Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by missflick, May 10, 2010.
Thanks for the link. I enjoyed the article.
While Mirai's tier did make me go hmm for a second or two, I do not agree with Hersh. The criteria for the tiers are published long before the envelopes are announced, and there should be no surprises as to who gets what. All a skater needs to do is meet the criteria and she will get the funding.
Had the criteria not been published months prior there might be a case of unfairness, but since everyone knows how to earn their money months in advance...
Moreover, no matter how the criteria are written, there will be cases of skaters slipping through the cracks because of the way they place.
Or do we want skaters' funding criteria to be changed after the fact to fit a skater's "situation", prompting more cries of unfairness?
Or have funding depend on the coaches' or fans' vague assertions on potential?
No unfairness. The US has always treated Nationals as a special event, and only in the most recent iteration of tier funding did the national champion not automatically make it into Team A and the highest funding level. I think that the most recent changes could be termed the Czisny/Abbott rule -- I suspect that the powers that be didn't like automatic Team A high level funding for skaters that didn't skate well at Worlds.
And 7th at Worlds is nice but not so stunningly fabulous as to make anyone say that Nagasu automatically should get the higher level of funding.
Besides, I doubt she has any shortage of sponsors at this point. The girl does perky and bubbly to the Nth degree.
And was that a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" to Rachael Flatt? I don't think Phil is a fan.
The guidelines were published a long time ago and according to them, Flatt is eligible for Tier One and Nagasu is not. I'm glad that Nagasu was not bumped up just because she finished higher in two competitions. It's not like Nagasu won those competitions. Not to be rude, seventh in the world isn't that much better than ninth. They fall into the same tier according to ISU (1-3, 4-6, 7-9). Hersh loved Nagasu until she performed poorly. Now that she's back on track, he's back to loving her. Thank God we have some rules instead of letting Phil pick 'em. Flatt came out on top according to the rules. Move on Phil.
Exactly. What Hersh should be pointing out, instead of calling the rules "myopic", is that if Mirai had landed a simple (for her) 2axel in her Worlds FS, she would have made Tier 1 (and medaled). Given the criteria, yes, Rachael should be ranked higher than Mirai, b/c Rachael won Nats.
(And if Mirai had fully rotated all of her jumps at Nats, she might have won. )
I do notice that the only comment approved and posted on the blog is the one that agrees with Hersh.
Yeah, I wasn't quite sure what his point was. I sort of felt like he was trying to push her out. Then at the end he says she actually deserves the A funding but Nagasu does too. Just a bit by his motive.
That said, I do think Nagasu should have won Nationals this year. Who knows if she would have done as well at OLYs though.
Yeah. I can't help thinking that he wouldn't be telling Mirai to retire if she has a lower placed finish at next years worlds. And to be frank the criteria is the criteria, it shouldn't be changed as an afterthought for one skater-I don't care how talented.
I do agree with Hersh that Rachael would do well to consider Stanford full time should her next season fail to be successful.
Its not that I don't agree with him, I just found the tone of his article condescending, especially when he was talking about there being no reason for Rachael to be on a higher tier from Mirai, as if it was some kind of outrage, when the criteria was mentioned well before their main results this season.
Well, that's Hersh for you. But he does make a good point occasionally.
So far...it can take up to 24-48 hours.
I posted a reply that was very critical of him last year, but to his credit it was posted, and I've seen some others that were so inappropriate that I wouldn't post them if I were in Phil's place...but he did.
Like a lot of folks here I agree with him sometimes, and sometimes I disagree, or think he's being a jerk.
But censorship of reader replies has not been among his faults that I can tell.
My take is Hersh felt Nagasu wuzrobbed of the National title this past season but felt it didn't matter because ultimately she made the Olympic and World team. Little did he know/ realise until now that it was also costing Nagasu one level of funding.
Rules are rules, but when someone beat the reigning US champion and become the top US lady/ new judges' favorite at both the Olympics and Worlds and doesn't receive the same funding as the US champion who clearly fell out of judges' favour, something is wrong with the funding rules. They should look at it again for next year.
The rules are fine as it is. There's no way to tweak the rules to account for every odd situation that doesn't fit because they would have to write "the highest placing US skater at worlds" or something like that without naming the placement (which would have been an odd way for USFSA to write the criteria).
Nagasu is a rising talent. But if an old hand and a medal favorite ended up with the same placements, no doubt the naysayers would say "she missed the podium at Olympics and worlds again" and advocate for a lower tier funding. So how do we write the rules to match fans' perception of who's deserving? Something like "If you miss the podium the third time you get bumped down?" but "if you get top ten the first try you get bumped up?" LOL
I think going strictly by placement is fine to completely avoid letting fan perception and comparison between skaters dictate this.
The one time I posted a negative response it appeared immediately but disappeared and reappeared long after I commented. Can't say what caused it.
Can he shut his mouth for once??? Rachael will decide by herself whether she wants to continue or not. She doesn't need some dumb journalist who doesn't really seem to know much about this sport to tell her what she should do in the future.
I'm a little irate at the notion that, somehow, Rachael had an unsuccessful season.
-- She won Nationals, showing tremendous consistency at a time when many others melted.
-- She made the Olympic team
-- She competed very, very well at what turned out to be one of the most competitive Olympic ladies events we've seen in years. I still think that her LP scores were a little jobbed to make good and sure that Rochette, who was yet to skate, made the podium.
-- She was a little flatter at Worlds, but still ended in the top 10.
