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Thread: 2013 US Nationals Senior Men LP

  1. #436
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    Okay, very late post, but I was gone all last weekend and am just getting caught up on my DVR. So, from what I saw on NBC, here are my thoughts about the men's competition:

    Evan Lysacek (interview) - I don't really blame Evan for wanting to come back, because if he did have one more shot, it's now, and he might regret it if he doesn't take it. However, I would be highly surprised if he had any success. His time is passed, and I doubt Chan and Takahashi were exactly quaking in their boots at the news of his comeback. I like Evan and I'm glad that he won in 2010, but seriously, man, quit while you're on top. He said he wants to try and defend his Olympic title? I'd be impressed if he won another National title. And I have to wonder how much of what he said in that interview he actually believes.

    Philip Warren - He was a new face to me. I thought his short program was very good, but his long program wasn't what he would've wanted. The fall on the triple axel looked painful and probably took away some of his energy. He just needs to get his triple axel more consistent and he'll be more of a contender. No offense to Philip, but I'm surprised they showed his free skate instead of Alexander Johnson's.

    Brandon Mroz - My first thought was that his free skate costume was terrible. But moving on from fashion, Brandon used to be one of America's top men, he almost made the GPF once, and I'm still wondering what has happened with him. When he changed his jump layout, I got nervous, but at least he had the presence of mind not to do too many combinations. The neding of his program was kind of strange for me, and for a second I was like, "Is that the end?" Overall it wasn't a bad skate, but just sort of forgettable for me.

    Adam Rippon - I am loving the new Adam! Love the haircut, love the costume, love the program! I've never been a fan of Adam's, but he just won me over at this competition. I always thought he had mediocre jumps and his skating was somewhat boring - no personality, there was nothing that said "star". During this free skate, he had personality by the bucketloads. I've never seen Adam have fun out there like that. And he hit his triple axels! It wasn't perfect, but overall I was very impressed by him.

    Jonathan Cassar - I had heard his name before, but I'd never actually seen him skate. With no quad and no triple axel, he had no chance at winning, and he likely never will - he's 26, after all. Yet I enjoyed watching him. There were mistakes on his jumps and it wasn't the best he could've done, but he should be proud of that skate. And he got to skate on national television! His spread eagles were definitely the highlight for me - I 've never seen anyone do them like that. I literally backed up the recording and watched his spread eagles two more times. You can tell he loves to skate, and that made him enjoyable to watch.

    Jason Brown - Jason had a decent skate, and I like that he skates to the music and not over it, like some guys do. "Liebestraum" is great for him. And he landed his first triple axel, so that was a great moment for him! He's yet to win me over enough to be considered one of my favorites in the U.S., but give it a little time - it's possible.

    Max Aaron - Never ever would I have guessed that Max would win this thing. He was just off my radar as far as contenders for the title went. There were at least five or six other guys I would've predicted as champion before I would have predicted Aaron as champion. That being said, Aaron skated lights out and he deserved to win. Also, he managed to win me over as a fan of his. His skating style is cool. Itend to prefer the more masculine skaters, not always, but usually, and this guy skates like a dude. No, he's not artistic, but he can still be entertaining. His techno short program was awesome and different. In his free skate, the quad salchows were crazy! He's very athletic and I like that. I'm still in a little bit of shock that he won, but I am actually pleased. Seeing him sitting backstage in his T-shirt, I realized he is a good looking dude, also. I'm really liking this guy, his free skate was incredible, and he's a worthy champion.

    Richard Dornbush - Richard wasn't at his best at this competition. He didn't have that spark or that "star quality" that he normally has. I don't know, maybe this isn't the best program for him, because I've seen him skate with much more personality than he did. Aslo, when you're known for your big jumps and you miss said jumps, it's never good. I mean, his skate wasn't a meltdown, but just underwhelming.

    Ross Miner - I always find myself rooting for Ross. He's the definition of consistent, and I would trust him with the World spots. No, maybe he doesn't have that "it" factor, but I'd much rather have someone reliable than someone who might be brilliant but who could also have a meltdown on any given day. His quad salchow in his free skate was beautiful, and besides that one mistake on the axel, a great skate. Ross is a very strong U.S. #2.

