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How do we make skating popular again?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by DickButtonFan, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Please show me where I said I was worried about the sport "loosing" popularity.

    Then maybe when you're finished you could show me the evidence that Americans filled with "patriatsm" are the majority of figure skating viewers.
    succubus and (deleted member) like this.
  2. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I'm not sure if this link has been posted previously, but it's very enlightening re the $$$ amounts.

  3. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

    And Elvis and Plushenko. Oh well, at least I am in good company. ;)

    Well, that is what they have now, and my argument is that spectators do not like the scoring system because they can't understand/don't agree with the artistic component in the sense that the "better" skater (the one who stands up doing the same level jumps/spins) doesn't always win. Thus, they consider the system unfair. A tech event is much more transparent (especially if slow mo vid is used). It would make more sense to an audience and it would put skating more solidly in the "sport" catagory.


    Yes, and this is what doesn't make sense to your average spectator who will consider the event "unfair" or "fixed" and loose interest. (Since the elements will look roughly the same to him/her unless there is an obvious mistake or there is slow mo vid (like in a tech event) where the flaw can be pointed out (like ariel skiiing or diving.)

    All good points. :eek: Guess there kind of needs to be a clarification to a lot of the catagories....
  4. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

    I was addressing the title of the thread: "How do we make skating popular again." (Logically, this implies it has lost some of it's popularity.)

    No way to prove this. Personal experience. I watch events during the Olympics to see if the US will win. This year I watched skiing and even some curling. In "normal life" I would never watch these events. I wanted to see if the US would do well. I was rooting for them (us). Some of the people at my workplace watched skating and talked to me about it because they know I skate. They usually don't watch it and wondered what happened to Michelle Kwan and why she wasn't there. (Yes, seriously. It is the only name they knew.) That is how much they follow this sport. But they watched because they were Americans and it was the Olympics.
  5. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Well, you responded to my post, and I didn't start the thread. So I don't know how you infer that I personally have this worry.

    Newsflash, but not everyone cares about an event just because someone from their own country happens to be in it.
  6. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

    I'm glad you don't. :) ...But that is what the thread is about....

    Um... Ok...:rolleyes: It is the Olympics. A lot of people actually root for their own country or team. I mean, some of us. I guess you don't. O.K. That's fine, then.
  7. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Wow, you have a major problem with comprehension.

    Just because I said some people don't automatically support an event because there are athletes from their own country in it, that doesn't mean I personally do or don't do that.

    And if you read more of this board you will see that skating fans are remarkably generous about supporting competitors who *aren't* from their home country.
  8. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Yes, but you're speaking to a skating board. Many people here appreciate skating on its own terms and not because the skater happens to be from their country. And many people learn to appreciate other countries' athletes during the Olympics. Joannie Rochette and Yu Na Kim were in the news quite a bit in the US following the Games. Katarina Witt is still a recognizable name in the US. A lot of people tune in to the figure skating at the Olympics yes, to see their country's representatives, but also because they love to watch the sport - both the technical side and the artistic side. Even if they only watch it every 4 years. If you took away the artistry of the figure skaters, you're turning the sport into something else entirely, something it hasn't ever been. Why on earth would people tune in to watch something completely different than what they know and have known all their lives? It would be a different sport.
  9. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

    Actually, I believe you are the one with the comprehension problem. I was referring to the audience watching the skating event during the Olympics. I noted that my co-workers (non-skaters) only watched because the US was in it and they wanted to support their "team." The title of theis thread addresses how to make this sport popular (I assume with non-skaters because it is already popular with skaters, I would think.) Although I will grant you that some observers may root for participants from other countries, I still think that, generally speaking, people root for members of their own country (or team). But I also think you cannot use viewership during the Olympics to represent a fan base. For example, I watched curling for goodness sakes!! :duh:
  10. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    I understood very clearly what you said. You haven't addressed the point I made, which was your incorrect assumption that because I stated "some people" do things, that I do that same thing myself. Which is particularly ironic coming from someone who shrieks and howls about comments getting "too personal".
  11. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

    Ok. So you (personal pronoun) don't. Understood. Now what was the point?

    You know very well that people are vicious in attacking me and that, generally, I am kind enough not to attack back in the same vein (though there are plenty of times I would like to.) :angryfire
  12. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    The point being that because someone - anyone - says that other people do something, it's foolish to assume they personally do whatever it is they are talking about.

