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Thread: Smarty Jones and Michelle Kwan

  1. #16
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    The thread is not about Michelle; it is not about Sasha; it is not about Irina.

    It's about the SPORT

    My fault. I'm assuming that there is a decline in interest in figure skating. Agree? If not, just say the Sport is just as fine as it was in 1998.

    If yes, I am assuming that a Michelle win in 2006 will make the Sport as interesting as it was in 1998 or the possibility that some other skater can bring the Sport into the 'most watched event in TV land.

    My mentioning MK was only because of her continual popularity.

    (Smarty, btw, will more than likely be in the Breeders Cup as I assume Birdstone will be also.)

    Joe

  2. #17
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Joesitz:

    Interesting points you have made here. I enjoyed the excitement Smarty Jones brought to the race. It sort of was a Seabiscuit story - even the jocky is a Canadian.

    As for figure skating - I was not aware that figure skating is going out of fashion. It's not here in Canada. Our National team is going through a transition, but skating is still as popular as ever. If there is a decline in the numbers of people attending competitions or signing up for lessons it may have more to do with the economy and rising costs than anything. I don't think figure skatings survival depends on one particular skaters participation. What if Michelle retires? I would hope people would tune in to see other skaters!

    Figure skating has never depended on the popularity of any one skater. There have been many great skaters over the years. People figure skate or take an interest in it because they love it.

    I assume that tradition will carry on.

  3. #18
    Custom Title IDLERACER's Avatar
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    The reason for the unpopularity of this sport, is that with few exceptions, figure skaters have a tendancy to behave themselves off the ice. It has now been over a decade since one of them convinced her husband to hire an assasin to whack another one on the knee with a bat. Compare that to the metronome like regularity with which various members of the NBA seem to get themselves into extraciricular trouble, year after year. Now those folks really know how to get people's attention!

  4. #19
    Keeper of Michelle's Nose berthes ghost's Avatar
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    Figure skating has never depended on the popularity of any one skater. There have been many great skaters over the years. People figure skate or take an interest in it because they love it.
    True, but you must realise how you've kinda missed the point. I don't know about in Canada, but in the US, interest definately dips and rises depending on the market value of the latest champ.

    My older cousin once took a group of us kids to the Ice Capades because we were all in love with Peggy. Peggy, Peggy, Peggy! If there were other famous skaters in that show, we didn't know it. None of us have ever been to another Ice Capades since.

    Are you really trying to sell us that BarbaraAnn Scott, Rob Paul, Toller Cranston and Karen Magnuson made absolutely no dent whatsoever in the Canadain publics mind and that interest in skating didn't change at all when these people won Oly medals?

  5. #20
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    Trainer John Servis has said Smarty Jones IS being pointed to the Breeders Cup, and the Chapmans have said that they would like Smarty to run as a 4-year-old.

    As an aside, Bobby Frankel (one of the top trainers in the business) said after the Belmont that if Smarty and Birdstone met up a few months from now, Smarty would beat Birdstone's a--, and Nick Zito (Birdstone's trainer) pitched a fit. Too bad, Nick, but I think Bobby's right!

    I hope we will see Smarty win many more races--and Michelle win the Olympics on her third try. It seems almost as if Turin is Michelle's 'triple crown': a chance to have won one medal of each color.

  6. #21
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    I for one am a skating fan first and foremost and will not desert the sport once MK has turned pro. However there was a recent thread somewhere that showed an alarming number of people saying they only watch because of Michelle and once she goes so will they!!

    :(

  7. #22
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    There is a thread or two on Smary Jones in Le Cafe. I hope this thread on the SPORT of Figute Skating doesn't get lost in the world of Racing.

    Joe

  8. #23
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Smarty Jones and Michelle Kwan

    Here is another parallel I thought of. Some analysts are raising the question of whether Smarty Jones' handlers erred by not working Smarty full-out on the actual track. In fact, I don't think he had ever run that length before. (Maybe it was a mental thing. When he finished the first mile and three furlongs he thought the race was over -- why am I still running?)

    At 2004 Worlds, as I understand it they switched the time and the venue of the first ladies qualifying group, so that the skaters did not get a chance for full practices on the ice on which they had to complete. When they showed up to skate, the ice was harder than they had prepared for and the first few skaters (Fumie, Michelle, etc.) had a splat fest.

    Mathman

  9. #24
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    I think if Smarty had had a RACE over the track, it might have made a difference. A workout wouldn't have helped him much. The thing is, the Belmont oval is 1.5 miles around--once around the track--much bigger than the average track which is usually 1 mile (8 furlongs) or 1.25 mile at most.

    The turns at Belmont are wide and sweeping, and a horse not used to running there may not recognize just how far away that finish line is. Smarty blew his wad before he hit the stretch, and he was easy prey for a horse who'd been taking it easy at the back of the pack to pass tired horses, including Smarty himself.