    Jeremy Abbott - While Ross is consistent, Jeremy is... not. You can always rely on Jeremy to crumble under the pressure, and it's unfortunate. At least he has enough creds to skate in shows, because he is a beautiful skater and will be good in shows. He should've left off the quad at this competition, in my opinion, and just tried to skate clean. Maybe then he would've been able to sell the program more, because for me, it was borderline boring. I felt the same at this competition as I have everytime I've seen him skate this year - so much talent, but he needs to hit the jumps. He hasn't even had one clean skate this year, and the U.S. can't keep putting their money on him. This wasn't a total meltdown for Jeremy, but too many mistakes to win again. I'm glad the judges didn't really hold him up like the did with Ashley, because Jeremy has had many, many chances to deliver on the world stage, and he never does.

    Joshua Farris - If this guy is our future, our future looks pretty bright. His first triple axel was gorgeous; his quad was not, but I know he can work on it. If he's still thinking 2018, he should start considering 2014! His technique is pure and clean, and I hope he will continue to improve and not collapse in a few years like so many beofre him. All in all, he had a great competition, he impressed me, and he can build on this.

    Scott Hamilton (commentary) - I'm not sure why everyone hated Scott's commentary so much - I thought he did a pretty good job! He seemed pretty informative, and I liked that you could tell that he actually cared about what he was talking about. I'd rather listen to Scott's commentary than certain other people's. I love how he gets so excited when a skater lands a big jump or something, too - it's funny

    Overall, I thought it was a good competition. I was kind of expecting it to be pretty dismal, but it exceeded my expectations. Ross and Max will make a good World team for the U.S. I'm actually more confident with those two than I would've been with Jeremy. No, Max will not get those same program component scores on the international stage, but if he skates like he did at Nationals, he'll do better than anything else the U.S. has to offer at the moment. They won't be getting three spots back, but they shouldn't have any trouble retaining two. My guess is that they will finish 7th and 10th, but who knows.

    So that's what I thought of the competition - do you agree? I can't wait for 4CC and Worlds to see how Max and Ross do!

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    Good analyses, Butterscotch and Silverlake!

  3. #438
    Custom Title Butterscotch17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Maybe slightly OT, but I thought Jeremy turned down being an alternate to Worlds to focus on getting his injury healed and working on the quad. Can anyone confirm if this is true? If it is, it means the first alternate is Adam Rippon, in which case, apprehension of Max's chances I really don't understand, because given Rippon's jump quality and not trying a quad in his programs this season, I'd say Max has much better odds to potentially place higher at Worlds. He could also place lower, but the way I see it, Ross and Max COULD get 3 spots for the US men for next season, whereas with Ross and Adam, getting 3 spots is really a pipe dream IMO.

    The way I see it, there are 3 groups of men of interest to Ross and Max that will be at Worlds, and they can be broken down as follows:

    Skaters who almost certainly place ahead of Ross and Max, barring disaster

    Chan
    Takahashi
    Hanyu

    Skaters who could place above or below Ross and Max based on how they skate

    Fernandez - almost put him in the above group, but Ross did beat him at NHK and he only managed 9th at last year's worlds, so if the demons come back to haunt him, he could end up in the lower top 10
    Mura - hot and cold skater. when he's on, he's great and likely capable of outscoring the US men, but sometimes he can be quite off and his scores are not very impressive at all.
    Amodio - usually consistent and gets good PCS, but he has had some random meltdowns in the past and hitting or missing his quads could make a big difference in his scores and placement. if they all go clean, Amodio likely tops the 2 Americans, but otherwise, it's up in the air
    Joubert - quads and skating cleanly are really what it comes down to, if he does both those things, his PCS will be pretty high and he'd likely beat the Americans. but he's not COP-savvy and is mistake prone, inconsistent as of late, and his age is working against him. also, when he makes mistakes, the scores drop a lot
    Brezina - like Mura, hot and cold skater. has the quad and will be rewarded if he hits them and skates cleanly/near cleanly, but from a PCS standpoint he doesn't have much over Miner. it will all come down to execution, his scores over the past couple seasons have been all over the place. If clean, he likely beats both US men, but a clean Brezina since he started doing the quads in his programs doesn't seem that likely at this point, and when he makes mistakes, his PCS don't really hold him up

