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  1. #1
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    Phil Hersh's latest blog 11/19/10

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/...medium=twitter

    I hope that I posted this in the right place.

    He's not taking prisoners.

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    And quoting FSU, no less.
    The headlines for three Skate America threads in a forum on the web site Figure Skating Universe seem snarky but they pretty much sum up the season:

    *``Undaunted Splattage'' was the characterization of the men's free skate.

    *``Step By Step, Splat To Splat, They All Fall Down'' was the view of the women's free skate.

    *``When the prog(ram) bites, when the splats sing'' was the amalgam of the women's short program.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Phil couldn't even be bothered to attend Skate America (citing hard times for the media), so he had to write about what he saw on TV -- and quote FSU's snarky thread titles as apt descriptions of the performances (he neglected to point out that these were written BEFORE any skating ensued in the various events). Unfortunately, the snark turned out to be all too descriptive. Anyway, I suppose Sharpie is glad to know that FSU is providing a valuable service to cash-strapped journalists.

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    As for pairs: who cares?

    The U.S. teams are painfully out of their league as usual, and the addition of brilliant Chinese teams over the past decade still hasn't made up for the loss of Russian pairs' brilliance, a demise that began when the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991. (Who would have ever thought the top Russian pair would need an emigree from Japan?)

    German pair Aliona Savchenko, determined to end her reputation as a sourpuss, and partner Robin Szolkowy, are flat-out brilliant skaters, as reflected by two world titles, but their over-the-top style still lacks subtlety. (Pink Panther free skate? How hokey can you get. They have too much talent and experience for such shlock.)
    Ouch!

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    And an asterisk for Davis and White? That's insulting.

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    Now that I know Phil Hersh reads FSU... SHUT THE F*** UP. IF YOU HAVE NOTHING NICE TO SAY DON'T SAY YOUR IDIOTCY AT ALL, PHIL.

    You know why your dumb predictions in 2006 were wrong? It's because you're an imbecile, who apparently knows absolutely zip about figure skating (so what if you've followed the sport for 25 years? You've apparently learned nothing). I don't even know why you get published with your lack of ability to write.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    And quoting FSU, no less.
    We're famous!
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
    Old, lonely, pathos-hungry, and extremely gullible

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    Hey Phil, Icenetwork.com subscription is $30.00 for the year. Maybe your "cash-strapped" paper can spring for you so actually CAN watch an event you trying to cover
    "awwww....shades of Janet Lynn" - Dick Button on anyone who makes more than one mistake in their program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanette View Post
    And an asterisk for Davis and White? That's insulting.
    An asterisk? Uh, Phil, that's not how it works.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanette View Post
    And an asterisk for Davis and White? That's insulting.
    I don't like the asterisk idea or even that its a foregone conclusion that they will win. I want them to win, I just don't want them to be jinxed!! (Even though I'm not sure if I believe in jinxes.)

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    BRAVO to Phil Hersch for telling it like it is. Lots of true-isms here, such as:

    The best thing one can say Abbott so far this season is he has been competent.

    Who would have ever thought the top Russian pair would need an emigree from Japan?

    And this one is most enlightening:

    [It's] worth noting that the top two women's total scores this season belong to Russians in the Junior Grand Prix, where the free skate has one fewer scoring element than in the senior Grand Prix.

    The "asterisk" comment on Meryl and Charlie is catty but the truth is that they will suffer the thoughts that skating fans all over the world had in 1979 about Tai & Randy's World win with Rodnina/Zaitsev out for the season: What if THEY would have been there, would Tai & Randy have had a prayer to win? Probably not, especially in the old subjective scoring system.
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 11-19-2010 at 10:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanette View Post
    And an asterisk for Davis and White? That's insulting.
    I thought asterisks were reserved for athletes on HGH.

    It is insulting. Competitors can't help what happens to their rivals; injuries, meltdowns, whatever. It's like the age debate back in Torino. The competition is with everyone who shows up. Even if someone's main rivals didn't show up, it doesn't always mean winning is suddenly a cakewalk.

    ETA: Well at least everyone was equally dragged behind the wagon?

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    I don't think Savchenko/ Szolkowy's style can be called "over- the- top". "Out of Africa?", "Schindler's List?" Hardly not subtle. They can do different styles. So, they are having fun this year. Good for them.