And she did all this while still managing to complete a full high school course load packed with four or five AP classes, including Calc BC and one of the Physics courses.
She has a lot to be proud of this year. Exactly how did Jeremy do at Olympics and Worlds? Taking what kind of courseload?
Rachael had a good season, there is no doubt. She is an amazing achiever.
But we (and Hersh) are talking about next season and what she could or could not contribute to the sport.
I think Hersh is trying to use the USFS funding levels to get to Flatt...perhaps he is jealous that Flatt has been able to do all of what she has accomplished ....and gone to school full time and pull straight "A's" with a rigorous course load, and compete at the World level. I don't see him picking on Abbott or the pair teams or dance teams.
Get over it, Phil! LOL! Move on and find something else to write about.
Well he just doesn't see Flatt as the future (or the present) and he is entitled to his opinion even if some disagree.
If Flatt rocked next season too I am sure he would know to shut up. [although even with similar skates I don't think either the US or international judges would be behind her]
Oh he did pick on Abbott in an earlier blog all right.
Well, if I really wanted to be jealous over someone skating and off the ice career, I'd pick Debi Thomas and not Rachael Flatt.
ITA!! I bet he won't suggest that Mirai should go to college or work in her parents restaurant if she doesn't have a fabulous season.
I can't stand Rachael Flatt's skating. But she has produced moderately good results. So what if she's probably never going to be world champion or medalist? If she or her parents have enough money to keep competing and she enjoys it, then let her skate however long she wants. Most of the skaters in the world are kinda sucky or have sucky results. Don't see why someone can be bothered with her skating or not devoting her attention full-time to school.
If Phil disagrees with how the criteria are established or applied, that's fine. But there are ways to present those arguments without turning them into an attack on Flatt for not "doing better" after Nationals.
That being said, frankly I don't care if she was taking 800 extra credit courses, getting A+++ in every course, solving the Middle East conflicts in her spare time, etc. etc. That's very admirable that she's doing so much in addition to skating, but it makes no sense to me to say "Well, she did very well considering all the other things she was involved in." Did I miss the component in the IJS for "activities off the ice"?
95% of the skaters in the world would kill for those results. There's no need to justify them. She had a very good year and she met the USFS funding criteria. If Hersh wants to b*tch about something, b*tch about the criteria, not the skaters.
The only "attack" words that I can find are:
"Flatt, whose season went downhill after nationals,.." (and it's somewhat true!)
Phil said this about Rachel in last part of the article:
"She already has had a career as sparkling as the sequins on her dresses: U.S. champion, world junior champion, two-time U.S. runner-up, Olympic team, two senior world teams.
No U.S. woman has been more successful the past four years than Flatt. She clearly belongs in the nation's top tier."
And yesterday he wrote this clarification in the article's comments section:
"I did not say Flatt was undeserving of Tier I by the standard of the criteria in place.
And I did not say the criteria in place should not apply.
My point was the criteria are absurd, no matter how far in advance they were published.
Posted by: Philip Hersh | May 11, 2010 at 07:58 AM"
Seems that he is already doing exactly what you are demanding.
For the time being, Phil is a Nagasu-bot...but not at Rachel's expense IMHO.
That line makes me sad. US used to be able to rely on Kwan and Cohen. OK, Cohen might never be clean or win Worlds but she would almost always medal despite faltering somewhat.
But after they were gone, it's relying on Meissner, Czisny and Flatt. For a nation that has been dominant in the ladies for so long, a US champion who can place 5th at Worlds at her absolute best, while admirable given her circumstances, is very sad for the state of US skating. Zhang, Nagasu and Wagner were all supposed to have grown up but their international results have been moderate at best. The only exciting result since Meissner's world title is probably Nagasu's 4th at the Olympics. But then that wasn't even considered in the funding for next season. How silly.
I think it's silly Nagasu isn't also in the top tier, and it's silly that Cohen is still right up there. It's like only Nationals matter and Zhang's 4CCs medal, Wagner's GP success or Zawadzki's Jr World medal do not matter at all.
Meissner actually produced decent results at worlds until her injuries/slump. 1st in 2006 (even without Cohen, her 1st and Hughes' 7th (?) would have been good enough for 3 spots in 07), then her 4th in 2007 just barely eeked out 3 spots for 2008. That's when the troubles for the US ladies REALLY began. Meissner (and Hughes too) slid down the standings (injuries/past their prime/whatever you want to call it), but the next group of American ladies wasn't good enough to take over where they left off. The best they could do was 5th place in 2009 (Flatt). While underwhelming internationally, however, from a national perspective the ladies' scene has been more competitive than ever. After Kwan in 2005, every single year has brought us a new US ladies' champ. And that ladies' champ (since 2007) has underwhelmed in every possible way. 11th, 9th...
I know better than to look to the rising skaters Gao, et al. This is a true slump the ladies are in, and unfortunately I see no end to it in the near future- unless Nagasu can pull herself together- her scores suggest that she may be able to be a factor in the future, but it's up to her to make the most of it- and it would be nice if somebody else could share the burden. As great as MK was, she couldn't do it alone- there was Hughes, then Cohen that provided the 1-2 punch necessary to lock three spots every time. Basically, even if Nagasu becomes a world-class contender, she's gonna need help from someone else...Flatt isn't a bad choice but she'll have to do better than 9th...forget Czisny (with all due respect to her)...or even Wagner, although maybe she would do better this time.
MK, et al. left behind some pretty big shoes to fill. So far the skater worthy enough to walk in those shoes has not shown up yet...