    If you're so sensitive about (alleged) personal attacks, don't make unfounded assumptions about why people are saying things you don't agree with.
  13. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

    Since when did curling get record breaking tv ratings, even during the olympics?

    I think you've been intentionally ignoring certain facts and statistics so as to suit your stance. Not to mention that your personal experience with your coworkers hardly equals a microcosm for the world at large. There's been an abundance of evidence proving figure skating's rise and fall in popularity throughout the decades, even before the Tonya Harding whack. People like Michelle Kwan and Dorothy Hamill were icons and American sweethearts in their prime.

    Most sports want and need a national icon who the public can root for. Figure skating had almost no history in South Korea before Yu-na Kim but Koreans fervently follow it now to an extent to watch their queen, she gets more endorsements in her country than some of the top pop stars and movie actresses.

    Earlier I thought you had a point regarding figure skaters being underestimated as athletes because of the artistic aspect of fs. But now I see you actually have some kind of warped and distorted view of reality where you think figure skating would get super-bowlesque tv ratings if we were to go the dry technical competition route :wall::wall::duh:

    Um hello! Since when did drama/artistry equal bad ratings? on the contrary. the only people who might be turned off by that in fs are beer guzzling uber insecure-with-their-masculinity "manly men" who would never like the sport regardless of how you want to repackage it. heterosexual macho men aren't the only important demographic out there :rolleyes:

    you act as if just because you personally have a dislike of artistry, musicality and theatrics, that the world does and all of a sudden people who do like are part of some poor marginalized minority, LOL :lol: you are the one living in some alternate reality, not us

    There's a reason figure skating is the top watched sport during the winter Olympic games and that is because the artistic aspect draws people in.
    People love to watch certain sports because you can actively see teams battling it out for points and the strategy that goes on. It makes for suspenseful tv for a general audience. On the other hand sports like skiing? not so much. The music, the costumes, the dance aspect are all 3 huge reasons figure skating even has the fanbase it does. Even the super bowl has turned into some kind of variety-show extravaganza incorporating not only pop music performances, but comedy and hollywood (even the damn commercials everyone waits for during the whole debacle), and let's not forget the cheerleaders scantily clad dancing to routines in sexy costumes. yes I'm sooooo sure all these "theatrical" non-athletic aspects actually hurt the super bowl's ratings. they added all that extra hooplah to INCREASE ratings

    Lastly, I think you've seriously chosen the wrong sport. You'll do yourself a big favor by switching to hockey or sth. lol srsly what are u even doing here. Trying to convince the core skating fanbase everything that is wrong about their sport and how unpopular it is and always was and most people who even watched it during the olympics was to make fun of it or root blindly for their national team :rolleyes::duh::rofl::wall::barrel

    I didn't even become a hardcore skating fan until recently but I remember growing up through elementary, middle and high school and every time during the Olympic season many of the girls (and adult female teachers) would talk about Michelle Kwan. People got into those performances as if they were pure art, and maybe they did underestimate the athleticism of it all but an artistic performance will always have a more lasting emotional impression upon a general audience, people had an emotional connection to stars like Michelle. Even many macho guys will tune in during the olympics and the douches aside, most of them still had some respect for the skaters' talents. In 02 I remember many girls being sad over Michelle's loss. I can tell you for many young girls and Asian-Americans Michelle was one of our heroes growing up as kids in the 90's.

    there's a reason why dancing with the stars consistently ranks amongst the top rated programs in America. and it sure as hell ain't because of the crappy d-list "stars" on the show
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  14. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

    That's good company? :rofl:

  15. SpiralGirl

    SpiralGirl Well-Known Member

    Actually I think you'll find neither of these skaters want to eradicate artistry, they just place a higher emphasis on jumps and other technical elements. Indeed Plushenko supposedly worked hard on his artistry this olympics :yikes: and I'm the sure the idea of dumbing figure skating down to a music-less parade of jumps with no focus on their quality or edging would offend both him and Stojko.

    Anyway, you managed to cite only two skaters to support your argument, which they don't actually do, and for these two there are hundreds of skaters and fans alike who completely disagree.
  16. Firefly123

    Firefly123 New Member

    When you (yes, you personal pronoun referring to siouxdonym) land a quad please post. I'd love to see it.:rolleyes: Otherwise, yes, I consider them "good" company....

