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  1. #21
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    no it doesn't. the u.s. doesn't have a dominant start and wont until
    the u.s acknowledges they don't treat all u.s. ladies fair. 1) they overllook the mistakes for the ones they want up on top, which the public can plainly see and give them huge scores for skating so so- make certain skaters change technique when ashley, agnes, mirai, gracie, christina, courtney dont need to. when they should be it is becoming clear that kaetlyn, adelina, elizaveta, julia, mao, akiko, kanako, carolina kostner, valentina, and even other countries such as france, finland is makng their skaters improve their jumps & technique to get the high scores. the u.s. just hands it to them and expects the public to back them.
    the u.s. skaters with exception of shibs, d/w, don't skate for it. they just skate-if the u.s skaters were made to change the way they skated for last 3 years i don't they would skate as well.
    if the u.s. won't hold their skaters, ability to skater accountable the public will and is. in fact the media, public held michelle kwan accountable she did fine.
    i think that is one reason out side her getting hurt that tara left so early, she didn't want to be held accountable for her skating. too bad by 2002 she might have been beloved by the public in watching her grow up and she how she handled things. sarah came back only skated so-so. didn't feel like skating her best--would have helped her.
    the dominant star has to please herself, himself, but also the public and figure skating fan base-if don't they wont get the public behind them.
    the u.s. is use to high standards (except of davis/white) none fit the bill and don't see it near future unlesss cheat for them.(which won't help)

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    I have to say, while I would like the US skaters (in all disciplines) to be more competitive internationally, I really like when there isn't a star. I think nationals is much more exciting this year because in you just don't know what is going to happen. I can't guess the podiums. Sure there are favorites, but they aren't blow everyone away, no chance for anyone else (except dance) to win, and going down the rest of the podium, I have no idea what to expect.

    To me, evenly matched competitions are the most exciting thing about sports. Who is the best THAT DAY? Not "that person is so good, no one else should bother showing up".
    Kind of agree. I was a huge Michelle fan, but at the same time I did think about the day when I could watch a competition without worrying about how Michelle was going to do and just enjoy the competition. Unfortunately, just as she left, along comes CoP, which I hate with every fiber of my being. Now I don't have to worry about who will win, but I gotta watch these hideous, difficult-for-the-sake-of-difficulty routines which have wrung most of the beauty out of the sport. Off to watch Fields of Gold on YouTube.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayra View Post
    The USFS is not calling the ladies field "chaos," Christine Brennan is. Brennan much like Hersh, is a mainstream sports writer who is calling it like she sees it. Lets face it, figure skating in the US has a LONG history of dominant ladies. It literally stretches back decades. Like it or not, the ladies are the bread and butter of US figure skating. It's no surprise that mainstream sports writers and the general public are looking at a sport that has changed to a scoring system they don't understand, and skaters they don't know and turning away. I don't think it is simply a corporate sponsor issue(Wagner just signed with Nike). It is a public perception issue.

    Unfortunately, I think this is where the USFS has failed to market and educate the general public. IMO The American public need a story, a star and they need medals in order to emotionally invest in the sport and it's athletes. You can't market figure skating as a sport and then get mad because nobody is tuning in when the athletes aren't winning. There is beauty in what a lot of the athletes are doing, but they still need to win. I think the same is true in EVERY sport, team etc. JMO
    Have to agree with luen and Mayra here. For some fans here, the "let them skate and see who wins" mode may be great and exciting, but that likely goes over like the proverbial lead balloon with the casual fans. US skating has always had a dominant lady (Tenley, Carol, Peggy, Janet, Dorothy, Linda, Roz and Elaine, Kristi, Nancy, and Tonya, Tara and Michelle) up through Sasha Cohen over the past 5 decades. Now it's "who won this year????" which is translating into less interest on the part of the most casual viewer. And the fact that the top ladies keep shifting does point to inconsistency in our top ladies competitors (not to mention the lack or three worlds sports for so many years). Brennan's article was fine; she was quoting very knowledgeable and appropriate figures in the sport about what they thought. The simple fact is aside from dance, the US does not dominate any more; it's men's and ladies competitors just don't have the consistency to stay on top and get the job done like their predecessor's did (and yes, I know, IJS, more difficult programs, etc., but this is still true). The only consistency about our ladies on the world stage is that they consistently fail to bring home those 3 berths, and it's even worse with the men, as our only true world-level competitor is a flaming head case who can't get his act together on the World Championships stage. Hopefully this will change in the future, but the US is simply being out-skated aside from dance by other countries.

