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View Full Version : Virtue & Moir vs Davis & White- the best rivalry in skating ever in any discipline?



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judgejudy27
02-13-2012, 12:00 AM
Has there even been two skaters or two teams in any discipline that hit their career peaks at the exact same time, held it for a number of years, and were so completely evenly matched, and where picking a winner was a virtual toss up each time.

zilam98
02-13-2012, 12:06 AM
Has there even been two skaters or two teams in any discipline that hit their career peaks at the exact same time, held it for a number of years, and were so completely evenly matched, and where picking a winner was a virtual toss up each time.

probably not across disciplines, but at least in ice dance. i think this is the intent of CoP--to produce comparable performances at least in ice dance since it has been the least objectively judged among the disciplines. now the skating federations see the fruition of that. and interestingly, it's been with the north american dance teams.

eurodance2001
02-13-2012, 12:07 AM
BOTH teams are fantastic!

oleada
02-13-2012, 12:07 AM
Um...no. Not even in ice dance.

judgejudy27
02-13-2012, 12:24 AM
Well I was trying to compare in my mind with some past top rivalries:

Yamaguchi vs Ito: Wasnt really a rivalry until the 90-91 season and there was no stellar matchup at a major event with Ito's problems at the 91 Worlds and 92 Olympics. Ito was basically on the downslope of her career and Kristi's was rising to its peak. Decent rivals as pro for a couple years, with better skating than their head to head matchups as amateurs produced.

Boitano vs Orser- Was really only a major rivalry in the 86-87 and 87-88 seasons. Fadeev vs Orser was the big rivalry up to and including the 86 Worlds, Boitano won those Worlds unexpectedly through others mistakes. Even in those two seasons it was really dependent on if Orser skated clean or not to who won, with Boitano's legendary consistency often being the difference. As pros Orser was not formidable and no rival to an ever improving Boitano.

Klimova & Ponomarenko vs Duchensays- Really only a rivalry for 2 seasons and in terms of technical ability the two teams were miles apart, but the Duchensays controversial style and hype brought them into the mix.

Kwan vs Lipinski- A 15 month rivalry, Lipinski's consistency and technicaly difficulty vs Kwan's superior all around ability.

Kwan vs Slutskaya- Mainly a 3 year rivalry. A pretty good one but few memorable big event clashes it turned out. Irina never skated cleanly at a World event other than the 2000 GP final where she blew away a just ok Kwan in the final round, and the 2002 Worlds where she cautiously rode a good FS to the gold after Kwan's short program miss put her out of the battle entirely. They were on podiums together from 96-98 but Slutskaya was never any real threat to Michelle, people like Lu Chen and Tara Lipinski were the threats to Michelle (Irina was actually threats to those two but not to Michelle). After 2002 met at a few cheesefests, and at the 2004 and 2005 Worlds were the two were nowhere remotedly close one way or the other.

Sale & Pelletier vs Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze- Neither a battle to the judges (viewed S&P as light years superior, which called any competitive suspense as you knew S&P would win everytime. The one exception being SLC, and the NA hype machine killed the judges for daring to veer) or on the ice (B&S were miles superior).

Asada vs Kim- A good rivalry but consistency problems for both women. Best battles were probably 2010 Olympics due only to Kim's untouchable brilliance there and Asada's determined attempts to keep up even if very much in vein, and the 2008 GP final where both women skated excellent final LPs.

Gordeeva & Grinkov vs Miskutienok & Dmitriev- Unfortunately it seems the judges viewed G&G as so far superior that it wasnt much of a rivalry. They could make major mistakes and still always beat a flawless M&D. Maybe if G&G had faced the stunning and judge approved Dreams of Love of M&D in 91-92 it would have been closer but sadly that never happened.

Thomas vs Witt- A 2 year rivalry. I think only 4 head to head meetings, as I dont believe they faced outside a Worlds or Olympics from March 86-March 88. One inspired showdown at the 87 Worlds, and the LP phase of the 86 Worlds perhaps. Anti climatic and dissapointing ending at Olympics and Worlds.

