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Thread: Who should comment on skating?

  1. #1
    Custom Title skateluvr's Avatar
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    Who should comment on skating?

    With skating dead in Amerrica, I think Sandra Bezic, Scott, Peggy Verne Lundquist all sucked in past Olympics, big events. I missed Dick Button. Jenny Kirk may do better, on par with Tara but I still hate her new voice-simply irritating but I admit to a short fuse these days.

    I do not know how new fans tuning in to this Olympic season will have a clue re the rules. Will NBC do broadcast fluff before hand? The USFSA has failed miserably over 10 years to explain the new sport to us all. Will this lead to it being dumped from Olympic roster? Ideally who should be the explainers and how would you like to see the sport presented? To me, IJS has hurt popularity greatly. Is there a more complicated sport in judged sport?

    I love FS but see IJS as needing changes every year to get things more transparent. I am sad to see what has happened to coverage of a great sport. I think a simpler judging system, and massive PR by USFSA using the money that is there in the pockets of many who go rich post whack, is a general statement. If the former stars of skating and commenters and others who prospered will not save the sport they love, then we will see no TV shows, few competitions and in USA only the richest kids will stay in as competitors. Will this simply become a sport loved in Asia where the top skaters will be Asian by and large? I am very concerned for the sport in America and Europe (not including Russia).

    This Asus is skipping around-both putters and printers down for count. So if paragraphs don't cohere, Sorry. I am flummoxed by all the issues re puters.

    Education key? Or simplified IJS. With World watching ice skating again for a few comps, how can USFSA revitalize, or do they simply not care at this point beyond the elites?

  2. #2
    EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA CaroLiza_fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    With skating dead in Amerrica, I think Sandra Bezic, Scott, Peggy Verne Lundquist all sucked in past Olympics, big events. I missed Dick Button. Jenny Kirk may do better, on par with Tara but I still hate her new voice-simply irritating but I admit to a short fuse these days.
    Funnily enough, skateluvr, I started writing out a new thread about Eurosport's commentary team after the WTT. Eurosport has a small commentary team of 3, and for most of the competitions this season, they have struggled to get 2 of them together at the same time. So, to cope with the number of competitions they are showing, I feel the team needs to be expanded.

    And, one of the first people I thought of was Jennifer Kirk! She's a great journalist, a great skater, and has the advantage of having competed under BOTH judging systems. What more could you ask for?!

    The ideal team size I thought of was 6. So far, I've come up with my own dream team of 5, but I'm struggling to come up with a 6th member. And I haven't been able to get back to it because I've got bogged down typing the transcript for Piers Morgan's interview with Torvill and Dean. You would not believe how much can be said in a short space of time. It took me 4 hours just to type out the first 20 minutes!!! Arrrgh!!!!

    Hey, I'll put up what I've written so far, and see if you guys can come up with a 6th member!

    CaroLiza_fan

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I do not know how new fans tuning in to this Olympic season will have a clue re the rules. Will NBC do broadcast fluff before hand? The USFSA has failed miserably over 10 years to explain the new sport to us all. Will this lead to it being dumped from Olympic roster? Ideally who should be the explainers and how would you like to see the sport presented? To me, IJS has hurt popularity greatly. Is there a more complicated sport in judged sport?

    I love FS but see IJS as needing changes every year to get things more transparent. I am sad to see what has happened to coverage of a great sport. I think a simpler judging system, and massive PR by USFSA using the money that is there in the pockets of many who go rich post whack, is a general statement. If the former stars of skating and commenters and others who prospered will not save the sport they love, then we will see no TV shows, few competitions and in USA only the richest kids will stay in as competitors. Will this simply become a sport loved in Asia where the top skaters will be Asian by and large? I am very concerned for the sport in America and Europe (not including Russia).
    The sport will not be dumped from the Olympic roster. It is still the most popular sport at the Winter Olympic Games. I also do not think the IJS has hurt the sport's popularity greatly. The lack of an American ice princess is probably the main reason why the sport's popularity has plumed in the US. After the Kerrigan/Harding scandal roared skating popularity to an all-time high, it helped a lot that Michelle Kwan came on the scene to dominate for almost a decade, as well as Lipinski, Hughes, Cohen. Remember the 2002 Olympics, where 3 of the top 4(!) ranked ladies were from the US. Of course that will have a huge impact on public interest.

    Regarding the sport's popularity in Europe, I wouldn't be too concerned. The ladies final at Europeans was watched by 1 out of every 9 households in Sweden for example, where the sport has become extremely popular. Its popularity is still great in countries like Finland, France, Italy and now also to some extent in Germany and Spain. I think you underestimate the importance and power of having an elite skater who brings in medals. A lot of people are quite nationalistic, and will follow athletes from their respective countries, regardless of the sport they are in. That might very well be the reason why figure skating used to be so popular in the US. You guys had a lot of shining stars, but once those stars faded away, and you become less dominant, the lack of interest rose.

