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Thread: State of American Ladies: 2012-13 Season

  1. #211
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonlightSkater View Post
    ABC would most likely find that featuring Davis and White in order to promote Skate America, which is being broadcast by NBC to be a conflict of interests. The idea that anyone would be paid to appear on a network to promote an event another network has rights to seems very unlikely.

    The comparison to the Fierce Five doesn't work, because the Fierce Five became an asset to any show by winning the Olympics and becoming famous. If Davis and White win the Olympics, then they will be more likely to appear on all sorts of shows across networks. They'll be more likely to be invited on these shows even before the Olympics in Sochi, I imagine, during the pre-Olympic hype. That, however, is two years away. Also, it probably won't have a lot to do with the USFSA asking for them to be included- rather, it would be initiated by the producers of the shows. Any time the USFSA is asking if their skaters can appear on a show they can expect to pay for that right unless they are negotiating a broadcast deal, and NBC already has those rights. There may also be a conflict between NBC's deal with the USFSA and the ability to ask other networks to promote their skaters.

    As for the pressure, I totally agree that skaters will have to deal with pressure to get anywhere in the sport. Hyping somebody up as being the person who will probably beat the national champion is a bit far, though. It puts a very specific expectation on a skater that could be a blow to their psyche should they fail to accomplish as much. It's also very unfair to the national champion who, by virtue of winning, has earned the right to be heralded as the current best the US has to offer. Billing Gracie as the best (and saying that she'll become better than the national champion is doing so) is probably confusing to many fans who might want to cheer for the skater who was ready to earn the title- a title that some seem to want to hand to Gracie with no results. Also, as I already mentioned, sending two of your best skaters to the same event makes it less likely that both will qualify for the final. That would also be unfair to one of the skaters. They'll face off at nationals, and if they both have good Grand Prixs, then that can build more hype for Nationals, which is the bigger event. If they don't, then the USFSA can find another aspect to hype without having blown their marketing plan with one event.

    I do agree that skating needs more exposure in general, but I think that it's 1)harder than we think and 2)needs to be the right type of exposure. In 2006 I thought prospects were bright for the future of figure skating with skating movies coming out and the Ice Diaries and Skating with Celebrities shows. Somehow the general public seems to have a reduced opinion of skating after all that, though. Maybe the Disney version of skating (you can learn to do a triple in a year!?!!!!) didn't sell? Maybe the pageant-like aspects of the sport have turned some people off? Or maybe the USFSA entered into a really bad broadcasting agreement with NBC that truly fails to promote the sport because the sport is almost never on channels that everyone actually gets and includes broadcasters who (even though they might be right) denegrate the code of points every chance they get (this is my vote for what went wrong). There needs to be adequate coverage of the actual sport, and various facts about the athleticism and skills required need to be explained every time it's on the air.

    I also think that the quality of professional skating that is shown has gone way down, and that has also affected the ratings. It's hard for me to watch certain skaters who are way past their prime and clearly don't train all that much on shows like the Halloween On Ice show doing the same watered down tricks and choreography over and over again. Some of the professional skaters are lovely, and some of the newer ones are bringing new life to the choreography, but we don't see enough of them on t.v., and we see too many of the others who are there just for their name. We need more skaters like Kurt Browning, Stephane Lambiel, Joannie Rochet, Jeffery Buttle, Katia Gordeeva, and the like to be shown, and less of those who phone their show programs in.

    I would love to see skating featured in programs like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade again (way more interesting than a dog show, though I have nothing against dog shows). I think ABC has the right to that programming, though, so it would have to be a group other than the USFSA that would coordinate that type of thing. It would be wonderful if a John Curry style special from the Rockefeller tree lighting could be shown (again, ABC territory). All of this costs money and takes organization, though, and would be out of the hands of the USFSA.

    Maybe the USFSA could convince NBC to air a pro-am competition to include athletes of a high caliber during Christmas season in a future year? That way they'd be organizing the competition and could invite those who'd best represent the sport? Again, though, that costs $$$. NBC would have to be willing to pay for it.

    Maybe the best route is to try to get more youngsters interested in the sport- perhaps the USFSA should put their money towards a day of free skating lessons in member rinks across the country, and advertise this heavily. The difficulty here is that skating is a sport with a steep learning curve, so they'd have to work hard to find ways to make doing the most basic things a lot of fun.

    I'm just rambling and throwing out random ideas now. The point is that it is a lot more difficult to drum up popularity than many of us think, and the USFSA has a tall order ahead of them.

