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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    Don't forget all the hullaballo last year about how Johnny was "too gay" for SOI. It was all over CNN. It was a terrible PR blow for SOI, and totally hyped more by Johnny's fans than Johnny himself. I think that has way more to do with them not extending a contract this season than the book, since the book came out recently and SOI contracts probably would have been signed prior to the book coming out.
    True, but I assume that the hostility with Michael Weiss goes way back. Also, Johnny has made it known for years that he is not a team player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    @kwanette: A question about Evan is asked by a fan in clip #3, when Johnny is responding to an earlier question about skaters he might like to appear in his planned show with Lady Gaga and Elton John. If Evan does have such a stipulation in his contract for shows, I don't think that would necessarily pertain to Evan appearing at a FSIH benefit when Johnny is also appearing. Perhaps Evan, as the Olympic champion, prefers to be the major male skating star for any touring or special performance shows. In any case, I doubt that Johnny would ever think of asking Evan to appear in his skating spectacular. Seriously, I think these guys both had a lot of respect for each other growing up in the sport, but maybe they never had a lot in common and would never have been friends anyway. The real problem, IMO, is that the federation and the media overdid the rivalry aspect, and also that Evan's personality seemed to change after he won the bronze at Worlds in 2005. For example, when Johnny had his meltdown in the lp at 2003 Nats, Johnny later said Evan was the only person who came up to him backstage and offered words of encouragement. Once Evan became the fed favorite and began winning internationally, IMO, he seemed to take on a different mindset (not saying that's wrong, but just my observation) which left no room for being kind to his closest competitors.

    @Justathoughtabl: ITA, Johnny is very giving of his time to fans, and he's very open and funny in responding to questions, especially that one about an error in his book. I love how he responds to the question about being a star, but also being approachable. He said he feels it is an honor to give back love and time to his fans who give so much to him. Johnny also had some lovely things to say about his friendship with Stephane Lambiel. I think Johnny's personality is very empathetic, and that he somehow responds to people in the same manner in which they respond to him. He's very attuned to emotions.

    In the below press interview clip (also posted in the Johnny comeback thread), Johnny is asked again about the U.S. men's team, and he has interesting things to say about Adam Rippon. I hope Adam is able to work out his growing pains and come back strong for next season. Johnny is also asked about Ryan Bradley, and he admits that Ryan is a good skater, but he doesn't think he'll be able to medal at Worlds since he previously was in "16th place." Actually, Ryan was 15th at 2007 Worlds -- I think he had blown one of his programs that year, and should probably have placed higher. In 2010, Ryan was 18th (he was dealing with an injury). I've always enjoyed Ryan -- he's very entertaining. I think he's improved his spins, and he has great jumps when he's on. I give Ryan a thumbs-up, and hope he does well at Worlds. I've often thought that if Ryan had been born in Russia and been made to take ballet (which Russians don't consider to be a sissy undertaking), he might have more stretch, flexibility and a sense of artistry and musicality, which combined with his long legs and charisma, would make him absolutely breathtaking as a skater.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5we8p8S9Ehw
    Thanks, aftershocks, I saved the magazine in which Johnny said those kind things re: Evan at 03 Nats. In fact at the 05 SA FOFS breakfast, I had an opportunity to chat with Evan. He wasn't aware of the magazine article and said to me.."We're friends.." I sent a copy of the article to Evan and he wrote me a lovely personal thank you note which I still have.

    I have always liked Johnny and Evan...as skaters and as people...and I always wished the best for both of them. It's too bad that the 'rivalry" ended up being somewhat nasty. We were lucky to have those two men earning 3 spots for us for yrs.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Once Evan became the fed favorite and began winning internationally, IMO, he seemed to take on a different mindset (not saying that's wrong, but just my observation) which left no room for being kind to his closest competitors.
    It's also possible that once it was perceived by Evan's competitors that Evan was the "fed favorite", his competitors' attitudes toward Evan changed and not vice versa. Jealously and/or envy will immediately change how you interact with someone whom you were once friendly with.

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    @orbitz: Re your comment: "It's possible ... his competitors' attitudes toward Evan changed and not vice versa..." Sure, and it's also possible that Evan was once jealous of his competitors prior to his success, and possibly he channeled some of those emotions into doing whatever it took to improve and to reach the top of the podium. My opinion re your comment is that it's vice versa, as well as a mixture of circumstances and emotions all around -- i.e., Evan's demeanor changed to one of intensity, and he began to focus exclusively and aggressively on winning -- obviously nothing wrong with that, as it did work for him. Perhaps his competitors noticed the change, and may have felt that Evan was holding his nose in the air as being above everyone else, and obviously jealousy could also be a factor in his competitors' perceptions. Johnny has already admitted that he is jealous of Evan's Olympic and World championship success. I don't get the impression though that Johnny is jealous of Evan as a person.