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    I'm sure that the newspaper's budget for sportswriters to travel is not in Hersch's control. I have a friend who works for the sports department of a newspaper. There is no budget for travel outside of their own direct coverage of the local D-1 university's sports. And when it comes to minor sports for them (i.e. not football, men's b-ball or volleyball) there is no travel budget at all.

    I don't always like or agree Hersch, but it is silly to blame him if the Tribune won't fly him to Portland and even sillier to expect him to foot the bill himself and miss work. He has other responsibilities for his job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    BRAVO to Phil Hersch for telling it like it is. Lots of true-isms here, such as:

    The best thing one can say Abbott so far this season is he has been competent.

    Who would have ever thought the top Russian pair would need an emigree from Japan?

    And this one is most enlightening:

    [It's] worth noting that the top two women's total scores this season belong to Russians in the Junior Grand Prix, where the free skate has one fewer scoring element than in the senior Grand Prix.

    The "asterisk" comment on Meryl and Charlie is catty but the truth is that they will suffer the thoughts that skating fans all over the world had in 1979 about Tai & Randy's World win with Rodnina/Zaitsev out for the season: What if THEY would have been there, would Tai & Randy have had a prayer to win? Probably not, especially in the old subjective scoring system.
    Re: Charlie and Meryl, does that mean that any winner in the past whose main rival was absent gets an asterisk? We should make a list..it would be a long one.

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    This is my favorite part of all: and Canada's perpetually overscored Patrick Chan. I am glad atleast someone had the guts to say it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smarts1 View Post
    I don't even know why you get published with your lack of ability to write.
    Because a bunch of people from around the world read his blog, link to it from a message board, and discuss it in rapidly-growing threads?

    I agree with everything that's been said here about Phil's stupid comments, but the way to put him out of business is to stop reading what he writes. Although that doesn't mean that the Trib (which also owns the L.A. Times and a bunch of other papers) will hire someone knowledgable about skating to replace him. In this case, I think bad writing is better than no writing, unfortunately.

    I do hope that the Trib can find the money in its budget to send Phil to Nats, or at least make sure the IN subscription is paid up. Because there is a lot of up-and-coming talent in the Novice and Junior ranks and I think if Phil got to see that, he'd stop bemoaning the future of U.S. skating.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    This is my favorite part of all: and Canada's perpetually overscored Patrick Chan. I am glad atleast someone had the guts to say it.
    That's your definition of guts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    BRAVO to Phil Hersch for telling it like it is. Lots of true-isms here, such as:

    The best thing one can say Abbott so far this season is he has been competent.

    Who would have ever thought the top Russian pair would need an emigree from Japan?

    And this one is most enlightening:

    [It's] worth noting that the top two women's total scores this season belong to Russians in the Junior Grand Prix, where the free skate has one fewer scoring element than in the senior Grand Prix.

    The "asterisk" comment on Meryl and Charlie is catty but the truth is that they will suffer the thoughts that skating fans all over the world had in 1979 about Tai & Randy's World win with Rodnina/Zaitsev out for the season: What if THEY would have been there, would Tai & Randy have had a prayer to win? Probably not, especially in the old subjective scoring system.
    You act as if Virtue & Moir destroyed Davis & White at the Olympics and Worlds and D & W wouldn't have a chance against them now. Far as i'm concerned Davis & White got robbed at Worlds this year and beat them fair and square but Olympic gold medals carry a lot of weight with the judges.

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    I think Hersh is being a bit dire. I mean in the case of Kanako, he seems to forget that both Asada AND Kim had mistakes in their first couple of GP skates. Second, one could point out how "dire" 2006 Olympics was, and then next season Kim and Asada entered the show. The fact that there are two young Junior skaters capable of outscoring the other Seniors, suggests at the very least, things will hopefully get better by Sochi.

    As for Davis/White, I'd point out that with Tessa's injury issue while Virtue/Moir say they are coming back, who knows if them coming back will actually happen. Its very possible that P/B might become a significant challenge. If Davis and White skate like they did at Skate America, and P/B skate like they did at Cup of China, P/B should come out on top if the judging is fair. Of course I expect Charlie and Meryl to skate much better at Worlds this year.

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