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Thread: Ladies Free Program 19:00 pm Eastern Time Saturday, November 21

  1. #511
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    ...80-pound, 4-foot-tall sprites aren't the best skaters. They're merely the best jumpers. As long as skating is done to music, they'll never be the best skaters.
    Then what's the problem? If they are not the best skaters, then they will not win any prizes against the ladies who are the best skaters. That's why we have skating contests, to see who is the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue
    ...along with the fact that the victims were Canadians (if the victims were French or Finnish, would they have cared so much?)
    Indeed! Whose ox is being gored?

    When Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze were placed above Sale and Pelletiere the Canadians cried foul. When the ISU intervened and gave out two gold medals, the Russians got mad and blamed the North American media for pressuring the IOC.

    The rest of the world? *yawn*

    When Linda Fratianne (left) came in second to Anett Potzsch in 1980 the Americans cried Communist plot. When Sonia Henie beat Herma Szabo before a 5-man panel with three Norwegian judges, the Germans were up in arms.

    As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be...

  2. #512
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.D. View Post
    But it wasn't Kwan so much as it was the massive publicity generated by The Whack, right? I mean, look at gymnastics...the American women continue to dominate, and yet you really only hear about it every 4 years. There's something different about ice skating in that regard.

    Popularity was just returning to what it was before then, but 2002, the Cop, and then lack of an American star hastened that decline, it seems.

    I'm not happy with some of the judging at these GP events. If something like this happens at the Games I do hope that all h**l will break loose and TPTB will be FORCED to do something about it- put up or shut up. They won't get away with changing the system yet again.
    Thank you. figure skating took on disproportionate popularity after the whack heard round the the world. Before that, figure skating was a sport the general population paid attention to every four years, just like gymnastics, swimming, track, etc. Michelle Kwan actually helped keep up the disproportionate interest. She's just one of those athletes who transcends her sport (which, considering she did that without an Olympic gold, says it all about her.)
    But I do think figure skating is suffering from not having an American female star. I'm not saying an American star would bring the sport back the glory days of the "whack" (okay 'glory' not the right word here but you know what I mean). But the U.S. had a Michelle Kwan or even a Sasha there is just no arguing that it would help.
    None of the Americans in my office have a clue who any skaters are these days, including two who actually SKATED in their youth. I managed to get one interested enough to watch Skate America with me but I had to catch her up on EVERYTHING. She didn't even know who Kim Yuna was. But she did know who Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen were ...

  3. #513
    Rink Rat i love to skate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I always look to TV contracts and right now they are at pre 2002 levels as far as skating is concerned. It is not on ESPN anymore and that in itself is a major statment. ESPN, the new cathedral of American sport no longer recognizes figure skating as a sport.
    I don't think this is solid idea to base things off of though. Hockey doesn't have a contract with ESPN either.

  4. #514
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I watched the NBC broadcast today with a couple of very casual skating fans.
    By the time the men were done they asked me to quit explaining some of the new rules because they did not understand my explanations and said they missed the judges' scores being shown after each skater.

    They thought Laura was very cute and lively and liked her alot. They did not care as much for Alissa but said they liked her dress better than Laura's. Could have been than "panty thing" Spun just mentioned.

    They thought Mirai was the best and thought Joannie made so many mistakes they couldn't believe she was the winner.

    My guests are around my age and they remember Scott very well and enjoyed his commentary. (I did not make that up )
    From their comments and general reaction I don't get the feeling skating is on the right path. Not as far as having much appeal to casual fans from the USA.

    They said they will watch some skating on the Olympics but said it is not the same since Michelle has retired.


    This is basically what I said in my previous post but much better explained ... I get the feeling some of my friends and co-workers don't even realize that Nancy Kerrigan has retired.

  5. #515
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    Quote Originally Posted by Layfan View Post
    Thank you. figure skating took on disproportionate popularity after the whack heard round the the world. Before that, figure skating was a sport the general population paid attention to every four years, just like gymnastics, swimming, track, etc. Michelle Kwan actually helped keep up the disproportionate interest. She's just one of those athletes who transcends her sport (which, considering she did that without an Olympic gold, says it all about her.)
    But I do think figure skating is suffering from not having an American female star. I'm not saying an American star would bring the sport back the glory days of the "whack" (okay 'glory' not the right word here but you know what I mean). But the U.S. had a Michelle Kwan or even a Sasha there is just no arguing that it would help.
    None of the Americans in my office have a clue who any skaters are these days, including two who actually SKATED in their youth. I managed to get one interested enough to watch Skate America with me but I had to catch her up on EVERYTHING. She didn't even know who Kim Yuna was. But she did know who Michelle Kwan and Sasha Cohen were ...
    Looking back to the 80's might be interesting. There was not a USA Ice princess from that decade who made much of an impact. Linda almost - but we know what happened with her.

    It is interesting to note that skating did very well in the 80's . It was because of the American men, Scott and Brian. Both were the major skating stories and stars of their respective Olympics back in '84 and '88.