    Men that could beat the US guys, but most likely won't

    Song - capable of huge quads but his PCS are low even when he hits them. given the concussion he suffered in the fall and that as of late, his performances have not been up to the standard they were on the 2011 GP, I tend to think the US guys will beat him unless they falter and/or Song is on fire
    Reynolds - he has quads galore in his arsenal but URs are an issue and the 3a often gives him trouble, negating some of his insane content. also, his PCS tend to be lower than Miner's and even beyond the quads he isn't a stranger to mistakes and pops.
    Kovtun/Voronov (the Russian fed will send one or the other yes?) - both great technical skaters with solid quads, but neither will have PCS advantage over our guys and should they make mistakes, the PCS could drop into a quite mediocre range very easily
    Verner - with the way he's skated this season he shouldn't even be mentioned, but he is capable of a quad and will get good PCS if through some miracle he puts out two good performances here. and he did score 230 at his nationals last month, so while I highly doubt Tomas will deliver, if he somehow does, there's a chance he could place higher than Ross and Max

    Do other people see things as similar? Also, am I forgetting anyone of importance? I believe Denis Ten is injured and won't compete, though if he does I'd probably add him to the 3rd group, even though at his best he could be in the 2nd. So basically, to get 3 spots, the US guys can afford all of the guys in group 1 and 2 of the guys in group 2 to place ahead of them, so long as no one in group 3 (or none of the groups) beats them. It won't be easy but I think it could be possible. Most of the guys in group 2 are just very inconsistent so it's hard to tell how they will fair.
    I did a list like this, too. I agree with you for the most part, but here is mine -

    Barring disaster, will place ahead of Ross and Max:
    Daisuke Takahashi
    Patrick Chan
    Javier Fernandez
    Yuzuru Hanyu
    Florent Amodio

    Florent barely makes this list, but I think he is a step above the American guys and will beat them. And Fernandez, with his killer skate at Europeans, will definitely be challenging for a medal.

    My second group are the ones who may or may not beat Ross and Max:
    Michal Brezina
    Takahito Mura
    Brian Joubert
    Kevin Reynolds

    The others like Nan Song, whichever Russian competes, Denis Ten and Tomas Verner most likely won't beat Max or Ross, so they're not in my equation.

    I have five people in my first group, which means the highest I think Ross or Max can place will be sixth. So say Ross places 6th, Max would have to place 7th for them to get the three spots. That would mean both Max and Ross would have to beat everyone in my second group. Possible? Yes. Likely to happen? No. I think they will probably come in somewhere around 7th and 10th.

    Something like:
    1. Chan
    2. Hanyu
    3. Takahashi
    4. Fernandez
    5. Amodio
    6. Mura
    7. Miner
    8. Brezina
    9. Joubert
    10. Aaron
    11. Reynolds

    Of course, the ice is slippery and things never seem to work out how we think they will. I would love for Aaron and Miner to get three spots back, but do I really plan on them doing it? No.

  4. #439
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    So what is the combined number that Aaron and Ross have to have to keep two spots?

  5. #440
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    So what is the combined number that Max and Ross have to have to keep two spots?
    13. So I think the realistic outcome we could hope for that would get us 3 spots without seeming unrealistic would be 5th and 8th or 6th and 7th, although any of the following outcomes would do it:
    4th and 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th
    5th and 6th, 7th, or 8th
    6th and 7th

    4th place is probably not going to happen but not entirely out of the question. Idk, the odds don't seem so desolate. I feel better with Max on the team about the odds than I do with either Jeremy or Adam on the team. Hitting the quads should help prevent his PCS from being too low. And I think Farris is better off going to JW anyways where he's only competed with the senior version of his FS once, and given his young age he doesn't need a bunch of pressure on him now, especially where it seems like USFS is setting him up to be a top guy in the next quadrennial.

    And the thing is, if Flo and Javi are anywhere close to clean, they will beat Max and Ross regardless of what they do, but Ross did beat a lackluster Javi just 2 months ago, and that was with his not so great SP. And Javi last season was pretty spectacular technically too, but then at Euros and Worlds his scores and placements were just okay due to the mistakes. As for Flo, while he's usually pretty consistent, he wasn't so great on the GP this season and had a really poor GP season the year prior to that. Of course, he tends to be one who peaks later in the season, as he always seems to get himself together at Euros and Worlds regardless of how he was skating during the GP, so I think there is a good chance he will beat our guys, but it's not a given. Especially because his 4s isn't all that consistent yet (though the rest of his jumps are gorgeous, but then again, so our our guys' jumps).

    I'd be surprised if Kevin beat either of our guys, but if he skates like he did at Canadian Nats, I could see it happening. I wouldn't put my money on it though.
    Last edited by silverlake22; 02-01-2013 at 05:16 PM.

  6. #441
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    13 is for 3 spots. 28 is for 2 spots. Unless one of them compete while seriously injured, I doubt US would lose the current 2 spots.

