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Thread: Hersh: In figure skating, same old, same old

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    I tend to agree with him. The use of kowtow is an unfortunate choice, bringing with it a slew of colonial associations, but on the whole his criticisms are not unfair. Cinquatta has abused his privilege and power; anonymous judging is indefensible; judges with conflict of interest should not be on panels deciding the most prestigious prizes in the sport; there's no reason why all program lengths should not be the same.

    It is beyond tiresome that every time someone points these problems out, he/she/they are accused of Russia bashing by someone on here. Beyond tiresome.
    I agree with this. So well said, Weakankles.

    I get tired of the apologists who deny that anything is wrong and cannot see what most people see and why the sport is thought "corrupt" to the point of being beyond salvation or worth watching in North America. The defenders can defend what is going on all they want. The vast majority of people in the public are not listening anymore. People have generally voted on the issue by disregarding figure skating as a sport.

    For anyone who can't figure out that North American money is not going to be flowing anytime soon into figure skating, just read the article. Like it or lump it, most people agree with the drift of what Hersh has written and are beyond fed up. Consider it as a fact that people generally think that way even if you disagree with what they agree with.

    The only people left watching this sport are either 1) the few diehards who appreciate the skates and can separate the scores from the skates, or 2) the apologists who want the status quo and say that the scores are legitimate, and who have no problem with the corruption. (Sorry, not sorry.)

    The only upside for this is that if you come to the skating events in North America, it won't be difficult to get tickets. The downside is that you need be sure to buy a ticket because you won't be watching it live on television. If you want to know why, read the Hersh article. It sets out the reason why people here are en masse voting with their pocket books with an empathic "THUMBS DOWN". It lists the main reasons why the sport cannot pass the smell test.

    For those who think that anonymous judging is not an issue, the problem that many people have with that is that without transparency, no one is going to believe anything that the ISU does or says. That may surprise the apologists but it should not surprise anyone. Credibility has to be seen through credible conduct not promised on the basis of hidden actions. I trust someone as being honest who I see doing an honest act, not on the basis of speculation or on the basis of what Cinquanta says. Judges have to be answerable to the public, not just to themselves personally.

    Without transparency, there is no way to rebut a reasonable presumption that the scoring is corrupt.

    Here is a newsflash for the apologists: If the sport is going to ever be flush with cash again, it has to improve its reputation in North America. But instead of improving its reputation, IT IS AND CONTINUES TO LOSE GROUND IN NORTH AMERICA ON THE BASIS OF BEING CORRUPT. What happened at the Olympics has had a negative effect. (For those who disagree about the effect of the Olympics on the reputation of the sport, I want to smoke whatever they are smoking.) And for those who don't like how the North Americans are reacting en masse, most North Americans don't care. They are not watching anymore and they are not going to pay for it anymore.

    Fix the sport. Get rid of Cinquanta, get rid of anonymous judging, and get rid of judges at events where there is a conflict of interest. Start with what is obvious to everyone except the wilfully blind. Or don't. Other than the few diehards (of which I am one), most people have moved on and don't expect any changes to be made ever. Those who like the sport the way that it is, well basically it is becoming all yours and yours alone. Well done.

  2. #32
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    I think it's up the skaters (and their support teams) to adapt to the prevailing system if they want to win. Personally, I think a scoring system with clear rules and guidelines is better for everyone involved.
    Which system do you believe has the clearer rules and guidelines?

    I agree that the COP, though not perfect and still evolving, is better for the participants. As for the fans, they are divided, with different reasons and opinions. For some, COP becomes the dumping grounds for frustrations and displeasure with the results as well as the governing system even if the real causes are extrinsic of the scoring
    Personally, I think the biggest difference is between fans who think that the performances we are seeing under the IJS are worse than the performances that we saw under the old system, and those who don't think that. Some fans say Hanyu was great at Sochi -- look at all the CoP points he got! Others say, the boy fell down twice (!) and won only because no one else did any better.

    Yes, Yuzuru and the others "adapted to the prevailing system." The question remains, is this good or bad?
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-24-2014 at 10:56 PM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minze2001 View Post
    I cant stand his work
    At least he is getting skating in print in a newspaper.

  4. #34
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    Speaking of Hersh, here is an article by his Russian-German counterpart, the ever-entertaining Artur Werner.

    http://www.wer-art.com/news/273.html

    About anonymous judging, Werner makes the clever observation that Mrs. S. kind of gave up her own anonymity (to urbi et orbi ) in terms of which judge supported which skater by her actions immediately following the ladies free program at Sochi. He then proceeds to spin a tale about a meeting in Moscow where Mr. Piseev bullied representatives from former SSRs to vote down the proposal to eliminate anonymous judging leaving Russia itself on the side of the angles.