    That said, I really hope Ashley takes that second National title which I think will really help her on the World stage this year,
    "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

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    I don't think you can blame her coaches for her failures. Mirai gets down on herself to easily and it has hurt her skating career in the past. Hopefully she's now mentally tougher then she was but i don't know if she will get back to the level she was at in 2010. I really though by now she would be one of the favorites heading into Sochi.
    Some coaches are better for some people than others. Coaches need to be sensitive to what a particular skater needs. Or not. Maybe a skater who needs to be in a specific atmosphere needs to pick coaches accordingly. Sometimes it's nobody's fault, it's just a bad fit and the skater and/or the coach can't adjust.

  5. #25
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    I don't think most of us have a clue as to what the casual figure skating fan thinks or wants. I know most of the people I talk to about skating still think Kristi Yamaguchi is still competing. Or that Michelle Kwan won an OGM. With that level of knowledge, I don't see how you can say that they aren't watching skating because there isn't a dominant US lady or because we don't win enough or even because of CoP since it's clear they have no idea if who is even competing, let alone who is winning or what scoring system is being used. Heck, I know people who think that the scoring system is based on a 10 point system and are confused every time they see a competition without show lighting!

    I also think that other sports have shown that it's not necessary to win in order to have loyal fans. There are sports teams who never win who still have loyal fans and there are sports stars who make a lot of money in endorsements even though they haven't got winning records. For some people, winning is important, but not for everyone. In general, I think winning brings attention and attention brings fans so it seems like winning brings fans but it's really the attention that brings them.

    I also think that USFS gets blamed for everything bad that happens and every bad attitude we don't like gets put on them. In spite of what some of you want to believe, USFS has actually shown a lot of foresight and marketing savvy in recent years. They have embraced the internet and invested money in Ice Network when other sports have done nothing but continue to piss and moan about losing network broadcasting time, as an example. IMO when other niche sports wither and die, they will continue to chug along because they realized the internet is where it's at for niche sports much sooner than other NGBs of a lot of other sports.

  6. #26
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    this is not just let see who skates and win.
    this is where the u.s is falling behind other countries because the u.s. isn't holding the current skaters like ashley, mirai, gracie, agnes, christina, courtney accountable for 1) how they skate-bad technique, urs, wrong edge, double footing, (overlooking these mistakes) for them and not other s. making others
    change technique which they should also
    2) how they place at world, f/c
    3) how other federations are expecting more of their skaters if don't do it (don't get assignment etc)
    4) not getting 3 for next years world,
    5) not caring what public thinks, wants and still expect buying public to back them at all cost even OGM-unhappy when don't because those OGM
    skaters don't/didn't meet public standard
    6) public standard being higher the u.s federation standard and they don't care-lack of accountability-denability-which means less buying of sponorship things by buying public, less interest etc.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yazmeen View Post
    Have to agree with luen and Mayra here. For some fans here, the "let them skate and see who wins" mode may be great and exciting, but that likely goes over like the proverbial lead balloon with the casual fans. US skating has always had a dominant lady (Tenley, Carol, Peggy, Janet, Dorothy, Linda, Roz and Elaine, Kristi, Nancy, and Tonya, Tara and Michelle) up through Sasha Cohen over the past 5 decades. Now it's "who won this year????" which is translating into less interest on the part of the most casual viewer. And the fact that the top ladies keep shifting does point to inconsistency in our top ladies competitors (not to mention the lack or three worlds sports for so many years). Brennan's article was fine; she was quoting very knowledgeable and appropriate figures in the sport about what they thought. The simple fact is aside from dance, the US does not dominate any more; it's men's and ladies competitors just don't have the consistency to stay on top and get the job done like their predecessor's did (and yes, I know, IJS, more difficult programs, etc., but this is still true). The only consistency about our ladies on the world stage is that they consistently fail to bring home those 3 berths, and it's even worse with the men, as our only true world-level competitor is a flaming head case who can't get his act together on the World Championships stage. Hopefully this will change in the future, but the US is simply being out-skated aside from dance by other countries.