  7. #442
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    Since I did not fully read this 30-page long thread, idk if someone mentioned it already, but I've heard that Jonathan Cassar is retiring after this season...Is it true?

    Though he does not have hard jumps, I have really really been looking forward to his performances at US Nats every year! I hope he will do show-skating, so that we can still have many chances to watch and enjoy his skates!!!

    btw, thanks for your thoughts on Mens Free, Butterscotch! I enjoyed a lot. How did you see Alexander Johnson's Free? He's been quite a topic here.

  8. #443
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I had heard Jonathan Casser was retiring.

    People think so because of this twitter of his:

    Jonathan Cassar @Jonnaye05 1d
    Omaha was a great trip. No better way to spend my 10th Championships, my #swansong. Thank you to all those who have shared in this journey.

  9. #444
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    So, despite some great performances, US has no complete, consistent male skater. Anyway, good luck to Miner and Aaron at world's

    Unhappy for Jeremy. The quad destroys it for him. He knows he needs it… so he has to try it. His FS music is a bit too zzz. With a fall and other mistakes it doesn't work for me. Glad to hear he's still battling to reach his olympic goal

  10. #445
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    I've mulled over a couple of comments made in the past few days (I can't find them, or I'd quote them)...

    They were to the effect that Max Aaron "skates like a dude." I completely agree. He looked masculine, athletic, powerful... and that's a good thing. It was a men's event, after all.

    I'm from an older generation than most board members, I suspect. I admit that I have to guard against homophobia... I'm from a different time and place... but I sincerely try to be fair. At any rate, take the following with a grain of salt.

    I do not like men figure skaters' performances when they come across as feminine or prissy. It doesn't mean I don't like gay skaters... sexual preference/identity has nothing to do with it. For example, when I look back at Urmanov's Olympic win, I think he just looks preposterous. The blousy shirt with the exagerated ruffles running down the front... really. The opening sequence where he's waving his arms about and doing the little "funky chicken" move with his legs... that's not artistry; that's just ridiculous. I contrast this with Rudy Galindo's epic Nationals win. His FS costume was elegant, but manly.

    Artistic does not have to mean "girly." Now, that's not to say that Max Aaron couldn't/shouldn't develop more musicality, more flexibility, more sensitivity in his skating. I hope he does. But I also hope he doesn't channel Johnny Weir.

    Flame retardant underwear has been donned... because I'm certain some will take offense.

  11. #446
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Please do not insult other posters.

  12. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    I had heard Jonathan Casser was retiring.
    He is. I think it was determined before the season began that this would be his last.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Maybe slightly OT, but I thought Jeremy turned down being an alternate to Worlds to focus on getting his injury healed and working on the quad. Can anyone confirm if this is true?
    It is. I posted this on page 28. Yuka told someone I know at the Hilton after the event Sunday.

  13. #448
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    Interesting, well now we're down 2 worlds alternates and the only one left is Farris who is competing at JW just weeks before. Ross and Max, stay healthy okay!

  14. #449
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    Alexander Johnson got an international event! Good going USFS, definitely well deserved.

    He will be taking part in Challenge Cup later this month.

    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    Right now, Max Aaron is basically a one-hit wonder, but there's reason to be hopeful.
    He won the US International Figure Skating Classic (or whatever ridiculous name that comp had again) and was second at the Cup of Nice this season so he's had a very successful season so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by TontoK View Post
    They were to the effect that Max Aaron "skates like a dude." I completely agree. He looked masculine, athletic, powerful... and that's a good thing. It was a men's event, after all.

    ...

    I do not like men figure skaters' performances when they come across as feminine or prissy. It doesn't mean I don't like gay skaters... sexual preference/identity has nothing to do with it. For example, when I look back at Urmanov's Olympic win, I think he just looks preposterous. The blousy shirt with the exagerated ruffles running down the front... really.
    Expecting every man to act in a way traditionally perceived as masculine and every woman to act in a way traditionally perceived as feminine is really discriminatory. Everybody should be free to express their gender in whatever way they wish.

    And yes, this has nothing to do with sexuality. Sexuality and gender are two different things (even though there often will be a lot of overlap for many reasons).

  15. #450
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    One should not be thought a bad person for hating gloves & ruffled shirts.

    One should not be thought a bad person for liking them either.

    Urmanov had some preposterous outfits, particularly the one for his Egyptian themed program. I don't remember whether he was still amateur or a pro at the time.
    That one didn't have either gloves or ruffles.

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