    Most interesting, though, is Mr. Werner's account of a challenge based on European Union age-discrimination laws that could allow Mr. Cinquanta to serve as ISU president forever, or at least well past the ISU Constitution's requirement that he step down in 2014 -- oops, I mean 2016 (doggone that pesky constitution anyway).

    Thanks to Vialiakid for posting this on FSU.

  5. #35
    Size 7 Knife Boots Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Is it true that North Korea got a vote as the article claims and they too voted against anonymous judging? That can't be right can it?

    Re: Hersh

    When Skate America comes to your community and you publicly trash that sport soon after tickets go on sale...I'm just not sure you have your communities best interests in mind. It's not like he shed any light on the situation or raised any new pressing matters so why rant like this? I don't even neccasarily disagree but this just sits funny with me for some reason. How much money do you suppose he makes off of the sport vs how much he puts into it? That would be a more interesting read IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Speaking of Hersh, here is an article by his Russian-German counterpart, the ever-entertaining Artur Werner.

    http://www.wer-art.com/news/273.html

    About anonymous judging, Werner makes the clever observation that Mrs. S. kind of gave up her own anonymity (to urbi et orbi ) in terms of which judge supported which skater by her actions immediately following the ladies free program at Sochi. He then proceeds to spin a tale about a meeting in Moscow where Mr. Piseev bullied representatives from former SSRs to vote down the proposal to eliminate anonymous judging leaving Russia itself on the side of the angles.

    Most interesting, though, is Mr. Werner's account of a challenge based on European Union age-discrimination laws that could allow Mr. Cinquanta to serve as ISU president forever, or at least well past the ISU Constitution's requirement that he step down in 2014 -- oops, I mean 2016 (doggone that pesky constitution anyway).

    Thanks to Vialiakid for posting this on FSU.
    I still don't get why you people keep watching this sport if it sucks that much.

  7. #37
    Yuzulia & Ruslena Team Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    About anonymous judging, Werner makes the clever observation that Mrs. S. kind of gave up her own anonymity (to urbi et orbi ) in terms of which judge supported which skater by her actions immediately following the ladies free program at Sochi.
    He's speaking about Alla? What's clever about that?
    Does anyone think that an italian judge - but you may take any nationality as an example - would support a Korean, Russian, Japanese or American skater with Kostner competing, whether she hugs her ot not?


    Quote Originally Posted by Alain View Post
    I still don't get why you people keep watching this sport if it sucks that much.
    Good question.

  8. #38
    Yuzulia & Ruslena Team Alba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phaeljones View Post
    Here is a newsflash for the apologists: If the sport is going to ever be flush with cash again, it has to improve its reputation in North America. But instead of improving its reputation, IT IS AND CONTINUES TO LOSE GROUND IN NORTH AMERICA ON THE BASIS OF BEING CORRUPT. What happened at the Olympics has had a negative effect. (For those who disagree about the effect of the Olympics on the reputation of the sport, I want to smoke whatever they are smoking.) And for those who don't like how the North Americans are reacting en masse, most North Americans don't care. They are not watching anymore and they are not going to pay for it anymore.
    Are you really suggesting that the rest of the world is corrupt and North America is the salvation because the pure and honest are all there?

    You better gett-off the podium you've build up there.

    There are no apologists here towards ISU or Cinquanta. Just people who call things with their name: Hypocrisy and double standarts.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alba View Post
    Are you really suggesting that the rest of the world is corrupt and North America is the salvation because the pure and honest are all there?

    You better gett-off the podium you've build up there.

    There are no apologists here towards ISU or Cinquanta. Just people who call things with their name: Hypocrisy and double standarts.
    I did not say what you say I said. Read it in the context that it was written. The comparison you make between North Americans and the rest of the world is not one that I made. You made it. Your issue, not mine.

    Seriously, we need to all listen to each other better.

    My comment focussed on what people are thinking in North America, NOT on the basis of judgment but on the basis of reality. Period. I did not say it was right or wrong, but I did say what has to be done to fix the situation. I also wrote that it is important to the sport that the situation be fixed because it is a market that the sport cannot afford to ignore. What I wrote was that the North American audience has abandoned the sport and will continue to do so until ISU cleans up its act and the reputation of the sport is raised. The comments from the apologists that reforms are not required just are not selling here. For those who don't like that, people here don't care anymore. Call North Americans whatever you want, they don't care about that either. Generally, the broader North American audience (which is different than the more in-depth kind of fan who reads and contributes to this site) is past caring now. This is a reality that has to be addressed by better listening and discussion by people still within the sport, not by dismissive sarcasm.