    That said, I really hope Ashley takes that second National title which I think will really help her on the World stage this year,
    This is somewhat sweeping what you are saying. The casual fans want winners. Recently, the USA has definitely had losers. It is for lack of playing the correct game more than the failure of individual athletes. The game did change years ago, but the USFSA has been reluctant to play. The judging at nationals has been wildly biased in the ladies, with reputation bonuses given to skaters that would not be repeated at a worlds event. Rachael Flatt should not have been sent to worlds in 2011. The USA might have had three berths at 2012 Worlds had Mirai been selected (or even Christina Gao). I don't think anyone thinks the components scores for Rachael made any sense, and she has never seen scores like that at an international event in her entire life.

    Sending Ryan Bradley as the national champion in 2011 was another move showing the USA was stuck in the days of Scott Hamilton and Boitano. A charismatic, good-humored star who everyone thinks is reliable is not what the nationals judging and the final selection process should be about. Jeremy Abbott should have been sent regardless of his flaws based on both the performances he demonstrated in Greensboro and his IJS merits. That was inappropriate judging (again with very incredible components marks for Bradley as well as Miner and Dornbush), and the worlds results exposed this.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-25-2013 at 06:46 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post

    I also think that USFS gets blamed for everything bad that happens and every bad attitude we don't like gets put on them. In spite of what some of you want to believe, USFS has actually shown a lot of foresight and marketing savvy in recent years. They have embraced the internet and invested money in Ice Network when other sports have done nothing but continue to piss and moan about losing network broadcasting time, as an example. IMO when other niche sports wither and die, they will continue to chug along because they realized the internet is where it's at for niche sports much sooner than other NGBs of a lot of other sports.
    This is a good point. The USFSA's role may be more benign than my reaction painted it. As aliceanne mentioned, its leaders may even find Brennan's article as annoying as I do (if they refuse her press credentials). There may be some changes they deserves credit for. So far, I think Icenetwork is not well administered from a business perspective. As a site I love it, but I can tell you about ten different ways that they are not maximizing its profit and potential.

    I find Brennan's account to be backward looking, and it reflects the opinions of powerful, old people who think the sport is still running under 6.0 and who want to apply this old marketing frame to today's American skaters working under a very different system. The pressure for the old formula to magically work again does seem to originate from USFSA's mega sponsors. It's the USFSA's job to get a new message and take control.

    Another thing I noticed... In 2010 NBC basically lied to the public and said Rachael and Mirai were just teenagers and might become Kwans in the future. These lies of convenience have to end at some point.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-25-2013 at 07:02 PM.

  9. #29

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    I believe the first place finisher has to go to Worlds, per the rules of USFS, any other Worlds competitor selections are up to committee.

    I would like to see that committee not make a choice about #2 and #3 until after 4CCs, sent them and make it a skate off.

    Now, if you want to see that first place finisher not be selected, then change the first rule, send him or her also to 4CCs, and make it a total skate off.

    In either case, get on a soapbox to the sub committees of USFS to change the rules, and, oh by the way, good luck with that.

  10. #30

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    Brennan is still giddy from having thrown rice at The Kween.

    There is a great, consistent U.S. lady skater out there and her name is Ashley Wagner.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post

    There is a great, consistent U.S. lady skater out there and her name is Ashley Wagner.
    I agree. Brennan seems to have conveniently left this out. I wonder if she is even paying attention to the international scene today.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by elka_sk8 View Post
    Maybe Christine and Phil should form a support group.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jagerboy View Post
    I am not saying it is all the coaches fault, but being degraded all the time by the public, press, coaches will mess with ones mind. Not everyone can brush off the criticism, some aren't as strong. She has acknowledged her heart wasn't in it for a while and she was tired from the drive. She made changes to improve and I think she needs to be given some credit.
    Mirai also had to deal with a growth sport-before and after the Olympics. Her body has changed dramatically (and quite naturally) since she first won Nationals and it's even more womanly now than she was in 2010. Such changes had to affect her timing. Injuries didn't help either. But she seems to be slowly getting back on track. I think if Ashley Wagner and Carolina Kostner could turn it around in their 20's so can Mirai-who is still just 19. Last season she also had to deal with a four commute to Frank's rink which is not an ideal training situation. Now that that is no longer an issue Mirai has been getting some good results. I hope the trend continues here at Nationals and I hope that in the long run she continues on past Sochi - even if she does make the team. She still has so much to give imo.
    Last edited by Sasha'sSpins; 01-25-2013 at 07:22 PM.