    The men's LP in both instances had very good ratings and both of these guys went on to have TV specials and very successful Pro skating careers. They both remain fairly well known in the USA today.

    I am not saying I disagree that a leading Lady does not help but in reality the success of Scott and Brian pretty much disproves this theory which comes up in every post about skating popularity in the USA.

    In addition, a Pairs team from the late 70's and early 80's, Randy and Tai were very popular , appeared as guests on TV shows, and if not for an unfortunate injury withdrawal at Lake Placid in 1980 they would have been even more popular. No other US Pairs team has ever approached their popularity.

    So skating did flourish in the US for a decade without an Ice Princess of the staure of Peggy, Janet, Dorothy, Kristi, etc.

  6. #516
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Then what's the problem? If they are not the best skaters, then they will not win any prizes against the ladies who are the best skaters. That's why we have skating contests, to see who is the best.



    Indeed! Whose ox is being gored?

    When Berezhnaya and Sikharudlidze were placed above Sale and Pelletiere the Canadians cried foul. When the ISU intervened and gave out two gold medals, the Russians got mad and blamed the North American media for pressuring the IOC.

    The rest of the world? *yawn*

    When Linda Fratianne (left) came in second to Anett Potzsch in 1980 the Americans cried Communist plot. When Sonia Henie beat Herma Szabo before a 5-man panel with three Norwegian judges, the Germans were up in arms.

    As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be...

    That's what I'm saying! And they DON'T win. Look at last year's nationals. Clearly, there was preference for a skater who had all-round quality and ice presence to the jumping beans who were rather lifeless. Let everyone compete!! It makes no sense not to have the best skaters in the world compete at the Olympics just because they are younger. The younger skaters who win are those who show maturity. I mentioned Tara earlier. But let's not even go that far. Michelle Kwan was only 15 (16?) when she won her first world gold medal. And no one can say Kwan was merely a jumping bean.

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    I suppose it's possible that skating went through a fluky period from 1994 to about 2004, give or take a few years in either direction, and that it's now back to normal in the U.S. I still remember the days when the only thing you ever saw on TV was two hours for the entire Nationals, two hours for the Worlds, and bits of Olympic skating (interrupted by lots of speed skating, skiing, and bobsled). So I guess I can live with sinking back into obscurity. One problem with American sports (well, it's not really a problem, except to skating fans) is that we have so many sports, including auto racing and golf and those awful wrestling variants involving tattoos and public yowling. So skating gets lost in the shuffle. Fair enough: now that there's a site like this, and YouTube, I have enough skating to tide me over. I can always adopt the skaters from Canada or Japan if things get really dire.

    But I still don't think I could get quite as absorbed in skating if all the ladies' champs were eighty-pound preteen wunderkinds.

    Quote from Layfan:
    Michelle Kwan actually helped keep up the disproportionate interest. She's just one of those athletes who transcends her sport (which, considering she did that without an Olympic gold, says it all about her.)

    You could be right, Layfan. Interestingly, in both Olympics, she lost to an American skater--and she still retained greater fame and popularity than the gold medal winner.

  8. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by i love to skate View Post
    I don't think this is solid idea to base things off of though. Hockey doesn't have a contract with ESPN either.
    Believe it or not - but hockey has never been successful in the USA.on TV. It has struggled for decades trying to get a good TV deal but has never been a mainstream sport here in the way that baseball, football and basketball are.

    I believe that skating actually had a bigger TV contract than hockey did here in the states up until the SLC scandal. I could be wrong about that ......
    Last edited by janetfan; 11-22-2009 at 11:36 PM.

  9. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Believe it or not - but hockey has never been successful in the USA.on TV. It has struggled for decades and has never been a mainstream sport here in the way that baseball, football and basketball are.
    Oh I definietly know that hockey has struggled in the States. I was just pointing out that because there isn't a contract doesn't mean that ESPN doesn't think it's a sport. The network would still consider hockey a sport and figure skating a sport.

  10. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Believe it or not - but hockey has never been successful in the USA.on TV. It has struggled for decades trying to get a good TV deal but has never been a mainstream sport here in the way that baseball, football and basketball are.

    I believe that skating actually had a bigger TV contract than hockey did here in the states up until the SLC scandal. I could be wrong about that ......
    I think that's right. But now, skating and hockey are in the same boat. I believe both have revenue-sharing contracts with NBC-TV (although hockey does have a separate cable agreement with Versus- not sure how much that's worth).

  11. #521
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    Quote Originally Posted by i love to skate View Post
    Oh I definietly know that hockey has struggled in the States. I was just pointing out that because there isn't a contract doesn't mean that ESPN doesn't think it's a sport. The network would still consider hockey a sport and figure skating a sport.
    Well, ESPN certainly didn't broadcast it (skating) as if it were a sport. It would always be a fluff-packaged show a week or more after the actual competition took place. And it was ALWAYS like that even during the ABC days. One has to give Universal Sports/NBC credit for at least airing GP coverage on the same weekend it took place...even the GP Japan.

  12. #522
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Looking back to the 80's might be interesting. There was not a USA Ice princess from that decade who made much of an impact. Linda almost - but we know what happened with her.