    Well then you have fun watching it.:rolleyes: The point is that the thread asked what forum members thought might be a way of increasing the popularity of the sport. I offered my opinion. So sorry (yes, sarcastic) that you (plural collective referring to all of my adoring "friends" on this message board, not just SpiralGirl), don't agree, but it is my right to offer my opinion and your right to disagree....However the pure nastiness how most of you do so frankly disgusts me. It was my opinion. If you don't like it or agree with it....TOO BAD!! :angryfire

    Enough of this!! Off to the rink now to practice....
  17. Screenie

    Screenie Active Member

    in before the lock. :)
  18. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

    That's what I was getting at. The time that the $$$ would be most useful/crucial for young and talented skaters whose parents really need the financial support is before they reach the highest levels. As history as shown, it is difficult to predict future, long-term success based merely on the results of U.S. nationals at the juvenile, intermediate, novice or even junior levels for female singles skaters.
    I assumed from the original post that "in the U.S." was implied and that the U.S. media/TV would have to play a significant part in popularizing the sport (again) in this country.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  19. SpiralGirl

    SpiralGirl Well-Known Member

    Erm where was I rude? Seriously Firelfly read what you just wrote. You were patronising and rude to siouxdonym. No she can't land a quad but you don't need a quad to judge skaters that can, do you?

    You're also the one using the :rolleyes: smilie, trying to be clever "yes, you personal pronoun" - we're not stupid you know, bolding you opinions and expressing them in an angry way "TOO BAD (followed by angry smilie)" and then acting like you're a victim. You need a lesson in practicing what you preach; you can't accuse others of being rude and victimising you when it's all in response to your know it all attitude.

    I know what the thread title says Firefly so don't keep mentioning it. The fact is it says "we" and that implies the fans, skaters, casual skating viewers etc as a whole and not just YOU. Obviously the idea of a completely tech program with no music or artistry is unappealing to this "we" and therefore is a means to destroy figure skating, not resurrect it. Just accept this instead of trying to convince us otherwise.

    No one would watch skating if you had your way (thankfully you never, ever will) and so, whilst for you that is the ultimate and ideal solution, it is not for everybody else. When you insult and dismiss artistry as boring dance you offend fans and skaters, do you really not expect some opposition?
  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Of course, one reason skaters quit is because they and their families can't justify spending tens of thousands of dollars every year on a sport that is so competitive that the chances of a payoff (funding, trips to Nationals, international assignments, let alone ISU championships and Grand Prix) are slim.

    In the US, if there are 100 young women in any given year, competing as juniors or seniors or already retired, who can do triple jumps and skate with some speed and style, there's not much incentive to keep at it if it costs so much money just to be the 50th best skater in the country and get cut at sectionals.

    For male skaters the disincentive may be more teasing and lack of respect from peers than the depth of the field.

    On the other hand, if skating were magically so popular that audiences were clamoring to pay to watch sectionals and similar events live and on TV and there were magically money available to fully fund the training of several hundred skaters at that level and for the best hundred or so across the four disciplines to make a comfortable living off of prize money etc., then more skaters would continue competing through their late teens and beyond.

    But skating has never been popular enough to attract that kind of audience and sponsor support. No reason to believe it ever would happen, regardless of changes to the rules or media coverage. And without the audience interest, there isn't money to pay skaters to skate the same way there is to support popular college and minor league team sports.

    For me, I would not want to see changes made to the rules of the sport that compromise its integrity as a sport only in the hopes of attracting audiences who haven't shown much interest in the past.

    That may have been some of the intention behind the format change to the "short dance," but before we know whether it will in fact be popular with casual audiences, it doesn't seem to have much enthusiasm from fans or participants. Although it is of course too soon to tell.

    I'd love media coverage that treats viewers as intelligent sports fans who want to understand the technical details behind the sport and the judging, while also acknowledging the artistic aspects of the technique and scoring the fact that many skaters can transcend the purely technical to give entertaining and artistic performances.

    Coverage that focuses only on the artistic aspects and the obvious jumps and errors doesn't build knowledgeable audiences. Coverage that focuses on the human drama at the expense of what's actually being judged and that paints the judges as antagonists doesn't build knowledgeable audiences.

    But that's what tends to draw in new viewers. And historically most of the US media coverage has been content to stick to topics that can be appreciated by viewers who get all their knowledge of skating from TV, a large percentage of whom watch only once every 4 years.

