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Thread: Tales from the front

  1. #1
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Tales from the front

    The more I think I know about judging, the less I know I really know. For much of Nats Seniors, I listened on the ear bug to David Kirby, IJS tech committee member, one of seven, and an amazing announcer in his own right, and Jimmie Santee talk about what goes on in the judges area. During an element from say an ice dancer pair, they would explain what consitutes what level, or how the tech folks will dibbie up jobs for say a single skater....you look for the edge change and I will count revolutions on a spin. And how the reviews work. Lots of fun filled questions were texted to them and answered....an ice dance lady must be "covered" 50 percent from bust to hips and the USFSA pays one of four music companies for every performance piece used at the competition...that would be over 300 skates. I will say that for my favorite skaters, I turned them off so I could enjoy the performances, but they are a great pair to listen to.

    Now I have no idea how any skater remembers all the tech things they have to do for every element and still be artistic....

    Other fun filled facts about SJ

    Imagine an arena with wide, plush seats where even a six ft 2 inch old man has enough knee room and the view of ladies behind him wasnt blocked.
    Imagine an arena where you could bring in as much food and drink as you liked....and even bring in a small cooler.
    Imagine an arena where the sound system was concert quality and the sound guy never made a mistake with the wrong music that I personally heard.
    Imagine Zamboni rides! Rudy on the ice! MK! An inexpensive but nice hotel 400 yards away with a great free breakfast buffet and a Jacuzzi in every room next to a liquor store (OK, it was a pharmacy but they had everything)
    Imagine getting a sweet smile from Emily S. after calling to her, "Welcome back!" as she skated by warming up. She really did look happy to be back....
    Imagine watching novice pairs.....frightening....
    (I didnt go to the MK induction reception but for $100 it was quite a treat, I hear. Personnal pics with her and conversation, commemerative medal for everyone, three free drinks, food, long speaches by FC and MK and others....I think it went on for almost 3 hours...)
    Tickets: $700
    Hotel:1,000
    Airfare: $350
    Seeing your friend caught asleep during the competition on the Jumbotron and taking a pic of it: Priceless

  2. #2
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    wow, 700? includes every event all week? pricey if you just want to see the seniors!

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    wow, 700? includes every event all week? pricey if you just want to see the seniors!
    why would you get an all event ticket if all you wanted to see was one third of the events?

  4. #4
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Sorry for the confusion. I always buy all event ticket packages near or on the ice. This gives me all events plus all practices.
    Sometimes it is $700, sometimes over $900.
    The ear bug is only on for seniors...you have a choice of two channels, A and B. Icenetwork is on channel A and B is
    for technical specialists broadcasts.
    I spend 9 days in the arena...sometimes only five hours, most of the time its more like 14 hours. As I get older, I have to pace myself.
    The junior men, for instance, dont hold much for me except Mr. Chen, so I skipped them to get some sleep. Sleep is a rare commodity
    at nats. Its one long grind of partying, practice, socialization and events.

    Savy folk without much money could, at almost every nats, save money by buying an all event package in the cheep seats and moving down to
    the expensive seats for 3/4 of the time. (There are probably 1,000 skating folk and fans in the seats for each novice and junior event.) This cheep all event nosebleed package gets you into all practices. Squatting is not a problem as long as you move upon request. You could then buy real tickets for the seniors
    you wish to . Since my real seat was in row two, the ushers had no problem if I wanted to sit with friends as long as no one claimed my squatted seat. The arena folk here were very nice,
    unlike Cleveland. This event was atypical as one could buy a practice pass for $10 a day. Even during main events, there were pleanty of empty seats above row 8 that no one cared
    if you sat in, and I typcially did as I have many friends at Nats. Sharing rooms is also a good way to save money. I think the major reason major fans cant attend events is that they cant
    get the time off from work for all the vacations they want. Knowing what I know now, even when I had a job, if it werent for that reason, I would have moonlighted, etc to get together the bucks.
    Nats is quite a specticle if you have never experienced them.....