    For me, I did not like Evan/ his team's insistence on making comments circa 2007-2008 related to "macho," and "masculinity," not being synonymous with "sequins" on costumes. And, Evan's famous comment prior to 2007 Nationals that if he were to become U.S. National champion, he would be sure to represent in a respectful manner. This during the same period that Johnny, as the reigning U.S. National Champion, was fielding queries about the Blackbook photos, and Mark Lund's over-the-top rant.

    @kwanette, thanks for your thoughts and reminisces. Evan's note is a great memento to have. I think Evan's change in attitude (i.e., more aggressiveness and intensity) coincided with Frank Carroll's exclusive coaching takeover, as Evan in 2005, was also receiving coaching from Ken Congemi (who was formerly affiliated with Frank Carroll). In any case, I am of the opinion that the rivalry between Evan and Johnny may have remained respectful if not for all the media mayhem and malarkey (e.g., that cringeworthy fake jokey intrusive interview with Andrea Joyce instigating as she sat between Evan and Johnny, i.e. trying to get them to say something nasty about each other), as well as the "macho" stance that was decided on by Evan's team, not to mention the obvious favoritism by the U.S. fed for one over the other.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 03-14-2011 at 05:31 AM.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    not to mention the obvious favoritism by the U.S. fed for one over the other.
    I am sure there are many skaters who wish they were so unfavoured by their federation as to be named to world, Olympic, and international teams, and to receive many years worth of $$$ subsidies for training.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Not to mention that I'm having a hard time picturing Frank Carroll sitting down with Evan and going, "OK, you're going to be Clint Eastwood on ice so you can kick Johnny Weir to the curb."
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    @orbitz: Re your comment: "It's possible ... his competitors' attitudes toward Evan changed and not vice versa..." Sure, and it's also possible that Evan was once jealous of his competitors prior to his success, and possibly he channeled some of those emotions into doing whatever it took to improve and to reach the top of the podium. My opinion re your comment is that it's vice versa, as well as a mixture of circumstances and emotions all around -- i.e., Evan's demeanor changed to one of intensity, and he began to focus exclusively and aggressively on winning -- obviously nothing wrong with that, as it did work for him. Perhaps his competitors noticed the change, and may have felt that Evan was holding his nose in the air as being above everyone else, and obviously jealousy could also be a factor in his competitors' perceptions. Johnny has already admitted that he is jealous of Evan's Olympic and World championship success. I don't get the impression though that Johnny is jealous of Evan as a person.

    For me, I did not like Evan/ his team's insistence on making comments circa 2007-2008 related to "macho," and "masculinity," not being synonymous with "sequins" on costumes. And, Evan's famous comment prior to 2007 Nationals that if he were to become U.S. National champion, he would be sure to represent in a respectful manner. This during the same period that Johnny, as the reigning U.S. National Champion, was fielding queries about the Blackbook photos, and Mark Lund's over-the-top rant.

    @kwanette, thanks for your thoughts and reminisces. Evan's note is a great memento to have. I think Evan's change in attitude (i.e., more aggressiveness and intensity) coincided with Frank Carroll's exclusive coaching takeover, as Evan in 2005, was also receiving coaching from Ken Congemi (who was formerly affiliated with Frank Carroll). In any case, I am of the opinion that the rivalry between Evan and Johnny may have remained respectful if not for all the media mayhem and malarkey (e.g., that cringeworthy fake jokey intrusive interview with Andrea Joyce instigating as she sat between Evan and Johnny, i.e. trying to get them to say something nasty about each other), as well as the "macho" stance that was decided on by Evan's team, not to mention the obvious favoritism by the U.S. fed for one over the other.
    Thanks, aftershocks.I don't know that if it was Evan's team or US Figure Skating that came up with the "macho" stance. I don't think that becoming more aggressive or intense is necessarily a bad thing. Evan himself has spoken about his 4th place finish in Torino and how he watched the medal ceremony and set the goal of making the podium in 2010.He worked, he listened and each yr he added point getters to his programs.He worked his butt off, with quite a few ups and downs between 06-10..and put it all together on the night that it counted.