    So we get audiences who watch skating to know what they like artistically regardless of technical ability, who appreciate obvious difficulty with apparent success and recognize obvious failure of jumps, who care more about who's dating whom or what country a skater or judge represents than about edges and rules.

    Such dumbed-down media coverage may help the popularity of Olympic broadcasts, or of pro skating during its peak years. But it doesn't help the vast majority of participants (and serious fans) who keep the sport going when the TV cameras aren't on.
  21. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    Sorry, it's been done. Anyone remember Tonya Harding and Jeff Gilooly? More important, anyone want to remember that pathetic spectacle?
  22. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I was thinking more along the lines of attractive people and something with a tinge of scandal...like an Evan/Johnny sex tape.
  23. LadyNit

    LadyNit moving right along

    Why is this thread littered with posts arguing with Firefly about the SAME damn thing that has been argued in three other long, drawn out threads?

    I'll never understand the pleasure that some people derive from this course of action.
    Sylvia and (deleted member) like this.
  24. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    Well, me being a straight man who enjoys girl-on-girl vids, I'd prefer Lady K doing the nasty with DivaNavka.
  25. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness pork cutlet bowl fatale

    Looks like the ISU has partnered with IMG to provide a footage archive, but it is only available to business clients, not individuals/fans. :wall:
  26. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    The male skaters can sit in the kiss n cry shirtless, kinda like the wrestlers and male gymnasts who rip off their clothes as soon as they are done.

    Cheap booze in the arena!

    Open up opportunities for fans to gamble! When people have $$ at stake, they will start to care who wins the free dance.
  27. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    A Peggy Fleming type of winner (similar to Yu-Na in Korea), one who not only wins World titles consistently -- which is very tough to achieve under the current scoring system that can't successfully 'prop up' faves -- but has a gorgeous face and special warmth (charisma that Sasha lacked...but Kwan had in droves). Must be a true beauty to attract Madison Avenue which, in turn, "gets the name out there" among John & Jane Q. Public. Not enough to win consistently. The world was soooo sploiled with Sonja Henie in the 30s/40s, then Peggy Fleming in the 60s/70s, then Dorothy hamill in the 70s/80s and later Michelle Kwan in the 90s. For all of their fine qualities, Tara & Sarah showed us that even the OGM is no guarantee for marketing success.

    Oksana could have been Henie & Fleming-level material, but she deflated first because of her injury during her first pro season, then later with the personal addiction troubles. Oksana Baiul is "the next Peggy" who never was.
  28. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    I got it . . . Pairs and Ice Dance Derby. Knock other teams down with spins, twizzles, Pamchenko Bounce Spins, and Iron Lotus'.
  29. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Yeah, no kidding. Dancesport (aka ballroom) is an IOC-recognized sport. Rather like dressage or figure skating, if you don't understand the technical side, it's hard to understand what's going on, but that doesn't mean whoever is the prettiest wins. Doesn't mean there is no technical aspect or that it doesn't matter.

    Popular as a spectator sport? If anything, it needs glamming UP (relaxed music rules, for example) and it needs commentators who can ACTUALLY EXPLAIN WHAT IS GOING ON in a way viewers can understand. I mean sheesh, the TVG personalities do a better job explaining 'exotics wagering for dummies' in their offhand filler chatter when they're killing dead air between races than some Olympic and World-medalist ex-skaters do actively TRYING to explain technique with slo-mo example videos. Never mind trying to explain the scoring system--they don't actually understand it themselves. But it's never going to be team-sport popular because people identify with local sports teams as a LOCATION thing. You might have a skater pop up once in a while who becomes a superstar, like you have a Tiger Woods or a Venus Williams in golf and tennis, but they're all relatively niche sports that are expensive and a tad rarified to get into seriously and have rules where if you DON'T do the sport they can be confusing to watch.

    As a participatory sport? It would need to be a lot cheaper with a bigger payout (college scholarships, for example) for more people. When only an Olympic gold medalist can REALLY expect to cash in, unless you do something EXTRAORDINARILY spectacular to make up for the lack (Michelle with her vast collection of World and National titles, plus the 'aww' factor of her NOT winning gold), and even getting to be #50 and cut at sectionals, as gkelly said, costs a small fortune, it's hard to motivate people to participate.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  30. MOIJTO

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    Let the audience choose the winner. Kinda like American Idol!