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    I would not be unhappy to be rid of Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic. The very first skating I ever watched was the last group FS in Vancouver. I didn't know a thing about the sport, I didn't know the technicalities or the rules or anything...and I remember sitting there thinking, "Wow, they really don't like this Russian guy, this is really bad commentary."

    Their commentary that night was disgusting, rude, and unprofessional. It's one thing to be nationalistic in commentary. I get that. I do. But to be downright insulting and derogatory towards a skater's achievements just because he happens to be the one challenging your boy for the title is wrong. And on international television, no less. Completely unprofessional and way, way out of line. (And did nothing to help the "Cold War" feeling about the whole NBC coverage.)


    (Mind you, if I was the boss of the commentators who, at 2012 Euros, made fun of Evgeni's Russian accent, they would both have been fired so fast their feet wouldn't have touched the floor. That's not even disgusting, that's racist.)

  5. #5
    On the Ice
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    I think without a doubt Tracy Wilson is the best commentator ! She is fair , knows her stuff and does not play favourites .

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post

    (Mind you, if I was the boss of the commentators who, at 2012 Euros, made fun of Evgeni's Russian accent, they would both have been fired so fast their feet wouldn't have touched the floor. That's not even disgusting, that's racist.)
    They made fun of Plushenko's ACCENT? In what language? That's mind-boggling. Making fun of a Russian in skating is like making fun of a French person in the couture industry.

  7. #7
    Miserere Nobis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    They made fun of Plushenko's ACCENT? In what language? That's mind-boggling. Making fun of a Russian in skating is like making fun of a French person in the couture industry.
    An apt comparison, but I won't believe it until I hear it. It's bewildering to think that the level of quality skating commentary has sunk so low.

  8. #8
    Custom Title BlackPack's Avatar
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    It used to matter a lot who the commentators were, but not anymore thanks to Youtube. I'm subscribed to all the kind people who upload British Eurosport, my favorite.

    Youtube completely changed the way I watch figure skating. I feel like a dinosaur having all those old FS videotapes. The current generation has no idea how hard it was to constantly monitor tv guides to find out what was going to play on TV. If you missed the broadcast and/or didn't tape it, you have to either trade or buy tapes from other skating fans. Takes forever. I used to do live streaming but that's no more, since the timezone differences meant that I had to stay up. Most skaters I follow are uploaded on Youtube by the time I wake up.

    Back in the day, I had to listen to Bezic and Hamilton's rants, especially 2002 Olympics which was very painful to listen to. I never have to listen to them again if I don't want to! YAY!!!

    I do like Jennifer Kirk a lot, but alas, she does have an annoying voice.

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    I actually quite like the Eurosport guys. They are fair, and they often predict what the skaters should get. They also explain under-rotations and what good elements look like.

    I also love their sardonic quips about Meagan Duhamel's kiss and cry chattiness.

    I like PJ Kwong's restraint and not blabbing all the time, and she knows her stuff, but sometimes I wish she would get more excited. I feel like she's just making comments instead of trying to enhance the viewers experience of the performance and engage them, which I think a commentator is responsible for. Tracy Wilson is probably my favourite Canadian commentator in this regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    They made fun of Plushenko's ACCENT? In what language? That's mind-boggling. Making fun of a Russian in skating is like making fun of a French person in the couture industry.
    They were poking fun at his pronounciation of the word "meniscus" (you know, in his knee) when he was speaking in English to an interviewer. I must see if I can find the video. I don't remember which commentators they were.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pharmtech1 View Post
    I think without a doubt Tracy Wilson is the best commentator ! She is fair , knows her stuff and does not play favourites .
    Have you listened to her (extremely unfair) commentary during 90s-era ice dance, especially regarding Grishuk/Platov?

  12. #12
    Custom Title BlackPack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    Have you listened to her (extremely unfair) commentary during 90s-era ice dance, especially regarding Grishuk/Platov?
    Oh yes. I don't want to turn this into a bashing thread. Wilson said that Bourne & Kraatz were robbed, but I personally thought that all the teams ahead of them WERE better, politics or no politics.

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    During the 6.0 era I thought that the British Eurosport guys were the best on earth, but not anymore. They, as well as many other English speaking commentators, just did not bother to learn CoP. Too many commentators seem to still believe that if the skater has a pleasant presentation and a clean performance, he/she should win.., LOL. Difficulty in a programme is too complicated for them to understand.

    Fortunately our Finnish National tv commentators have done their homework!!!

  14. #14
    Custom Title BlackPack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaana View Post
    During the 6.0 era I thought that the British Eurosport guys were the best on earth, but not anymore. They, as well as many other English speaking commentators, just did not bother to learn CoP. Too many commentators seem to still believe that if the skater has a pleasant presentation and a clean performance, he/she should win.., LOL. Difficulty in a programme is too complicated for them to understand.

    Fortunately our Finnish National tv commentators have done their homework!!!
    Actually, British Eurosport is pretty good at COP. I recall them commenting about a certain skater's problem, and how it may cost a -1.5 and lower GOEs.

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    Bezic and Hamilton! They are the best in presenting Plushenko as "Russian Communist Villain"! Without them Plushenko's popularity would drop and skating would become boring!

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