Oh, forgot to add, I also want Max on the team because the amount of angst that would ensue among certain fans would be hilarious.
Jason and one of Max and Joshua.
Need to build Jason up for 2018 and because his coach is amazing and I want to see more of her in HD.
Wow- what a tough question to answer! It's odd because I like a lot of the US men very much indeed, and have more guys I like a lot than I ever have in the past, but have no-one who I think is the surpassingly clear choice.
The only one I'm sure should not go is Ross. He is not that good when he's good and he is on a very bad downhill slope, plus I don't really see him as the future. That being said, I do find his skating pleasant and he seems like a lovely person. But his peak has come and gone and he is a bundle of nerves right now, plus he has technical issues I don't think he can fix quickly enough.
I am a HUGE Jeremy Abbott fan. Up until Skate Canada, I would have picked him for the team and hoped he could have a Paul Wylie moment at the Olympics. However, that is looking less likely after his disastrous outing at Skate Canada. It's not just that he popped jumps but also that his attitude as evident in the Kiss and Cry was really problematic and disturbing actually. Too many excuses made and not enough frustration with himself- in a positive way. I don't want skaters who have bad skates to sink into funks or dark depressions but I also don't want them to say things like "I didn't leave many points on the table" after they double both jumps in their triple triple combination and complain that the reason they did that is that they don't train the lutz out of the quad. I am disturbed by Jeremy's excuse making and also by the fact that he has had so many chances to shine internationally and just can't do it.
Quite the opposite of Jeremy, Joshua Farris went way up in my estimation this weekend, both because it was the first time I've seen his programs all the way through and I was extremely impressed with his basic skating and overall excellence- he really is the whole package- and because I liked his attitude. Unlike Jeremy, he expressed honest frustration with himself at missing jumps and apologized to his coaches rather than offering them excuses. He is a beautiful skater with lovely programs and if he can get his quad back and solid he is a threat in the future to stand not only on the podium but at the top of the podium on the world level. Greater consistency and a little more emotion and spark (which I do think he is capable of as he is very musical and he is obviously a spirited person) and he could be top-notch, or first rate as Dick Button would say. I am really excited about this guy!
I have always loved Adam Rippon's skating- he is a beautiful, artistic, balletic skater who also has that something special- charisma, flair, excitement. His jumps are vastly improved now that he's with Rafael. I'd like him to go to Olympics for his own sake but also to accompany his best friend and training mate Ashley Wagner- I think if each has the other, each will do better in his/her individual discipline, and they'd be adorable together in the Team Event. I do think Adam with clean skates is the only American male with the potential to medal at the Olympics. However, he has a history of inconsistency and could fall apart again- but somehow Rafael and Ashley seem to be helping him and this really might be his breakthrough year. I'd be thrilled for him if it is as I think he has a world of talent, has been through a lot, and could bring a lot of new fans to skating, my stepdaughter for one who has a HUGE crush on him.
Well, that brings me to Max. I am not generally a fan of the athletic, hockey type skaters like Elvis S, Joubert, etc, and Max falls into that group- fabulous jumps, not great posture or line, sparky but not moving. But if he lands his jumps he is exciting and thrilling, and I commend him for working on his artistry and really improving on that score this year. However, I am unsettled by his recent lack of consistency with his jumps and until he has a good outing with two solid programs, I'm not ready to put him on the team- he may be a flash in the pan if he can't get the jumps back.
The opposite of a flash in the pan and of Max in many ways is my favorite of them all, Jason Brown. I ADORE his skating and him- he is a total sweetheart and love and a great role model for my kids. He has the total package in spades except for the quad. Before Skate America I would have said for sure he should be on the team, but if he can't get his Triple Axel back in time for Nationals, then it's ok for him to wait four years and shine in 2018. He doesn't need top jumps to give exciting poignant special performances and even if he never medals on the world or olympic stage he will have made a huge contribution to skating with his dynamism, soulful quality, innovative choreography, and beautifully constructed/delivered programs.
SO where does this leave me? At this point, I'd put Adam and Jason on the team. But if Jason continues to have axel problems, I'd go with Adam and Josh.
My subjective answer :
Max Aaron and Jason Brown would be my dream team too.
I would add that as the top two American men (IMHO) in terms of sheer charisma, they offer the bonus of drawing the most new American fans to men's figure skating. They have different styles as athletes, and they have different personalities as human beings, but the joie de vivre of each one is very appealing.
My subjective answer would be: Max and Jason too. I love Ross and think his skating is underrated, but his consistency has disappeared as of late. I'd like for him to surprise and prove me (and everyone wrong), however.
That said, Jason's programs are awesome but his scores go down quite a bit if he isn't perfect due to the lack of a quad. However, he can pull out clean programs and score well. And I too love Kori Ade.
Max's high TES is the FS is a pretty good reason to send him. So I agree with Doris' assessment of Jason doing the SP and Max doing the FS in the team event.
But Adam looks really great and his FS is a beaut.
So I guess any two of Max, Adam or Jason, which happens to be the top three currently in my calculations. So...my political correct and subjective answer somewhat matches!
Just adore Jason and his coach together. I saw him tell Jenny and Dave that story about the induction on The Skating Lesson and it was so adorable how much he appreciates her.
Back to the topic on hand. It would be a great comeback story of sorts for Adam to make after struggling the last few years. I guess from a comeback/struggle story Adam and Jeremy would be a good pair.
Or beautiful skating you can always appreciate: Jeremy, Jason or Josh
The future: Max, Jason or Josh
TES masters: Max and Richard (he is the only other skater among all these folks to score 90+ in TES in any competition)
Friendly rivalry: Jason and Josh
Underdogs: Jeremy and Ross
The only reason I haven't hoped for a combo of Josh/Jason just yet is because I'm not sure Sochi could handle that level of adorable.
ITA with what OP said about Ricky Dornbush. He just has that it factor but is struggling to find his moment with quads.
I want him on the olympic team! May the consistency God touch his skating again.
Aaron and Abbott if he actually gets his consistency back.
But right now, I'd prefer Rippon over Abbott.