    Maybe the best way to promote skating is for each of us to take a friend to a show, and then to take a few friends skating, and then maybe take our neighbors' and relatives' kids skating. Maybe relying on the governing bodies to fix everything isn't the answer? Or perhaps the USFSA needs to find ways to get more people involved in promoting the sport- offering a second set of tickets at a discounted price to people who buy the expensive seats so that they can bring a friend? Or maybe just trying to get member clubs to go out into the community to promote certain events?
    thank you!


    also - if WE the fans can't even agree with how to "fix the problem" I can't imagine it any easier for the folks at the USFSA to agree and fix it either.

  2. #212
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    I edited my previous post to add this, but seeing as how it's already been quoted without the edit, I thought I'd add it in a new post as well:

    I think the USFSA could use social media a lot more, as well. Clearly they are trying to do this with Twitter, but I think they should consider YouTube and Pinterest as really good ways to promote skating, as well. Making a highlight reel of great jumps and artistic skills might play well. A fun video of a jump-off filmed during Champs Camp might get viewers. They could really use the athletes' personalities to advantage here. Maybe a footwork challenge between some of the singles skaters and ice dancers? Shibutani vs. Weir vs. White vs. Lysacek? Make a pinterest and post some of the nicest pictures of USFSA stars? All of that could be done for less expense, and some of it for free.

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonlightSkater View Post
    ABC would most likely find that featuring Davis and White in order to promote Skate America, which is being broadcast by NBC to be a conflict of interests. The idea that anyone would be paid to appear on a network to promote an event another network has rights to seems very unlikely.

    ?
    Thanks - good post with many interesting points. Am about to go out but wanted to respond to your first point.

    DWTS has two seasons....it would be easier for D/W to find time to do something in the summer show as opposed to the fall show.
    It was not my intention for D/W to appear on DWTS only to promote either SA or Natls - but they certainly could. I thought it would be a real boost if they could promote Ice Dancing and themselves.

    Evan is usually seen skating on NBC but there was nothing that stopped him from competing on DWTS. He was simultaneoulsy appearing with SOI and mentioned this on DWTS several times. SOI is shown on NBC but ABC didn;t mind. There is really no reason for networks to get paranoid about once a year broadcasts like SA or Natls or SOI.

    Anyway, I think it would be good for Ice Dancing and skating in general to see more high profile exposure of our best skaters.

    In my city we have an NFL football team. Week after week the competing stations broadcast TV shows "hyping the game and our team" even though the game itself will be broadcast on a different network.

    Even during the Olympics our other networks run features and shows almost daily about the Olympics. There is nothing NBC can do about it (why would they when they are getting free promos ).

    This is similar to the amount of coverage the Oscars receive - all networks cover it, some do specials and prediction shows about it but only one network broadcasts the actual show.

    The idea that ABC would not have D/W just because of NBC just does not seem true. Different reasons maybe - but not that one. Too many examples of networks, particularly in sports covering games and other big events they are not broadcasting.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-06-2012 at 06:16 AM.

  4. #214
    I like pie. Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoonlightSkater View Post
    I edited my previous post to add this, but seeing as how it's already been quoted without the edit, I thought I'd add it in a new post as well:

    I think the USFSA could use social media a lot more, as well. Clearly they are trying to do this with Twitter, but I think they should consider YouTube and Pinterest as really good ways to promote skating, as well. Making a highlight reel of great jumps and artistic skills might play well. A fun video of a jump-off filmed during Champs Camp might get viewers. They could really use the athletes' personalities to advantage here. Maybe a footwork challenge between some of the singles skaters and ice dancers? Shibutani vs. Weir vs. White vs. Lysacek? Make a pinterest and post some of the nicest pictures of USFSA stars? All of that could be done for less expense, and some of it for free.
    AFAIK the did use some vids on youtube after camp was over...

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepe Nero View Post
    I think all of us making points in this debate are making politically-based arguments. And that's fine - it's a political issue. I think those who have given facially apolitical rationales for the fact that Flatt has been given more assignments to SA than Nagasu are right. I think those who say that indirect forms of racism might be involved in the decision might be right as well. (I don't mean to attribute views to anyone specifically, BTW.)

    These explanations are not mutually exclusive! The exclusion of Nagasu (who does not look "American enough" from the perspective of the USFSA to represent the USA at Skate America) is overdetermined.

    More broadly, it is my view that it is darn implausible to say issues related race never at least subconsciously make their way into USFSA decisions. (I'm thinking of debates we had here early this year about Dornbush being assigned to 4CC over Mahbanoozadeh.)

    ETA: Pre-emptorily, denying that there are political issues in figure skating, or that figure skating is not the place to discuss politics, is itself to articulate a political position. My panties are not in a wad.
    You raise some interesting points.

    Most American sports have been integrated for decades. More to the point the management of most sports - sometimes by court order also have been integrated.

    The old excuse "African-Americans only want to play, they don't want to coach or work in the front office" is no longer acceptable and hasn't been for years.