    Of course, there were weekend packages if you just cared about seniors....I enjoy all the levels except Novice pairs. I would rather watch 10 forced landings at the Reno air races then watch a young man
    try and get a lady above his head when he really cant lift her....Novice Ladies are amazing now...keep your eye on Karen Chen....she is going places.....

    The practice venue was a couple of miles away and the $100 shuttle bus pass was useless as they wouldnt go there for fans. I didnt buy that pass as it wasnt needed, but the practice sessions were
    free if you could get there. I was told they were very cold....

    After Omaha, we are going to either Boston, St Paul or Greensboro, or so goes the "rumor from a reliable sourse" That would be a great year to save up for.....

    All spelling is self inflicted...
    Old Coyote getting ready for Mao at 4 Conts....and no Margarettas in the Jaccuzi this time!
    Last edited by CoyoteChris; 02-03-2012 at 01:37 AM.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    my main reason is with airfare, hotel, food, and event tickets - I can spend 10 days at nationals or I can spend 14+ days at another destination, say, Disney World - which IMO should be way more expensive than Nationals... that was why I chose to do disney in 2009, and 2010... 2011 it was work... this year I'm doing two family trips... 2013 same thing... just can't afford them all...

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    Custom Title macy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    After Omaha, we are going to either Boston, St Paul or Greensboro, or so goes the "rumor from a reliable sourse" That would be a great year to save up for.....
    are those the main bids? i'm not sure how the whole bidding process works but are those the ones that are really being looked at?

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I enjoyed St. Paul... I'd love to go to Boston, but that's even more expensive airfare!

    but *sigh* it's supposedly cheaper for me to fly to an event than it is for someone to fly here for an event (oh the thought process of an outsider)... we'll see... I just don't see myself getting out to US Nationals any time soon.

  8. #8
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macy View Post
    are those the main bids? i'm not sure how the whole bidding process works but are those the ones that are really being looked at?
    Macy, that info was from a woman whose info I trust. She bid $10,000 for good lifetime tickets to nats (and won) so that should tell you what kind of fan she is.
    I will try and find out for sure at 4 conts and USFSA world galactic headquarters. Greensboro is a no brainer...they were salivating after the last one to get it again.
    I like the arena at St Paul a bunch, if it is the same one. Boston I dont know beans about (sorry for the pun) except that it will be very expensive. Toni's right about one
    thing. You can take a real nice cruise for the price of nats. But again I would say that when I was poor and wanted to take a trip, I took it. I may have had to sleep in my
    car, make my own food, buy the equivolent of "cheep seats", moonlight to pay for airfair or whatever, etc, but it CAN be done. Then again, I dont have an I-phone or I-pad or
    cable TV so for the cost of those toys you can go to nats first class every three years anyway.....

  9. #9
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    I don't have any of those either. And I pay for everything I own up front, no bills. The only bill I have is a phonebill. I have a CC but I pay it off - the only reason I have it is so I can "build credit".

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    The more I think I know about judging, the less I know I really know. For much of Nats Seniors, I listened on the ear bug to David Kirby, IJS tech committee member, one of seven, and an amazing announcer in his own right, and Jimmie Santee talk about what goes on in the judges area. During an element from say an ice dancer pair, they would explain what consitutes what level, or how the tech folks will dibbie up jobs for say a single skater....you look for the edge change and I will count revolutions on a spin. And how the reviews work. Lots of fun filled questions were texted to them and answered....an ice dance lady must be "covered" 50 percent from bust to hips and the USFSA pays one of four music companies for every performance piece used at the competition...that would be over 300 skates. I will say that for my favorite skaters, I turned them off so I could enjoy the performances, but they are a great pair to listen to.

    Now I have no idea how any skater remembers all the tech things they have to do for every element and still be artistic....

