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  1. #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximillian View Post
    Christine Brennan is a lousy writer, but it can't be denied that the popularity of the sport has dropped like a stone in the U.S., even before Tonya and Nancy there would often be live telecasts of the ladies FS on network television.
    I am so tired of that blanket statement. Perphaps the popularity has died off at the elite level however in the three rink operation I work for we have over 3000 students currently enrolled in our skating programs and my freestyles are full.


  2. #382
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    I think the post you are quoting was talking about the popularity of skating as a spectator sport or as a televised sport, and wasn't referring to the amount of participation in it.
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

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    Membership in my skating club is at an all-time high.

    There is surely some correlation popularity of skating as a spectator sport and as a participant sport. But it may take years to see the effects in one direction or another, so it's not always easy to identify causes.

    And some of the factors that increase participation at the grassroots level have nothing to do with spectatorship of elite events. As long as people like to take skating lessons and participate in figure skating events, including in non-Olympic disciplines, the sport as a whole can thrive. Money from outside would be welcome, but it's not the only measure of health.

    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I think the post you are quoting was talking about the popularity of skating as a spectator sport or as a televised sport, and wasn't referring to the amount of participation in it.
    Clearly that is the case. But Brennan and other journalists talking about "skating" as a whole when they mean skating as a spectator sport, and posters hear continuing that reduction, is both inaccurate and offensive to all the active participants out there enjoying a healthy sport.

  4. #384

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    And some of the factors that increase participation at the grassroots level have nothing to do with spectatorship of elite events. As long as people like to take skating lessons and participate in figure skating events, including in non-Olympic disciplines, the sport as a whole can thrive. Money from outside would be welcome, but it's not the only measure of health.
    This! Lack of skating coverage has nothing to do with participation levels in the sport here. Skaters only discover there are international events when they start skating and people suggest they can watch clips on Youtube.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  5. #385

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    This! Lack of skating coverage has nothing to do with participation levels in the sport here. Skaters only discover there are international events when they start skating and people suggest they can watch clips on Youtube.
    And most people don't know that there are more competitions besides euros and worlds.

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    Of the two people that I am friends with at my rink, neither watch skating. One of them (a coach) doesn't know when its on, however, if i send then links to youtube will watch selected programs after the event, and the other (a snr level ice dancer) told me at a party they "hate" watching skating. I don't understand the lack of correlation between doing skating and watching skating. I guess I'm a freak. I even like going and watching local competitions. I figure if the skaters them selves don't enjoy watching how can we expect the general public to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyWarhol View Post
    Of the two people that I am friends with at my rink, neither watch skating. One of them (a coach) doesn't know when its on, however, if i send then links to youtube will watch selected programs after the event, and the other (a snr level ice dancer) told me at a party they "hate" watching skating. I don't understand the lack of correlation between doing skating and watching skating. I guess I'm a freak. I even like going and watching local competitions. I figure if the skaters them selves don't enjoy watching how can we expect the general public to?
    I can understand if you don't watch it because you don't know where to find it, but if you are a coach or competitive skater you should certainly be watching it, just to see what is going on in the skating world. Gee you might actually learn something.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  8. #388
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I can understand if you don't watch it because you don't know where to find it, but if you are a coach or competitive skater you should certainly be watching it, just to see what is going on in the skating world. Gee you might actually learn something.
    Well, assuming they coach competitive skaters or are competitive. The majority of skaters aren't. There's not a whole lot someone who teaches 99.9999% rec skaters is going to take away from watching senior-level competitions, at least not that's applicable to their daily lives. For the vast majority of skaters and coaches, what's winning at Worlds really has negligible effect on their own skating.

    That, and there may be an element of having had enough--I don't really watch a whole lot of cooking television when I'm working in a culinary job (heck, I can't figure out why I watch "Chopped" at all except for some kind of sociopathic enjoyment watching others crash and burn with a mystery basket). I asked my mother (a retired dentist) when she pointed this out "Did you come home and watch films of people doing root canals?" If you get home after spending eight hours in a freezing rink working on Freestyle 1 and Snowplow Sams and people looking to do their Pre-Juv moves in a month or two, the last thing you may want to do is switch on the TV and watch MORE skating.

    And on some level I also get there being a difference between watching and doing. Some activities I don't mind watching (at a dance comp I'll sit and watch, I'll watch the horse shows at the county fair though I won't go out of my way for just a horse show), some I will watch but I'd rather be involved (I'll *watch* horse racing on TV, but it's a lot more fun if I'm at the track betting and yelling and with other people), some I'd rather DO if given the choice (I like watching skating, when I have a skater I care about, but given the choice of watching an hour of skating on TV or spending an hour skating at the rink, I'll take the later any time.)

  9. #389

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I can understand if you don't watch it because you don't know where to find it, but if you are a coach or competitive skater you should certainly be watching it, just to see what is going on in the skating world. Gee you might actually learn something.
    I agree. I was shocked on both accounts!