    Watching medal ceremonies at US Natls or the occassional interview with officials I never see any ethnic diversity in the representatives of US Skating.

    In fact it feels like an advertisement for "Wasps Illustrated."

    Are there any high ranking Asian-Americans at US Skating? Any African-Americans or Hispanics?

    Maybe there are and I never see them - but if not it is wrong and should be changed.

    I decided to look into it - here is a link to the US Skating Board of Directors:

    https://www.usfigureskating.org/cont...dership&id=201

    It is not even close to reflecting the ethnic and cultural diveristy of American society.

    But good for Karen Kwan who is a member of the board serving as the coaching member.

    As to Dornbush vs Mahbanoozadeh for a 4CC slot?

    Who earned it and who got it?
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-06-2012 at 07:44 AM.

  6. #216
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    Well, this thread has gotten rather far off track. Back to the title subject....

    After the cumulative results of the competitions we've seen so far and what we know of their conditions, my assessment (prediction?) for this season and especially US senior ladies for nationals is:

    Strong placements: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold, Angela Wang (I believe skating Senior domestically)

    Non-factors: Rachael Flatt (past prime, occupied with college/skating now secondary), Christina Gao (college, skating now secondary), Caroline Zhang (past prime, too many tech problems), Alissa Czisny (injury recovery, likely past prime), Vanessa Lam (tech issues, downward trajectory), Courtney Hicks (not soup yet)

    Wild Cards: Mirai Nagasu, Agnes Zawadski (both can be all over the map), Hannah Miller, Leah Keiser (both of those I think also now skate Senior domestically)

  7. #217
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    After the Japan Open, we have Wagner who scored 120+..then we have Zawadzki, who apparently fell 3 times and scored in the 80s. Hopefully videos appear soon.

    (Still early, guys...I would not get excited about Wagner at this point...and likewise, I would not worry about Zawadzki either)

  8. #218
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    I haven't seen it yet but Ashley did very well at the Japan Open

    I came across this clip with Ashley talking about her keys to success.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whK3ALNsMNA

    Looks like this will be shown in classrooms and shared on social media while raising the awareness of skating.

    I have seen Ashley doing other promos this season - good for her!
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-06-2012 at 06:00 PM.

  9. #219
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    Mirai's SP at Finlandia.
    she fell on a 3t3t
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pXDmwfpABs
    and scored 52.75

    http://www.figureskatingresults.fi/r...012/SEG006.HTM

    Angela Wang just qualified for the JGPF by winning JGP Croatia with a score of 58.47 in the SP and a total score of 162.65

    Hannah Miller also qualified for the JGPF by finishing second in Croatia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    AFAIK the did use some vids on youtube after camp was over...
    You mean the blurry videos where everyone looked like a tiny, colorful, pixilated matchsticks? Or the twitter pics that were taken with a donated camera-phone from the 1990s?

    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I haven't seen it yet but Ashley did very well at the Japan Open

    I came across this clip with Ashley talking about her keys to success.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whK3ALNsMNA

    Looks like this will be shown in classrooms and shared on social media while raising the awareness of skating.

    I have seen Ashley doing other promos this season - good for her!
    I like the goal setting pyramid idea. That's a really good idea. But there are 7 lessons on the exact same goal setting pyramid idea. This isn't Ashley's fault, she did a lovely job. The person who is in charge of curriculum needs to step it up. Their audio-visual guy needs to fix the lighting and sound on a lot of the videos.


    I don't like poo pooing everyone's efforts, but their social media products are so bad and amateurish. Especially compared to the polished and entertaining videos from the Shibutani's. Even the twitter pictures the skaters themselves tweeted looked very good, so it wasn't twitter's fault. It makes the USFSA look like a bunch of clowns. If they aren't taking themselves seriously, why should the big networks?

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    Does anyone know why Mirai got a level 1 on her combination spin? Is it because the (rather unattractive) catchfoot she did in her flying camel earlier counted as a forward camel (as opposed to a donut spin which would be sideways camel), and then she did something similar in the combo spin, which reduced it to level 1?

  12. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Mirai's SP at Finlandia.
    she fell on a 3t3t
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pXDmwfpABs
    and scored 52.75

    http://www.figureskatingresults.fi/r...012/SEG006.HTM

    .
    Mirai apparently turned in a decent LP at Finlandia (haven't seen it yet) and won another Intl medal. I guess if she medals at CoC that will be enough to keep her out of Skate America again next season. And to only receive one GP event.

    Great, fair system we have in USA.

    Go Mirai!

  13. #223
    Spiral Lover tulosai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Mirai apparently turned in a decent LP at Finlandia (haven't seen it yet) and won another Intl medal. I guess if she medals at CoC that will be enough to keep her out of Skate America again next season. And to only receive one GP event.