  13. #33
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    "It's very difficult for skaters to be consistent now," Inman said. "The old 6.0 system was more subjective. You might say, 'OK, you didn't rotate all your (triple) jumps, but I still liked your skating more, so you will win.' Yeah, we know, Joe.

    As far as it being "all about the jumps", quote Carol Heiss, it isn't. Agnes proved that last night, as has Chan on numerous occasions.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by luenatic View Post
    For real? Do you think Ms Brennan actually made too much money covering figure skating?
    I would be happy for her if she could go on making it too, but from a journalistic point of view, it needs pointed out what Brennan's attitudes and motivations are. She wants a household name to write about. Okay, we can understand that. But she also demands the sport be as popular and easy to understand as Dancing with the Stars, so it can stop losing "casual fans."

    I would say to her, the only way to excite "casual fans" or make skating interesting to American young people is by encouraging and promoting international winners. Under this system the best way to get that is to let the free market of competition rule.

    You cannot get it by holding Czisny to the standards of Kwan, or propping up skaters in hopes they will become more like Kwan. Alissa is always going to be more like Caryn Kadavy (or Paul Wylie) than Kwan. And what's wrong with that? Czisny could win a world medal or title yet, but forcing her into a marketing box is probably of no help. And complaining about her being not dominant enough is no help to her. It also runs counter to having a legitimate, open national competition.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-25-2013 at 08:32 PM.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    You cannot get it by holding Czisny to the standards of Kwan, or propping up skaters in hopes they will become more like Kwan. Alissa is always going to be more like Caryn Kadavy (or Paul Wylie) than Kwan. And what's wrong with that? Kadavy was amazing and made tons on money as a pro with just a world bronze and no national titles. Czisny could win a world medal or title yet, but forcing her into a marketing box is probably of no help. And complaining about her not being dominant enough is certainly no help to her or the other ladies who deserve a legitimate, open competition.
    Free market and free competition has ruled -- nobody's stopping it -- and figure skating has become a smallish, niche sport. As a result, no skater comparable to Caryn Kadavy will make Kadavy-like money in this figure skating climate.

    O-

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliviaPug View Post
    Free market and free competition has ruled -- nobody's stopping it -- and figure skating has become a smallish, niche sport. As a result, no skater comparable to Caryn Kadavy will make Kadavy-like money in this figure skating climate.

    O-
    Just to be clear, there is not a cause and effect relationship between those two things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    Just to be clear, there is not a cause and effect relationship between those two things.
    No cause and effect relationship between what two things? I was simply stating 2 facts.

    And if you're saying that the sport's smaller viewership has nothing to do with what skaters can fetch in income as eligible and/or pro skaters, I disagree. And, to make it clear, I am referring to the U.S. market, which is what the original article addresses.

    O-

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanette View Post
    A star can't be created...nor can the fans be force-fed a skater.
    Amen!

    No one has appeared on the scene for many years who possesses the indefinable magical quality which creates a "star"; or, the ability to sustain that.
    "Stars", in any athletic/performance arena are very rare, compared to the number of participants.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...-star/1862815/

    Okay, I am going to let this forum know what I really think of the USFSA. I think they are obsessed with pleasing corporations and sponsors who know and care nothing about skating. I think they are also out of touch with current trends, and their notions of what skating is and what makes a good champion remain stuck in the mud of 6.0.

    Why is the USFSA calling the ladies field chaos? Why are they demanding consistency and predictability in ladies skating-- with a star at the top and clear second and third place rivals?