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    kwanette;3109541]Thanks, aftershocks.I don't know that if it was Evan's team or US Figure Skating that came up with the "macho" stance. I don't think that becoming more aggressive or intense is necessarily a bad thing. Evan himself has spoken about his 4th place finish in Torino and how he watched the medal ceremony and set the goal of making the podium in 2010.He worked, he listened and each yr he added point getters to his programs.He worked his butt off, with quite a few ups and downs between 06-10..and put it all together on the night that it counted.
    I agree that becoming intense and aggressive as a competitor is not a bad thing, kwanette, particularly if it works for someone. Everybody is not the same. Lots of stuff goes on behind the scenes that we as fans are not aware of, but I'm basing my observations on having followed these guys from the beginning of their senior careers (and I recall Junior Nats when Johnny was first in the sp, but lost it in the lp, and Evan came back from 5th in sp to win it all). I don't fault Evan for being aggressive and determined to win. What sets him apart is his enthusiasm and his willingness to listen to his coach, work hard, and do whatever he's told in order to improve, and ultimately to win. To a great degree, Evan is likely favored by U.S. fed, not only for his talent but because of his "straight-arrow" qualities and his willingness to conform. I think he did change his persona, but maybe that's what he needed to do to maintain his focus. I think he learned a great deal from Frank that has benefited him personally and as a skater. But just as I have always said about Johnny, nobody's perfect. Did you have the opportunity to meet Evan at anytime after 2005?

    I'm not sure whether it was U.S. figure skating that dreamed up the "macho" stance, or gave some advice, but there's no way Evan made those comments without Frank Carroll condoning -- and, there is nothing wrong with that either. I just disagree with the stance they decided to take. [Also, the way the media kept putting the camera on Tanith--yes I know she's camera-worthy--during 2007 Nats and emphasizing that she was Evan's girlfriend, was laughable. And yes, I know they broke up quite awhile ago].

    IMHO, Frank Carroll grew up in figure skating during a time when perhaps for male skaters it was traditionally important to emphasize "masculinity" in one's skating. So, as a strategy, I think Frank sincerely believes it was entirely appropriate for Evan to comment on the importance of projecting masculinity in costumes and performance on the ice.

    ______________________________________________

    Johnny got where he is today on his hard work and his extraordinary talent. Yes, he has received support, as a federation is made up of individual people, and not everyone dislikes or is against Johnny. But he had to comeback the hard way from the disaster in 2003, and he was told to his face as a 19-year-old that he would "never be able to work himself back," and that he was "not going to get any favors." I do see something wrong with someone from a federation saying that to any young skater. In Johnny's case, he used it as further motivation. If he hadn't, his career would have been over before it began (at Nats 2004).

    If not for his natural and extraordinary gifts as a skater, Johnny would not have won 3 national titles (a 4th title did not happen in 2008, because Evan was preferred -- sure some will always say it's b/c Johnny didn't add a double jump to a combination --). IMHO, Johnny clearly skated better. Evan skated a sloppy long program, which if Johnny had done, he would likely have dropped to 4th place and been off the 2008 World team, or at the least dropped to 3rd. Evan was dealing with an injury and he had to pull out of Worlds that year, and Johnny ironically ended up being the only U.S. skater to medal. Johnny has also been his own worst enemy on occasion. Nobody's perfect.

    Evan as Clint Eastwood on ice -- not a bad analogy.* The difference is: Clint's a lot older and packs a whole lot more authenticity and true-to-himself character to what he uniquely does as an actor, director, filmmaker. LOL, I remember Evan at a press conference referencing Tiger Woods as a competitive role model -- yes, that was back in the day, before Tiger's self-made troubles. Nobody's perfect.

    * (Maybe gives Evan some inspiration for a future program -- I'd love to see Ryan B skating to Clint Eastwood theme music).
    Last edited by aftershocks; 03-15-2011 at 12:51 AM.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I am sure there are many skaters who wish they were so unfavoured by their federation as to be named to world, Olympic, and international teams, and to receive many years worth of $$$ subsidies for training.
    It behooved USFS to have a strong team. Not just one man who could do the job. Remember when Evan was hurt and had to bag Worlds that year Johnny saved the day by placing 3rd and securing 3 spaces for out guys. Stuff happens. That doesn't preclude playing favorites though.