    Great, fair system we have in USA.

    Go Mirai!
    Mirai is likely to receive the spot that Tukt will open at Skate Canada if she does, in fact, withdraw. It is only a gut feeling, but I think she is going to.

    The USA has very little to do with who gets GP slots- you have to be invited by the host country. It is true they chose to invite Flatt to SA over Mirai but as others have discussed more eloquently than I could, it makes some some sense. If Mirai wants to receive 2 guaranteed GP slots she has to skate to deserve them like everyone else.

    In addition, Finlandia is far from a truly prestigious competition. If Mirai had finished below anyone she finished above (all of whom are virtually unknowns, at least by people who follow skating only casually), that would have been very bad indeed. 110 is a decent FS score but the scores there were all inflated. I wouldn't hail this as her second coming yet.

    That said, I have not seen the FS and I was impressed with her triple-triple combo in the short despite the fall and the fact that she did not give up.

    This is all coming from a huge Mirai fan. In addition, the USA has exempted Mirai from needing to qualify for Nationals this year despite the fact that technically, she should need to. Some (though not me) actually see this and the fact that she was an alternate at Worlds as signs of favoritism toward Mirai. It's not fair to ignore the whole picture just because you like a skater.

  14. #224
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulosai View Post
    Mirai is likely to receive the spot that Tukt will open at Skate Canada if she does, in fact, withdraw. It is only a gut feeling, but I think she is going to.

    The USA has very little to do with who gets GP slots- you have to be invited by the host country. It is true they chose to invite Flatt to SA over Mirai but as others have discussed more eloquently than I could, it makes some some sense. If Mirai wants to receive 2 guaranteed GP slots she has to skate to deserve them like everyone else.

    In addition, Finlandia is far from a truly prestigious competition. If Mirai had finished below anyone she finished above (all of whom are virtually unknowns, at least by people who follow skating only casually), that would have been very bad indeed. 110 is a decent FS score but the scores there were all inflated. I wouldn't hail this as her second coming yet.

    That said, I have not seen the FS and I was impressed with her triple-triple combo in the short despite the fall and the fact that she did not give up.

    This is all coming from a huge Mirai fan. In addition, the USA has exempted Mirai from needing to qualify for Nationals this year despite the fact that technically, she should need to. Some (though not me) actually see this and the fact that she was an alternate at Worlds as signs of favoritism toward Mirai. It's not fair to ignore the whole picture just because you like a skater.
    I appreciate your post -but wouldn't it seem MORE FAIR based on Intl results if it was Christina or Agnes who were up for the possible open GP spot at SC or NHK?

    It doesn't even feel like a reasonable discusion to say that Christina or Agnes have had better Intl results than Mirai.

    Those who don't believe me only have to check out the Intl rankings of the three Ladies.

    I could also ask why Mirai has to skate under the added pressure this season. Anyone half-way honest knows it is easier to prepare for two assigned GP's than to be on the outside hoping to skate well enough to get a last minue replacement slot.

    Not only that but the "pageant effect" that still rules skating almost means Mirai would have a better chance to pick up a GP slot if she skated POORLY ....rahther than well.

    Why in the world would SC want Mirai if they could get a less acomplished skater - one who their best girls could more predictably beat?

    Sorry but this is not sport -it is pure pageantry - and I see it as a major reason Americans no longer consider skating an important or legitimate sport.

    And why should we......(last time I checked simply being caucasian was not enough to make anyone America's sporting favorite).

    The out of touch lily white group that runs US Skating has other ideas.
    Last edited by janetfan; 10-07-2012 at 02:52 PM.

  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    I appreciate your post -but wouldn't it seem MORE FAIR based on Intl results if it was Christina or Agnes who were up for the possible open GP spot at SC or NHK?

    It doesn't even feel like a reasonable discusion to say that Christina or Agnes have had better Intl results than Mirai.

    Those who don't believe me only have to check out the Intl rankings of the three Ladies.

    I could also ask why Mirai has to skate under the added pressure this season. Anyone half-way honest knows it is easier to prepare for two assigned GP's than to be on the outside hoping to skate well enough to get a last minue replacement slot.

    Not only that but the "pageant effect" that still rules skating almost means Mirai would have a better chance to pick up a GP slot if she skated POORLY ....rahther than well.

    Why in the world would SC want Mirai if they could get a less acomplished skater - one who their best girls could more predictably beat?

    Sorry but this is not sport -it is pure pageantry.
    indeed, what is actually puzzling is how the US Fed keeps promoting on Agnes who in fact has proven time and time she isnt very much reliable
    not to mention horrible in FS, Agnes is better than Mirai ? , that would be like saying Flatt is the Best Current US skater

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