    It is not because these things are essential for strong American finishes at Worlds/Olympics. It is not even because the public demands this. The USFSA does this because the corporations want it. The corporate suits are impatiently demanding an "it girl," and the USFSA, with no marketing strategy or savvy of its own, is following a tired model of skating that no longer applies. And furthermore, why can't the sport defy what corporations want? Is it all about them?

    I think it should not be considered "chaos" what we see in the USA ladies. It is just reality that the USA does not have anyone of the caliber to be a dominant world star. Period.

    Christine Brennan, I know, is just mouthing what the USFSA is saying, but one of the reasons why USA ladies have been so disappointing is they keep attempting to find the next Kwan, Hughes, or Kimmie Meissner. They should stop looking and let the competition happen and the chips fall. If they get a wild child like Mirai, they need to live with it. I don't think it should be the USFSA's job to hold a coronation for the perfect corporate spokeswoman for the sport-- a Kwan, Hughes, or Yamaguchi. 6.0 was a system where you moved up the ranks and could hold your place at or near the top until you ran out of money or your body fell apart. Under IJS anybody can lose on any day. You aren't going to have a Kwan again, so there is no point in looking for one. The only reason I see they are complaining about the absence of a Michelle, a Hughes, or a Kimmie is the big hegemonic sponsors are not happy. This model fits their marketing strategies and interests. But does it fit the interests of the sport? I do not think it fits the reality of world competition under IJS.

    The USFSA should never have tried to force Czisny into a Kwan mold. They started in 2009 by over scoring her at nationals and building her up in front of her home town to be a Kwan-like heart throb. She is an enormous talent, but she is not the kind of personality who takes pressure easily, and she is never going to be a jumping automaton. I wonder if last season she would have performed better if the USFSA hadn't overblown her image. I think the USFSA does it just to get money for themselves as an organization, but in the medium term the sport ends up with little to show for it.

    What are constructive things the USFSA should do to promote winning performances and encourage public excitement about its ladies? I am sure this forum can offer suggestions. The USFSA seems to think it is helpful to: hand wring about who will be the next Kwan, prop up and over-promote certain skaters, and desperately kiss up to corporations by making promises that cannot be fulfilled internationally in the IJS era. These things are not particularly helpful, especially for skaters, like Czisny, who will never fit the mold of a predictable jumping machine.

    I would like the USFSA to concentrate foremost on maintaining excellence in the sport. Secondly, they need younger people who are business savvy (who can get out ahead of the corporations and tell the corporations what they want instead of vice versa) and fire all the people complaining that things aren't like they were in ladies seven or forty years ago!
    Yeah, the USFSA always fixes the results of competitions so that their skater can win.

    You can make excuses till the cows come home, these results are fixed. I could rank the Ladies 2013 SP 100 different ways and make a legitimate argument about each one.

    Case and point. "Ashley should be 10th, she skates more tentatively than the rest of the group. Let's lowball her on PCS to make up for her good technical scores."

    Ashley's technical content wasn't even all that impressive.


    Anyway, Zhang got screwed over in 2009 when they gifted Alissa Czisny a national title.

    When you think about it, Zhang's time to shine was 2008 nationals. But then she stepped out of her second triple jump...and it was all downhill from there.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    So far, I think Icenetwork is not well administered from a business perspective. As a site I love it, but I can tell you about ten different ways that they are not maximizing its profit and potential.
    Well, this stuff costs money. That definitely limits them. I think they've done a really good job with limited resources and a very picky customer base.

    The pressure for the old formula to magically work again does seem to originate from USFSA's mega sponsors.
    I just don't see that and don't see how this article shows that. I think the sponsors look at the demographics and say "I want to be associated with that" and that's about it.

    Another thing I noticed... In 2010 NBC basically lied to the public and said Rachael and Mirai were just teenagers and might become Kwans in the future. These lies of convenience have to end at some point.
    NBC is trying to market the skaters and create stars. I don't think what they said was a lie at all. It *could* have happened and, Mirai in particular, does have a certain je ne sais quoi that led a lot of people to predict stardom for her. Rachel was a cutie pie and very consistent. Again, it could have happened for her too. Just because it didn't, doesn't mean it's a lie to predict it might have.

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