    As for Frank saying let's be Clint Eastwood and kick Johnny to the curb, I can totally see him saying something along those lines. That sentiment is an old standby for coaches. I think development of killer instinct was what gave Evan his edge. He did seem to change his personality at least in competition. I remember after the Olys Evan was on the Ellen D show and he talked about always sitting in "his seat" at events and that if another skater was in "his seat" he would glare at them and they'd usually move. I thought it was funny. I have a feeling he wasn't referring to Johnny in that though. Fat chance that he'd move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by REO View Post
    It behooved USFS to have a strong team. Not just one man who could do the job. Remember when Evan was hurt and had to bag Worlds that year Johnny saved the day by placing 3rd and securing 3 spaces for out guys. Stuff happens. That doesn't preclude playing favorites though.
    How does this prove that USFS favoured Evan over Johnny?
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Well, the USFS probably did ultimately favor Evan over Johnny, beginning, I think, with the 2006-07 season. They cultivated different images. Evan - perhaps with Frank's guidance - cultivated the responsible hardworking image, and Johnny was the funloving, zany Russophile with a penchant for Louis Vuitton bags and a stated distaste for being a team player. Evan always colored inside the lines, and Johnny.. not so much. Evan was the ant and Johnny the grasshopper. And USFS has always favored the ant over the grasshopper, and for good reason, the ants have brought in an awful lot of hardware over the years. (Don't get me wrong; no doubt Johnny worked hard too, but that wasn't the image that he cultivated.)
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    Johnny makes it very clear that he is not a team player. Reading Scott Hamilton's books and his reaction to drama with Tara and Debi Thomas, I can understand why he would not want to have Johnny on board… I do think that Johnny's lack of being a team player is part of the situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by mmscfdcsu View Post
    … Johnny has made it known for years that he is not a team player.
    My opinion is that the so-called “drama with Tara and Debi Thomas” during SOI tours that were 10-years apart, are two completely different situations, having nothing to do with anything related to Johnny not being asked to join SOI. Tara was very young, self-centered and immature. Debi was unhappy and perhaps somewhat depressed after the 1988 Olympics – as well as experiencing life changes with a sudden marriage that ultimately did not last, and the pressures of balancing tour skating (for needed income) with studies toward her goal of becoming a doctor.

    Keep in mind that both Johnny and Evan, and many skaters toured together with COI before its collapse. I never heard of anybody having any problems with Johnny, nor were there any reports of him creating drama during any COI tour. I also doubt that any skaters would have had any serious problems with Johnny joining SOI, except that he was never asked, and Evan was asked. Then, because Johnny’s fans were wondering why he hadn’t been asked, someone leaked that the reason was because Johnny wasn’t “family-friendly.” Whether this was actually stated to Johnny’s camp by a sponsor, or by someone associated with SOI, we’ll probably never discover at this point due to the escalation of the furor because of many fans’ desire to see Johnny on tour in the U.S. -- and SOI had suddenly become the only major skating tour in the U.S. When two separate skating tours existed, I don’t recall anyone wondering why Johnny hadn’t been asked to join SOI.

    Of course, SOI is a very different tour than COI was, in terms of how skaters are chosen, and in how the programs and the tour itself, is put together. I think too much has been erroneously made of Johnny not being able to fit in with skaters he has known, competed with, and some he has been friends with for years. The entire situation was blown out of proportion. The notion that Johnny is not a “team player” or not “family-friendly” being the reasoning behind the apparent exclusion by SOI, is to me, ridiculous. We’ll never know the real reasoning, and perhaps there was no real reasoning. He was simply never asked for whatever reason, and then a reason needed to be fabricated and then leaked because some fans were in an uproar.

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    I agree that it's ridiculous to dwell on the idea that Johnny was not asked to join SOI because he's not "family friendly." I'm all for gay rights, and I'm all for freedom of expression (and I'm a fan of Johnny), but there was never any proof that either of these was the issue. It's quite possible that whoever chose the SOI skaters simply didn't like Johnny's skating. There are videos going around of Johnny's recent fan meeting in Russia. In them, he describes putting together his own skating special, and he says he's going to choose only his favorite skaters. That's his right. However, I do think SOI should have thought carefully about inviting Johnny. He could have brought in a new contingent of fans who normally would not go to a skating show.

    Let me also add that if there IS concern about Johnny and tour drama, why is that? As far as I've heard, he's professional and quiet when he's doing shows.

