Maybe I didn't quite express my thoughts quite clearly in my previous post. I am not saying that people should not criticize what flaws they see in Plushenko's programs. However, I do find it somewhat painful to see fans attribute (especially with such apparent certainty) the flaws they see to "idiocy"--without taking into account his physical conditions at the time, as if how he and his team in fact designed his program really "had little to do with", as you put it in the previous post, these conditions. Again, this is certainly not meant as any kind of personal criticism, but I'm afraid that this kind of statement strikes me as somewhat thoughtless. Please correct me if I read your post wrong, but when it is said that his program design "was so bad in addition to previous injuries" (my italics), I still get the sense that this is the assumption. And as for his injuries at the time being "just not that bad", I feel that it's much easier for a skating fan to say such words than for a skater to skate with them. This is what I meant by "taking him for granted", as if everything comes to him, physically and technically, for free.
Originally Posted by gmyers
And perhaps it is not a bad thing to recall that in 09/10, he did fairly well with his "idiocy unparalleled in the history of figure skating", in fact. One might even make a case that actually, he did unprecedentedly well for a male singles skater in his position, weak field or not. Would he have done better, i. e. won gold at Vancouver, had he designed his programs differently (assuming that it would be a design that he could have skated at the time, of course)? I read your previous post to mean that he should have not done the quad. In this post it's more about "layout". But either way, such a hypothetical statement cannot be proven or disproven. Nor can it offer any proof as to what was the reason he did not get the gold in Vancouver in reality. (I am not saying this as a Plushenko fan; it's a matter of logic.) But as long as we are speculating about hypotheticals, people are saying in this thread that the quad is again relevant. Perhaps it would be interesting to consider the possible factors that contributed to that change.
With the statement "he never did any kind other of layout really when he was competing under COP", I interpret "layout" to mean, at least in part, the distribution of jumps, in terms of the two halves of the program? If that is so, I'm afraid I'll also have to take somewhat of an exception to this particular statement. Just as a matter of fact, last season at RN, his jump layout (in this sense) was 4-4, and he said it was a "simplified version", with the more complex version having two quads and "70% of jumps in the second half". He had hoped to do the more complex version at Zagreb, but of course that did not happen due to him essentially missing an intervertebral disc by the time. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are physical efforts and expenditure of stamina in every aspect of a program, though they may not all be of the same level. And I don't think that fans necessarily have accurate ideas of what each type of technical element is costing him physically at any given time. So to say "he is idiotic not to have such-and-such a program layout" is not on the same level of unreasonableness as for instance "he is idiotic not to have jumped three quads and a quint", but to me, it is not really logical either.
In any case, in your previous post and mine, I believe the question was the quad itself. I am of the opinion that his program design, as they actually were and in its different aspects, was dependent on what he felt he could physically do at the time. However, I would like to suggest the possibility that if something had to be sacrificed, then perhaps Plushenko and his team felt that it should not be the quad, because of what they believe about its importance relative to other technical aspects of a program. (Again, since I am only a fan, I'm not going say that I know for certain that's what went through their minds. I'm only offering the possibility based on what I know of things he has consistently said and done through his career.) One can agree or disagree with such a decision, but for me, I do not find it so inexplicable to hold such principles that it can only be attributed to "idiocy". I don't know what else I can say about this.
Sorry, yet another Plushenko post in a thread about Evan. But maybe there is some indirect relevance, in that, well, yes, in general it is hard, and it is complicated, to return to top-level competitive figure skating after a prolonged absence, and it is especially so if one is trying to do it within a limited time, i. e. one season. To me, this seems like such an obvious statement that it hardly needs to be said. So while I myself am mainly emotionally invested in Plushenko, it does make me uncomfortable to see attributions of ulterior motives when Lysacek withdraws from a competition in his comeback (and the same holds for other skaters).