act like Weir's performance was such a disaster that it allowed Evan to break out. Ahem. They were 4th and 5th place, with less than 4 points separating them. They had about equal expectations going in, one as a national champion the other as a world bronze medalist. Yet commentators and journalists alike refer to Evan's stint at the Olympics as "courageous" while Johnny's as "disastrous".

attyfan
07-17-2010, 06:11 PM
...
As for Torino, nothing amuses me more than how people act like Weir's performance was such a disaster that it allowed Evan to break out. Ahem. They were 4th and 5th place, with less than 4 points separating them. They had about equal expectations going in, one as a national champion the other as a world bronze medalist. Yet commentators and journalists alike refer to Evan's stint at the Olympics as "courageous" while Johnny's as "disastrous".

I don't think Johnny's program, good or bad, had anything to do with Evan's performance at all. However, the commentators, journalists and many of the members of the public find it somehow "better" for someone who had a horrible SP to come back strong in the FS, as Evan did in Torino, rather than having a big lead after the SP and a horrible FS, as did Johnny. Also, Evan was genuinely ill, which made him look better, whereas. Johnny's comments about the "aura" and "missing the bus", made him look bad -- and why he brought out those things, instead of some of the more legitimate issues, such as the program switching, is known only to him.

Snowgirl
07-17-2010, 06:12 PM
I'll never get the fuss over the jacket! What the hell was so wrong with a jacket?! Johnny's admiration for other culture and not acting like an "Ugly American" stereotype is one of the best and most endearing things about him, yet people throw that jacket in his face like one of his greatest sins. A jacket. Way to miss the point of Olympic spirit....

As for Torino, nothing amuses me more than how people act like Weir's performance was such a disaster that it allowed Evan to break out. Ahem. They were 4th and 5th place, with less than 4 points separating them. They had about equal expectations going in, one as a national champion the other as a world bronze medalist. Yet commentators and journalists alike refer to Evan's stint at the Olympics as "courageous" while Johnny's as "disastrous".

That's always like that. If you blow up the SP, but have a strong FS, you're a fighter. If you have a strong SP, but way worse FS, you're a loser, headcase, whatever. What goes last is remembered most.

And I totally agree about the jacket thing.


Also, Evan was genuinely ill, which made him look better, whereas. Johnny's comments about the "aura" and "missing the bus", made him look bad -- and why he brought out those things, instead of some of the more legitimate issues, such as the program switching, is known only to him.

Oh, in Johnny's case it doesn't matter. He may quote whatever reason, people will find something to blame him for. He was injured a month later at Worlds, but still was blamed for being a drama queen, not fighting and all these things.

JJH
07-17-2010, 06:16 PM
psycho, I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember that the primary problem with the jacket was that it was not even a current or recent Russian national jacket, but a much older Soviet Union jacket.

REO
07-17-2010, 06:17 PM
Well they say that because Johnny was in 2nd going into the free and Evan was in the toilet before pulling up to 4th so they were kind of correct in using those terms. My big deal is that after that Johnny was never again given the respect he deserved. All the Federation focus and support was on Evan. And again I know people get all pissy about the personality issue but before he "lost" America's medal Johnny caused more of a stir than any of the other US skaters and Men's had never been all that popular.

kwanfan1818
07-17-2010, 06:25 PM
Yet commentators and journalists alike refer to Evan's stint at the Olympics as "courageous" while Johnny's as "disastrous".
Lysacek was sick as a dog in the SP and finished in 10th place, over 12 points behind Weir and over 10 points behind Joubert, who stood in 4th. The only skater in the the top 10 with lower TES was Sandhu (33.8 to 33). Weir, by contrast, was in second, ahead of Lambiel, Joubert, Takahashi, and Buttle.

Lysacek came back to place in 3rd in the FS, more than 15 points over Weir, to end in 4th. The only skater with a top 10 FS with lower TES than Weir was Takahashi. Overall, Weir's TES were not top 10 in the FS.

From a sports narrative perspective, Lysacek didn't give up after a disaster of a FS for someone who was aiming (not hoping) for a medal and made a heroic comeback. (They even had the TV cameras on Lysacek as the marks came up for Buttle, who knocked him down to 4th, and that was a host feed, not a US feed.) Weir had a medal in his hands, and he gave it away. If Weir had been in 4th or 5th after the SP, the narrative would have changed.

psycho
07-17-2010, 06:27 PM
Also, Evan was genuinely ill, which made him look better, whereas. Johnny's comments about the "aura" and "missing the bus", made him look bad -- and why he brought out those things, instead of some of the more legitimate issues, such as the program switching, is known only to him.

Well, Johnny had mono, he just didn't know about it yet...
As for the aura explanation: those people who don't immediately dismiss everything he is saying and actually listen to what he meant by the "aura" comment will realize that he was being most truthful with those comments than he would have been with any program switching excuses. He was overwhelmed by pressure and got scared. He didn't feel comfortable. He freaked out at his first Olympics and that happens all the time. And he said a lot more about his skate than that bus comment, people just launch on to that.



From a sports narrative perspective, Lysacek didn't give up after a disaster of a FS for someone who was aiming (not hoping) for a medal and made a heroic comeback.

This is ridiculous. Two performances are part of the competition. They each blew one. Each did well in one. What about Johnny's "heroic" SP performance for the first time on the Olympic ice. What happened to illness not being an excuse, or is that only when Weir is sick?

And as any psychologist will tell you, skating when you have something to lose is a million times harder than skating when you have nothing to lose.


And again I know people get all pissy about the personality issue but before he "lost" America's medal Johnny caused more of a stir than any of the other US skaters and Men's had never been all that popular.
Well, Evan technically "lost" America's medal too (god, I hate that expression). He was second in the FS. If he skated better in the SP, a medal would be his, maybe even a silver medal.


psycho, I may be mistaken, but I seem to remember that the primary problem with the jacket was that it was not even a current or recent Russian national jacket, but a much older Soviet Union jacket.

Why would this make it worse? I mean, this country doesn't even exist anymore, so one can't spin it as allegiance to another country. The fact that it's a collectible item reinforces the jacket as a good luck charm and souvenir. And once again, why does it even matter, either way? It's a jacket. In warm up.