    It is interesting to note that skating did very well in the 80's . It was because of the American men, Scott and Brian. Both were the major skating stories and stars of their respective Olympics back in '84 and '88.


    The men's LP in both instances had very good ratings and both of these guys went on to have TV specials and very successful Pro skating careers. They both remain fairly well known in the USA today.

    I am not saying I disagree that a leading Lady does not help but in reality the success of Scott and Brian pretty much disproves this theory which comes up in every post about skating popularity in the USA.

    In addition, a Pairs team from the late 70's and early 80's, Randy and Tai were very popular , appeared as guests on TV shows, and if not for an unfortunate injury withdrawal at Lake Placid in 1980 they would have been even more popular. No other US Pairs team has ever approached their popularity.

    So skating did flourish in the US for a decade without an Ice Princess of the staure of Peggy, Janet, Dorothy, Kristi, etc.

    That's so weird that you mentioned that because I was just thinking about that downstairs while making myself hot cocoa. Someone posted something about how in the U.S. skating has always been about the women and I was just reflecting about how, actually, in the 80s it was about the men - Hamilton and the Battle of the Brians.
    Anyway, in the end, my analysis is that if there were a U.S. sweetheart, figure skating would be much more popular than it is now. But it still wouldn't be as popular as it was the year of the "whack."

    (Having a U.S. men's star would of course also help. Evan is the world champion () but he is not yet a star on the level of Brian Boitano or Scott Hamilton. He needs an Olympic gold or a winning streak for that ... (Also he won the world championship when no one was really looking because of the dismal state of skating's popularity we've all been talking about.) )

    p.s. but i am hopeful that with the current talent men's figure skating might regain a bit of the glow it had in the 80s
    Last edited by Layfan; 11-23-2009 at 12:00 AM. Reason: add

  13. #523
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    I love doing that. I've once seen the opposite of what you pointed out here--a judge who scored fairly evenly with the other judges for almost all the skaters, but then the scores took a nosedive when it came to a particular skater.
    And the fact skating fans like us with too much time (ok I should speak for myself , as I know from your posts that you've got lots on with assignments and stuff!) have to go out of our ways to almost 'monitor' what's going on, and actually find something 'interesting' goes to show how bad secret judging can be.

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    Re: Culprit of (decline in) skating popularity

    It'd be interesting if we could find TV ratins of all the major events from the past and compare, just to have some statistics as an indicator.

    I think in Japan it went like (I don't have rating info now unfotunately):

    Late 80's to Early 90's
    Very popular. Smaller competitions like Skate America and Trophy Lalique were televised where Midori competed.

    Mid 90's to '04
    The dark age. I remember '03 Nationals was open to public for free! That's where Miki landed the quad and won! And '04 Worlds, where Shizuka became the champ, was televised in a pathetic time slot and her win didn't gain much attention.

    '05 till now
    Miki/ Shizuka/ Mao/ Daisuke effects. Lots of TV coverage with record high ratings, lots of cheesefests for ridiculous price. But apparently (I moved to Australia in '04) competitions that Mao didn't participate in this season, even NHK, got low ratings, which is a shame.

    So yeah, national stars do seem to play a major factor in popularity. I was surprised last year when I was in LA there wasn't much media coverage of Evan's win. Sometimes the media has to help, no?

  15. #525
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikki View Post
    It'd be interesting if we could find TV ratins of all the major events from the past and compare, just to have some statistics as an indicator.

    I think in Japan it went like (I don't have rating info now unfotunately):

    Late 80's to Early 90's
    Very popular. Smaller competitions like Skate America and Trophy Lalique were televised where Midori competed.

    Mid 90's to '04
    The dark age. I remember '03 Nationals was open to public for free! That's where Miki landed the quad and won! And '04 Worlds, where Shizuka became the champ, was televised in a pathetic time slot and her win didn't gain much attention.

    '05 till now
    Miki/ Shizuka/ Mao/ Daisuke effects. Lots of TV coverage with record high ratings, lots of cheesefests for ridiculous price. But apparently (I moved to Australia in '04) competitions that Mao didn't participate in this season, even NHK, got low ratings, which is a shame.

    So yeah, national stars do seem to play a major factor in popularity. I was surprised last year when I was in LA there wasn't much media coverage of Evan's win. Sometimes the media has to help, no?
    I didn't know all of this! I just thought figure skating had been popular in Japan forever, well since Midori anyway. So interesting. I think it does shed a light on what's happening to figure skating in the States. As for the media coverage of Evan's win, I think you answered your own question with the bit about Shiz - Evan won under similar circumstances - Not much interest in figure skating, and Evan at the time he was not a name for casual fans who only tune in during the Olympics. I have a friend who even skated growing up and she had NOT EVEN HEARD OF EVAN until a few weeks ago. She'd heard of Johnny Weir, I guess because Johnny was the U.S. star in the run up to the last Olympics and she sort of tuned out after that. (But I did my part. She watched Skate America with me and said, "okay fine, you've got a convert", after watching Evan skate )

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