    Other fun filled facts about SJ

    Imagine an arena with wide, plush seats where even a six ft 2 inch old man has enough knee room and the view of ladies behind him wasnt blocked.
    Imagine an arena where you could bring in as much food and drink as you liked....and even bring in a small cooler.
    Imagine an arena where the sound system was concert quality and the sound guy never made a mistake with the wrong music that I personally heard.
    Imagine Zamboni rides! Rudy on the ice! MK! An inexpensive but nice hotel 400 yards away with a great free breakfast buffet and a Jacuzzi in every room next to a liquor store (OK, it was a pharmacy but they had everything)
    Imagine getting a sweet smile from Emily S. after calling to her, "Welcome back!" as she skated by warming up. She really did look happy to be back....
    Imagine watching novice pairs.....frightening....
    (I didnt go to the MK induction reception but for $100 it was quite a treat, I hear. Personnal pics with her and conversation, commemerative medal for everyone, three free drinks, food, long speaches by FC and MK and others....I think it went on for almost 3 hours...)
    Tickets: $700
    Hotel:1,000
    Airfare: $350
    Seeing your friend caught asleep during the competition on the Jumbotron and taking a pic of it: Priceless
    Wow, Wow, Wow!!!! How totally cool. I am particularly intrigued by these ear bugs - were they available for everyone? Is this recorded anywhere to listen to? And the seats were that comfortable and you could eat??? I really have to do this some time!

    ETA ...sorry, just read your discussion of the ear buds. Just being there live must be great, but the ear bud thing, for me, makes it even better!
    Last edited by emma; 02-03-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  11. #11
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    why would you get an all event ticket if all you wanted to see was one third of the events?
    I have no idea how it works as I've never been there. While I would like to see Karen Chen skate or Nathan, I could never sit thru so much physically, nor do I want to see so many juniors/novices. The best seat if you can't be there is on your computer, reading the artiicles. Then one gets to find the best young uns on youtube. Still I am sorry I did not go years ago when they were very close 2 times, but it was not meant to be. I do think the Kwan thing was worth the hundred bucks, even if you later had to sell your pic with MK or autographed tix on ebay, lol.(sacrilege, i know, just kidding) Ah well, the world is very big, but for some of us due to factors we can't control, very small indeed.

  12. #12
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    you can buy tickets to each event seperately or you can buy an all event. I prefer all-event because I'm the crazy one that will go to all the practices and events...

  13. #13
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    ^ Can you sneak into the practices for free if you don't have a ticket?

  14. #14
    Spiral Lover tulosai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    you can buy tickets to each event seperately or you can buy an all event. I prefer all-event because I'm the crazy one that will go to all the practices and events...
    I prefer all event too though honestly in the past when I've gotten to go I'm not really positive I got my money's worth. It is also a convenience thing though for me to some degree.

  15. #15
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma View Post
    Wow, Wow, Wow!!!! How totally cool. I am particularly intrigued by these ear bugs - were they available for everyone? Is this recorded anywhere to listen to? And the seats were that comfortable and you could eat??? I really have to do this some time!

    ETA ...sorry, just read your discussion of the ear buds. Just being there live must be great, but the ear bud thing, for me, makes it even better!
    Emma....ear bugs were for sale and they work from event to event. They are very good for learning but very bad for appreciation of artistry and beauty. If your are there for the sport, they are invaluable. The IJS tech specialist is an amazing guy. DK was born with a natural announcers voice....he gives you the moves and the edges during, for instance, an ice dance element in real time and has a screen that instantly gives him (and us)
    the level, as well as if there will be a review. And he is doing it in a voice that is about as non disruptive as it can be. He also talked about some changes he, the other 6 specialists, and member countries will probably impliment in the Phillapieans conference this summer but they were a bit complex for a older pilot to understand. I wish icenetwork would broadcast just one of the skates he commented on with his audio and you would all see how good these folks are. I will e-mail the USFSA and see if they would agree to have icenetwork do this, if the broadcasts are recorded....I think all would be amazed...

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