Plushenko vs Yagudin- This rivalry definitely rivals V&M vs D&W. In fact might be even better in a sense in that you had the perceived superior artist (Yagudin) vs the perceived superior athletic (Plushenko), but both men were supreme athletes, artists, and competitors.

Poetzsch vs Fratianne- A good rivalry but both are blah and forgettable skaters who dominated a super weak era. It also always came down to if Poetzsch bombed free skating to lose her figures lead, or if she stood up in free skating which ensured her winning due to her figures edge. Furthermore any Fratianne loss, obviously merited and unquestionable (78 Worlds), or possibly controversial (80 Olympics) was sure to be joined in by bitter Frank Carrol whining, as he viewed Fratianne to be an eternal goddess of some kind, not to mention Linda's crybaby of a mom, even further diluting any memories one would want to keep of the rivalry between the two for late 70s supremacy.

Linichuk & Karpanasov vs Recogzy & Sallay vs Moiseeva & Minenkov- L&K upset M&M for the 78 World title, then were never close to losing to them again until the 81 Europeans where L&K where then forced to retire. R&S were no threats to L&K until the 79-80 season, had their one year battle of controversial judging and contrasting styles, then retired.

I am sure there are some others I havent though of yet but as of yet the only one that comes close for me is Plushenko vs Yagudin.

victoriaheidi
02-13-2012, 12:39 AM
I feel like this is one of the most interesting for one main reason: they're training partners!

judgejudy27
02-13-2012, 12:41 AM
I am curious if some of the people who are voting no would like to point out the better rivalry(ies) they can think of. Actually I had not thought of Plushenko vs Yagudin when I started this poll. I think that is the one I would probably place over it, but the only one I can think of now. Kwan vs Slutskaya was one of the best rivalries too, but limited to only 3 seasons where it was a real rivalry. Orser vs Boitano hit a brilliant peak at Calgary but it was never a long standing great rivalry.

Vash01
02-13-2012, 12:48 AM
Well I was trying to compare in my mind with some past top rivalries:

Yamaguchi vs Ito: Wasnt really a rivalry until the 90-91 season and there was no stellar matchup at a major event with Ito's problems at the 91 Worlds and 92 Olympics. Ito was basically on the downslope of her career and Kristi's was rising to its peak. Decent rivals as pro for a couple years, with better skating than their head to head matchups as amateurs produced.

Boitano vs Orser- Was really only a major rivalry in the 86-87 and 87-88 seasons. Fadeev vs Orser was the big rivalry up to and including the 86 Worlds, Boitano won those Worlds unexpectedly through others mistakes. Even in those two seasons it was really dependent on if Orser skated clean or not to who won, with Boitano's legendary consistency often being the difference. As pros Orser was not formidable and no rival to an ever improving Boitano.

Klimova & Ponomarenko vs Duchensays- Really only a rivalry for 2 seasons and in terms of technical ability the two teams were miles apart, but the Duchensays controversial style and hype brought them into the mix.

Kwan vs Lipinski- A 15 month rivalry, Lipinski's consistency and technicaly difficulty vs Kwan's superior all around ability.

Kwan vs Slutskaya- Mainly a 3 year rivalry. A pretty good one but few memorable big event clashes it turned out. Irina never skated cleanly at a World event other than the 2000 GP final where she blew away a just ok Kwan in the final round, and the 2002 Worlds where she cautiously rode a good FS to the gold after Kwan's short program miss put her out of the battle entirely.

Sale & Pelletier vs Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze- Neither a battle to the judges (viewed S&P as light years superior, which called any competitive suspense as you knew S&P would win everytime. The one exception being SLC, and the NA hype machine killed the judges for daring to veer) or on the ice (B&S were miles superior).

Asada vs Kim- A good rivalry but consistency problems for both women. Best battles were probably 2010 Olympics due only to Kim's untouchable brilliance there and Asada's determined attempts to keep up even if very much in vein, and the 2008 GP final where both women skated excellent final LPs.