    The ironic thing is that if it had rained as it had been predicted to do, Zito would have scratched both of his horses---and Smarty would be a Triple Crown winner. A little thing like the weather can change everything!

    At 2004 Worlds, they did change the order of the groups skating first. Not only that, but apparently the ice was laid over a painted concrete surface, and the paint was leaching up onto the ice, making for very slippery conditions.

  10. #25
    Champion Skater (Vicariously)
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    I'm sorry I cant stop laughing about "Smarty blew his wad"

  11. #26
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    Originally posted by skatepixie

    As for Sasha. I see her pushing the sport. Artistically she is the best out there right now, IMO and she is working on the quad and a 3/3. So I see that as pushing the sport...
    What you think is artistic others may not. I do not think Sasha is anywhere near the best artistically.

    Working on quad and 3/3. There has been this huge hype about the quad for years. Even as late as Oct 03 the hype machine was working overtime, some writer for a local Reading PA paper was still talking about Sasha trying to be the first lady skater to land a quad in competition. Ando landed the first quad in competition more than one year before that. About 3/3, yeah news for you Arakawa, and Ando are consistently landing those, oh they have real triple lutz too.

    The Japanese ladies are quietly working on their quads and 3/3, I see they are pushing the sports, and pushing Cohen.
    Last edited by gezando; 06-09-2004 at 12:10 AM.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    The commentators are saying that Racing needed a good push to regain its popularity. Smarty Jones was going to give it that push but sadly, it did not happen.

    With figure skating wallowing in the doldrums, I would think that a Michelle win would give it the boost it needs to get back into the game after all that scandal business.

    I doubt Shizuka, Sasha or Irina could give it that boost in the US.

    Please!!! I am not gushing or bashing here. I am concerned about the Sport and in this instance I believe Popularity counts. If you think someone other than MK would give the sport the needed boost, please discuss.

    Joe
    I just read your post, Joe. IMHO, Smarty Jones gave the sport of racing a wonderful boost in popularity. SJ was the "People's Horse", plain and simple, a horse that was raised under relatively humble circumstances in suburban Philadephia. His trainer was someone who obviously trained him with a heart of gold, and his owner and family were folks who clearly loved horse racing, and they loved Smarty Jones. SJ's Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories were smashing! Hordes of adoring fans dressed in Smarty Jones t-shirts showed up at Belmont to cheer "their" horse. I sure wanted him to win, too. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. The race was broadcast just a hour or so after President Reagan's death was announced. When SJ finished second, the crowd looked shocked, silent, and disappointed. People seemed to take SJ's loss personally, and not just from the betting point of view.

    As for Michelle Kwan, I think she's the "People's champion" in many respects.
    She comes from a modest background. Her immigrant parents had to mortgage their home to pay for figure skating lessons for Michelle and her sister Karen. Michelle's consistency and excellence through more than a decade of appearances at US Nationals and Worlds are something to hold in awe, if not at least hold in high esteem. I remember seeing Michelle skate as a skinny 12-year-old at the 1993 US Nationals. There was something about her that seemed to say, "Look at me, folks. I love to skate, and I'm going to become a champion some day." And boy, did she ever skate and become champion!

    The only thing missing from Michelle's trophy case is the Olympic gold medal.
    I would LOVE to see her win in 2006, and I believe she can do it, IF she skates
    two powerful, superbly choregraphed programs, and lands a triple/triple combo in her long program. An Olympic victory for Michelle would be the icing on the cake to a marvelous competitive career.

    OK, I'll stop gushing.

  13. #28
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    Latest on Smarty

    Just so you'all know the latest, Smarty will NOT be racing next year. The cost to insure him was too exhorbitant. He was going to finish this season with the Pennsylvania Derby (held at his home track), the Breeders Cub (in Texas) and one other race... then retire to stud.

    However, a bruise on his foot has taken him out of the Pennsylvania Derby (coming up Sept 6). He's on target for the Breeders Cup Oct 30.

    BTW, I find the entire comparison of a race horse to a skater pretty funny. There are no skaters who will be retired to stud.

    Linny

  14. #29
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linny
    BTW, I find the entire comparison of a race horse to a skater pretty funny. There are no skaters who will be retired to stud.
    Linny
    ohmcgosh - What were you thinking? The comparison had to do with a crowd drawer- nothing more nothing less. If you think MK does not draw a crowd, that's ok too.

    JOe

  15. #30
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    Making a Funny

    Just making a funny, Joe. If Michelle retires to stud (actually, she'd become a brood mare), then I believe Mathman would hope for benefits.
    Linny
    P.S. With many of the high performance mares, they never become brood mares. Their most fertile time of life is also the most productive for their performance... so their eggs are harvested to avoid the mare's having to take a year off and loose her girlish figure.

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