    North America is a big market. Listen to the concerns that North Americans have or don't. Meet their concerns or don't. Separating the North American market from Figure Skating, however, is very bad for the sport. And that is what has happened: FACT.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by phaeljones View Post
    Separating the North American market from Figure Skating, however, is very bad for the sport. And that is what has happened: FACT.
    My guess, is that North America needs to boost the pipeline of quality skaters - that would do much better for not separating the North American market from Figure Skating than anything else. Especially knowing that all major recent "injustice" did not concern your skaters. People don't care just because there are very few around to care of. They are all in Asia or Russia these days. That's the main problem - no money to support young skaters, no role models, etc. with the so-called corruption being a minor factor. Look at the alpine snowboarding in the U.S. where no one ever spoke of corruption. Why would Vic Wild abandon "the American dream" and become a citizen of Russia? The only true answer - is to continue with the sport he loves and to get 2 OGM. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...585521738.html

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    What I wrote was that the North American audience has abandoned the sport and will continue to do so until ISU cleans up its act and the reputation of the sport is raised.
    I think you're giving North Americans--of which I am one--too much credit. It's no coincidence that the decline of figure skating happened right around Michelle Kwan's retirement. Japan seems to love figure skating just fine. Are Japanese people sheep who are fine with corruption, while North Americans are too honourable for that? More likely--though I can't say with any certainty--it's because Japan has stars while NA doesn't right now. (Okay, Patrick Chan, but he's become such a bastion of controversy due to how he won his titles. Now that's an area for which I can blame the current scoring system).

    I don't object to Hersh's article because I'm an apologist. I object because it's a shoddy piece of journalism that doesn't offer constructive arguments. I agree with many of his statements. Doesn't mean he's doing a good job at his journalism post. Should a professor hand a student A+ for a three-word paper that says "Racism is bad"? Is this paper going to change the world in a positive way?

  12. #42
    Love popcorn, hate horendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I think you're giving North Americans--of which I am one--too much credit. It's no coincidence that the decline of figure skating happened right around Michelle Kwan's retirement. Japan seems to love figure skating just fine. Are Japanese people sheep who are fine with corruption, while North Americans are too honourable for that? More likely--though I can't say with any certainty--it's because Japan has stars while NA doesn't right now. (Okay, Patrick Chan, but he's become such a bastion of controversy due to how he won his titles. Now that's an area for which I can blame the current scoring system).

    I don't object to Hersh's article because I'm an apologist. I object because it's a shoddy piece of journalism that doesn't offer constructive arguments. I agree with many of his statements. Doesn't mean he's doing a good job at his journalism post. Should a professor hand a student A+ for a three-word paper that says "Racism is bad"? Is this paper going to change the world in a positive way?

    Actually, I think controversies attract more viewers. Had Yuna Kim or Mao or Plushy been born with US citizenship, I am sure the attraction to FS in North America would be over the top. and uncle Dick would be less critical towards Plushy.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alain View Post
    I still don't get why you people keep watching this sport if it sucks that much.
    Who is "you people"? Mr. Werner?

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    Quote Originally Posted by phaeljones View Post
    --Everything --
    Agree!

  15. #45
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Is it true that North Korea got a vote as the article claims and they too voted against anonymous judging? That can't be right can it?
    North Korea has been a member of the ISU since 1957. They have a joint speed skating/figure skating federation. As far as i know they have never entered a figure skater in any ISU competition. (No figure skaters from PRK are listed on the ISU site.)

    As far as I can tell, in the case of those countries that have two separate federations, one for figure skating and one for speed skating, only the figure skating federation got to vote. If there is one federation for both sports, then that federation gets to vote on the figure skating issues.

    Re: Hersh

    When Skate America comes to your community and you publicly trash that sport soon after tickets go on sale...I'm just not sure you have your communities best interests in mind. It's not like he shed any light on the situation or raised any new pressing matters so why rant like this? I don't even neccasarily disagree but this just sits funny with me for some reason. How much money do you suppose he makes off of the sport vs how much he puts into it? That would be a more interesting read IMO.
    I don't think Phil Hersh gets any money from figure skating. He is a general sports writer who writes about everything. He chooses to write about figure skating once in a while, but his salary from the Chicago newspaper would not be docked if he didn't.

    The thing is, he covers sports for a newspaper. He is not an employee of the ISU or the USFSA. He has no responsibility to promote the sport, or to say anything good (or bad) about it. He has strong opinions that readers are free to agree with or not. As for supporting the community, sports writers are never hesitant to tee off on the local professional teams whenever there's a slow news day.

    Why is Mr. Hersh such a grouch? Dunno. Some folks just are. It is true that this particular article is same old, same old. But I think that Hersh genuinely likes the sport and hates to see it sliding down the hill toward the abyss.
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-25-2014 at 12:41 PM.

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