Gordeeva & Grinkov vs Miskutienok & Dmitriev- Unfortunately it seems the judges viewed G&G as so far superior that it wasnt much of a rivalry. They could make major mistakes and still always beat a flawless M&D. Maybe if G&G had faced the stunning and judge approved Dreams of Love of M&D in 91-92 it would have been closer but sadly that never happened.

Thomas vs Witt- A 2 year rivalry. I think only 4 head to head meetings, as I dont believe they faced outside a Worlds or Olympics from March 86-March 88. One inspired showdown at the 87 Worlds, and the LP phase of the 86 Worlds perhaps. Anti climatic and dissapointing ending at Olympics and Worlds.

Plushenko vs Yagudin- This rivalry definitely rivals V&M vs D&W. In fact might be even better in a sense in that you had the perceived superior artist (Yagudin) vs the perceived superior athletic (Plushenko), but both men were supreme athletes, artists, and competitors.

Poetzsch vs Fratianne- A good rivalry but both are blah and forgettable skaters who dominated a super weak era. It also always came down to if Poetzsch bombed free skating to lose her figures lead, or if she stood up in free skating which ensured her winning due to her figures edge. Furthermore any Fratianne loss, obviously merited and unquestionable (78 Worlds), or possibly controversial (80 Olympics) was sure to be joined in by bitter Frank Carrol whining, as he viewed Fratianne to be an eternal goddess of some kind, not to mention Linda's crybaby of a mom, even further diluting any memories one would want to keep of this twosome.


I am sure there are some others I havent though of yet but as of yet the only one that comes close for me is Plushenko vs Yagudin.

To answer the poll question first: It's a very good rivalry but not the best ever.

Out of the list you provided, here are my picks for excellent rivalries, and perhaps better than V&M vs. D&W (JMO):

#1.Plushenko vs. Yagudin- Lasted roughly 4 years. This resulted in both skaters becoming better skaters and better competitors. I wish Yagudin was not injured after the 2002 Olympics, or we would have seen some fantastic competitions.

#2.Boitano vs. Orser- This lasted for 4 years, but got much more interesting in their last two years, with the Olympics coming up. Again, I think it made both of them better. Brian vs Brian had a nice ring to it.

#3. Michelle vs. Irina- This may have lasted even longer than 4 years. Both of them were competing from a very young age to an 'old' age (for a skater). Michelle seemed to win the really big competitions, while Irina won others. Their styles were apples and oranges.

Thomas vs. Witt was a nice rivalry from 1986 to 1988, but it was overhyped by the media, IMO, with both skating to Carmen in 1988. I thought the 1986 & 1987 worlds provided closer competitions and better rivalry between the two.

Yamaguchi vs. Ito- not much of a rivalry, except at the 1992 Olympics. When Ito was at the top of her game, Kristi was still a newbie on the scene. In 1991 Kristi had developed as a complete skater, but Midori was battling injuries.

B&S vs. S&P- IMO this should never have been as close as the media & politics made it. B&S were miles ahead of S&P. Actually B&S vs. S&Z would have been a better rivalry, with artistry (B&S) and athleticism (S&Z) competing against each other.

G&G vs. M&D- no rivalry, since the judges had already decided to give the win to G&G regardless of how either pair skates. That is not to say G&G were not fantastic skaters, but M&D never got the respect they deserved, whenever they competed against G&G.

Asada vs. Kim- not much of a rivalry, although Asada did beat Kim at worlds one year (2008?). After that, Asada's career went downhill while Kim's rose quickly. At the 2010 Olympics the judges made sure that Kim would have insurmountable lead, so there was no real rivalry.

To your list, I would add Petrenko vs. Browning (1989-1992) rivalry. Although Browning won 3 world titles during this period, those were close competitions (except 1989). IMO Browning's wins in 90 & 91 (in particular) were very close. It should have set up a great showdown at the 92 Olys, but Kurt's injury and perhaps nerves took the air out of it.