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    That, and there may be an element of having had enough--I don't really watch a whole lot of cooking television when I'm working in a culinary job (heck, I can't figure out why I watch "Chopped" at all except for some kind of sociopathic enjoyment watching others crash and burn with a mystery basket). I asked my mother (a retired dentist) when she pointed this out "Did you come home and watch films of people doing root canals?" If you get home after spending eight hours in a freezing rink working on Freestyle 1 and Snowplow Sams and people looking to do their Pre-Juv moves in a month or two, the last thing you may want to do is switch on the TV and watch MORE skating.
    ITA, I've noticed this behaviour in other athletes as well, it's like they've had enough and I think in part it's also uncomfortable to watch elite skaters knowing you'll never get to do what they do no matter how many hours of work you put on the ice.

  11. #391
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    An interesting book I discovered recently, Culture on Ice: Figure Skating & Cultural Meaning,
    By Ellyn Kestnbaum, touches on many things that, perhaps, cause figure skating to not be a sport with mass appeal.


    LMAO I read recently that some fans reacted to the elegant and beautiful costumes of Nancy Kerrigan, which were almost always minimally embellished, with "Poor, Nancy, she can't even afford a suitable dance dress"!!!! Her dresses were probably among the most expensive of her time.

  12. #392

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    An interesting book I discovered recently, Culture on Ice: Figure Skating & Cultural Meaning,
    By Ellyn Kestnbaum, touches on many things that, perhaps, cause figure skating to not be a sport with mass appeal.
    Just curious -- what do you think those reasons are?

  13. #393
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    This book is sort of a neo-post-feminist exploration of how figure skating presents women. "[T]he central concern of this work [i.e., of the hard core feminist writings from the seventies and eighties that Kestnbaum holds up to critical examination] has been the ways that figure skating practice and media representations thereof reinforce disempowering stereotypes of female skaters and female viewers of figure skating." In other words, that the purpose of figure skating is to pimp pretty girls in short skirts to leering men.

    My favorite theory that Kestnbaum mentions (critically) is this: Figure skating went sissy when they eliminated school figures. Why? Figures are masculine -- the dominant male forcing his will upon nature, carving his initials into the virgin ice. (I guess the role of the Zamboni is to restore virginity for the next guy.) Whereas free skating is more about showing your panties.

    This book was written at the height of skating's popularity in the last decade. I believe it was essentially the author's doctoral thesis in theater, and doesn't really anticipate the decline that appeared over the next decade.

    Personally, I do think that changing societal attitudes have played a part. Beauty pageants are out, smash-mouth (think Serena Williams) is in.

  14. #394

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    ^ at doing a Freudian analysis of skating.

    I think you have summed it up beautifully with this.

    Personally, I do think that changing societal attitudes have played a part. Beauty pageants are out, smash-mouth (think Serena Williams) is in.
    People complain about the judging system, choices of music, etc etc. But maybe at the end of the day it is just not cool.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  15. #395

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    I think having a Big Brother or SYTYCD style show for figure skaters will increase t.v. viewership. Look at the number of reality shows on t.v. these days. Most people loved to be involved in judging others. Gymnastics and diving are not popular sports on t.v. too so I think they too can benefit from being involved in reality shows. Maybe put the figure skaters, gymnasts and divers together on Big Brother show. Let's watch the fireworks.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  16. #396

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    ^ I do like those ideas. Well not Big Brother but a SYTYCD style show which is based on movement on ice and funky moves. DOI I think has worked for getting people to watch based on the popularity of T&D and that has led to some degree of increased participation, but it doesn't really promote skating excellence. I also think a Cirque Du Solei style show would be a great thing to capture people's imagination and generate interest. It has to be outside the realms of current competition.

    There was a clip that someone posted a couple of months of people doing some funky stuff on ice. Can't remember where it is though.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  17. #397

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    i think a reality tv show based around skaters would be good. People like trash, give them trash.

    basically, if you can't beat em, join em.

  18. #398
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    I think it won't help. Johnny had a reality show. I don't think it really brought the sport all that many additional fans.
    "Cupcakes are bullshit. And everyone knows it. A cupcake is just a muffin with clown puke topping." -Charlie Brooker

  19. #399

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    ^^^ Johnny probably didn't have enough pull. You need ladies, the more glamorous the better.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  20. #400
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    ^ at doing a Freudian analysis of skating.
    Ellyn is a very knowledgeable skating fan (or she used to be--I haven't seen her around here in a while) and used to have some interesting insights to share.

    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    ^^^ Johnny probably didn't have enough pull. You need ladies, the more glamorous the better.
    Did anyone here watch Jersey on Ice?

    How about Ice Diaries?

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of interest.
    Trolling dates all the way back to 397 B.C. - People began following Plato around and would make fart noises after everything he said.

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