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    I think Johnny's fans really did him a huge disservice with all that hoopla. I think it lessened Johnny's chances to join any US tours.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    How does this prove that USFS favoured Evan over Johnny?
    It doesn't. It was a reply to your post saying alot of skaters would have liked the support Johnny got from the Federation. Maybe it was unclear, but my meaning was that they were not stupid enough to totally withdraw support of Johnny no matter how much they may have disliked him, or favored Evan being US champ, because Johnny was better than those others and the ptb like having more than one man to rely on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I think Johnny's fans really did him a huge disservice with all that hoopla. I think it lessened Johnny's chances to join any US tours.
    You're probably right. I think that the documentary and the tv show gave Johnny a ton of new fans who were fans of Johnny but not necessarily of skating. Internet fanclubs these days have some clout. I don't think it was the original Angels who forced that issue.

    In his Russian interview Johnny said that Evan has a rider in his contract that he won't perform in any show that Johnny is in. Was that a joke?! I had a really hard time hearing all that was said in those interviews on my computer. If it wasn't a joke he's totally toast for US tours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by REO View Post

    In his Russian interview Johnny said that Evan has a rider in his contract that he won't perform in any show that Johnny is in. Was that a joke?! I had a really hard time hearing all that was said in those interviews on my computer. If it wasn't a joke he's totally toast for US tours.
    I was wondering how Johnny would know what's in Evan's contract. I wouldn't be surprised if it's mutual avoidance. They haven't been in any shows together since the Olympics, and I'm sure that's not a coincidence--although they've both managed to do a lot of shows, in and out of the U.S.

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    There is no way on earth that Johnny knows what's in Evan's contracts with anyone. All private commercial contracts are confidential and there is simply no way Johnny can know anything about the contract. But since it might be controversial and get him another 15 seconds on air by being look-at-me-i'm-so-outre then so be it.

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    thank you for videos!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    Jumping the gun, I will say I'm not surprised that Evan (according to Johnny) has a contract that reportedly stipulates he will not skate in any shows with Johnny. I think that's kind of sad. Maybe Evan also wouldn't want to skate in any shows with Plushenko.
    I have no idea about the Johny contract but I doubt , btw Lysacek and Plusenko have skated in Soi Japan, Hunday Korea and gOldenskate awards in Torino together post Vancouver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justathoughtabl View Post
    I was wondering how Johnny would know what's in Evan's contract. I wouldn't be surprised if it's mutual avoidance. They haven't been in any shows together since the Olympics, and I'm sure that's not a coincidence--although they've both managed to do a lot of shows, in and out of the U.S.
    ^ Discussed a bit about this earlier. I don't think we would know whether it's true or not. And yes it's hard to know whether Johnny was joking, but my speculation is that he might have heard this from someone. Certainly, he'd know more about it than we would, if for example, his agent had inquired about Johnny possibly appearing in a show (other than SOI), and was told that Evan had already signed to appear with a contract excluding certain other skaters, whether Johnny or anyone else Evan didn't want to appear with, such as Plushy perhaps. = Aha Senorita, I posted this before I saw your comments ... guess it's just Johnny then that Evan won't skate with , but who knows what might happen in the future. A laying down of swords, or competing shows ....

    Your mutual avoidance theory, particularly at this point, Justathoughtabl, certainly seems apt. I've heard some behind-the-scenes stuff from reliable sources that is pretty revealing. Apparently around 2009, Johnny wished to turn the other cheek and smooth things over between them and that's why he told the media at 2009 Worlds that he and Evan "had buried the hatchet," and that as he wasn't competing himself, he was rooting for Evan to win Worlds. Whatever mutual avoidance that exists between them, was probably triggered or exacerbated by the media's intrusive insistence upon linking them into some kind of over-the-top rivalry (e.g., my earlier reference to that Andrea Joyce cringeworthy interview instigation).

    And, with the sniping between Evan and Johnny that occurred re the SOI furor, and the fact Evan has risen in stature as the Olympic champion -- it seems to me that Evan is even more eager to distance himself, and that they are both weary of being asked about each other. Unfortunately, they will always be linked and so the contretemps between them is sad. I think underneath his own seeming dismissiveness of Evan, that Johnny was hurt by Evan's comments re the SOI furor: "[SOI] only hires the best of the best ..."

    In that skating magazine article circa 2005 that kwanette and I referred to earlier, Johnny prophetically said, "No matter what happens as Evan and I compete through the years, I'll never forget his kindness..." re Evan's words of encouragement to Johnny after the 2003 Nats lp. Guess a lot of things, including Evan's more recent harsher words have made Johnny forget, since Johnny has responded with harsh words of his own.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 03-15-2011 at 06:14 PM.

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