T&M vs. S&Z was somewhat of a rivalry, and T&M developed a lot in order to be able to beat S&Z. Still, I don't see this as good as some of the others mentioned here.

Also I don't see Lipinski vs. Kwan as a major rivalry, because it was so short (1997 & 1998). Kwan vs. Cohen was a much better rivalry; it went on for many years.

judgejudy27
02-13-2012, 01:07 AM
Thanks for pointing out Petrenko vs Browning. That was one of the better ones too. They were certainly evenly matched and the rivalry lasted strong for 3 seasons. They were rivals as pros too but they were no longer THE rivalry.

I agree T&M vs S&Z become a good rivalry for the 2003-2006 quad. Not the best one though, rarely met after the 2004 Worlds as one was always injured.

I thought after the 1999 Worlds that Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze vs Shen & Zhou would evolve into the main rivalry of that quad for pairs but it didnt happen.

Kwan vs Cohen wasnt really a good rivalry IMO. It wasnt very competitive with Kwan dominating even in her twilight years. The only two times Sasha beat Michelle she still didnt win the event (2004 and 2005 Worlds) and was far outshone by the winners stunning LP so it was like a victory for neither of them, with all other confrontations Kwan triumphs with Sasha sometimes having her fleeting moment in the SP but unable to keep pace in the LP.

Vash01
02-13-2012, 01:10 AM
Thanks for pointing out Petrenko vs Browning. That was one of the better ones too. They were certainly evenly matched and the rivalry lasted strong for 3 seasons. They were rivals as pros too but they were no longer THE rivalry.

I agree T&M vs S&Z become a good rivalry for the 2003-2006 quad. Not the best one though, rarely met after the 2004 Worlds as one was always injured.

I thought after the 1999 Worlds that Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze vs Shen & Zhou would evolve into the main rivalry of that quad for pairs but it didnt happen.

Kwan vs Cohen wasnt really a good rivalry IMO. It wasnt very competitive with Kwan dominating even in her twilight years. The only two times Sasha beat Michelle she still didnt win the event (2004 and 2005 Worlds) and was far outshone by the winners stunning LP so it was like a victory for neither of them, with all other confrontations Kwan triumphs with Sasha sometimes having her fleeting moment in the SP but unable to keep pace in the LP.

Sasha always had the potential to beat Kwan, and probably she was the only US lady with that potential (although Sarah did beat her at the 2002 Olys and one of the GPs; still she was nowhere close to Kwan in her overall abilities)

judgejudy27
02-13-2012, 01:13 AM
Sasha always had the potential to beat Kwan, and probably she was the only US lady with that potential (although Sarah did beat her at the 2002 Olys and one of the GPs; still she was nowhere close to Kwan in her overall abilities)

True but she wasnt a good enough competitor, and everyone knew it. Add to that Kwan always seemed to skate lights out during her rivalry with Sasha (eg- 2003 Worlds, every year at Nationals), leaving Sasha little chance of winning even had she gone clean. Maybe Sasha sealed her fate with her attempt to collide with Kwan in the 2002 Nationals warmup.

Carmen Ovsiannikov
02-13-2012, 01:24 AM
Um...no. Not even in ice dance.

Agreed.


I am curious if some of the people who are voting no would like to point out the better rivalry(ies) they can think of.....


To answer the poll question first: It's a very good rivalry but not the best ever.

Out of the list you provided, here are my picks for excellent rivalries, and perhaps better than V&M vs. D&W (JMO):

B&S vs. S&P- IMO this should never have been as close as the media & politics made it. B&S were miles ahead of S&P. Actually B&S vs. S&Z would have been a better rivalry, with artistry (B&S) and athleticism (S&Z) competing against each other.

G&G vs. M&D- no rivalry, since the judges had already decided to give the win to G&G regardless of how either pair skates. That is not to say G&G were not fantastic skaters, but M&D never got the respect they deserved, whenever they competed against G&G.

.......

I don't think D&W is the best rivalry either even if we just take icedance into consideration.

I quoted Vash's answers about B&S vs S&P and G&G vs M&D because IMHO I could apply elements from both sets of matchups to the D&W vs V&M rivalry.

As with B&S vs S&P, I don't feel that V&M vs D&W is as great a rivalry as the media and the judges have made it seem.

I've always had the impression that those who program and air figureskating are concerned with ratings first and foremost. I can't help but feeling that some of what is said on air is to make sure viewers don't lose interest. I've said in the past that in the post Blumberg/Siebert years before the U.S. finally began winning dance medals the commentators put it out there that the Americans weren't winning due only to politics because perhaps coming out and telling the viewing audiences that the Amercians just weren't up to the Russian/Europeans/Canadians would make them tune out. Also people complained about the same teams winning all the time and that it would be more exciting to see new and different teams get a turn.

Figureskating is definitely seeing a downturn in viewer interest and even people aren't going to exhibition events and competitions the way they used to. I don't think the economy is the only reason. Right after Vancouver, people began complaining when V&M won the World title about V&M being held up. The complaints began again when V&M won the SD in Russia last year at Worlds.

I think USFS and Universal needs for there to be a rivalry. As with the G&G vs M&D I think in part the great rivalry and back and forth was decided by the judges to make the sport look more competitive.

Cherub721
02-13-2012, 01:32 AM
If by good rivalry you mean that we can never be sure who will win any given event, then yes... if by good rivalry you mean the skating doesn't bore me to tears... no.

At least in the singles events you can watch the jumps on the edge of your seat and hope your favorite pulls through (I'm not saying figure skating is just jumping, but I'm talking about the excitement factor of a close competition).

With V&M and D&W the win comes down to who got the levels, which is based on some slight bobble in one step or failing to hold a spin/lift position for enough seconds or something, things that most fans cannot notice in real time. Thus you can be swept away in the emotion of a performance but it doesn't win and you have to wait for the protocols to come out (just look at the 4CC thread). The reaction to the results in the threads is just as often bewilderment as excitement.

judgejudy27
02-13-2012, 01:48 AM
I think USFS and Universal needs for there to be a rivalry. As with the G&G vs M&D I think in part the great rivalry and back and forth was decided by the judges to make the sport look more competitive.

This is where I am a bit confused though. I thought in the case of G&G vs M&D it was the judges that didnt even allow a rivalry to exist (I dont know how you feel about the two pairs, but it was clear the judges felt G&G were far superior and were certain to win over M&D even with major mistakes, they viewed M&D as closer to Brasseur & Eisler than G&G). Which would be the opposite of your beliefs on the V&M and D&W rivalry wouldnt it?

Carmen Ovsiannikov
02-13-2012, 02:04 AM
judgejudy27, I said there were elements from both the G&G/M&D rivalry and the B&S/S&P rivalry present in the V&M/D&W situation. I should have been more clear on what those elements from each era were. I actually had a longer post and deleted some of it as I thought it might have seemed too harsh or confrontational so the point I was trying to make may have been lost.

Vash stated that with the G&G/M&D rivalry the judges decided ahead of time to give the wins to G&G ahead everytime no matter how they skated. That was the part that reminded me of the V&M/D&W situation. The situation in the last two seasons brought that to mind. D&W were all of a sudden being seen as superior and beating V&M even in the PCS scores. I would have expected that if D&W were placed ahead of V&M it would have been in the TES scores as D&W are the more athletic team and have been given credit for their powerhouse skating and pair like lifts.

Even without mistakes and Tessa being in the process of recovering from her leg surgeries, V&M have had problems being able to beat D&W. At least they did until this weekend. It had/has reached the point where some are viewing V&M as somehow slipping behind an ever strengthening D&W. IMO this is an impression helped along by the huge scores D&W receive even when they make mistakes. As with G&G, the judging of D&W although it has been debated quite a bit has helped with the impression that D&W are the team to beat.

I hope that made more sense.