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Thread: Dick Button

  1. #16
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz
    Love him or Hate him, he is the one to narrate such a history. He's seen them all and could give vivid accounts of Men's Figure Skating with plenty of annecdotes. Of course, being a twice gold Oly winner, as well as twice gold Euros winner he'll always be special.

    Joe
    Dick Button is THE VOICE of figure skating, or at least of American figure skating. The guy is brilliant - seven US titles, five World titles, two Olympic gold medals, and the last American to win the European title. He's articulate, passionate, full of ancedotes, and he makes figure skating a wonderful spectator sport for legions of fans and viewers.

    I remember the first time I saw him commentate on ABC TV's "Wide World of Sports". Black and white television - 1962 Worlds at Prague. Dick and Jim McKay were the commentators to witness and report Don Jackson's historic first triple lutz. Dick was practically jumping up and down, "He did it!!!!! He landed it!!!!" When he interviewed Don, Dick looked almost as happy as Don.

    I also remember his sensitive and emotional reporting at the 1980 Winter Olympics in which Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner were forced to withdraw.
    He said, to paraphrase, "I don't feel bad because they are Americans. I feel sorry because they worked so hard for so many years, and now they were finally at the point where they could show the world how great they are."

    Dick really should write a book on the sport. He's been around for so long, and has known so many of the great skaters of the past, present, and future.

    Hey, if he needs a ghost writer, I'll volunteer!!!

  2. #17
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFan4Life
    Hey, if he needs a ghost writer, I'll volunteer!!!
    Seriously. You are a fine writer.

    MM

  3. #18
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I actually asked Mr. Button about the book when I saw him at a skating event, and he said that his attempt at writing it was interrupted by his recovery from his fall and head injury and that the book has not been published.

    I'd love to read his take on skating during the last 50 years - I'm sure he'd have some very interesting things to say (and a unique way of saying them )

  4. #19
    GOLDEN DREAMS RealtorGal's Avatar
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    He could write the definitive book on skating! Instead we're stuck with 2nd hand mush from sensationalists masquerading as so-called sports journalists (and we all know who I mean!)... Sigh. :sheesh:

  5. #20
    SkateFan4Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman
    Seriously. You are a fine writer.

    MM
    Thanks for the compliment, Mathman!

  6. #21
    Tripping on the Podium
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    While his knowledge of the sport is indisputable and his experiences are beyond compare, what bugs me most about him is a sense of mean spiritedness. (We call him "The Voice of Doom" around our place.) He'll constantly run down skaters during a performance with such seemingly viscious negativity that it's downright rude. I mean, you can point out problems in a program without dumping on a skater, talking about the impact of the performance on their "career" or using the word "shame." Just because he's accomplished doesn't give him the right to insult competitors. He's an announcer, after all, not a critic.

    I much prefer Scott Hamilton. Here's a guy with a few titles and no shortage of experience either. He also points out problems with a performance without sounding like he's TRASHING the skater. He also has a more relatable vocabulary, never using terms like "frivolous frumpery." And he sounds happier, as if there's no place he'd rather be and enjoying (or sympathizing with) what he sees. Dick often sounds sour and bored. Maybe he is, I don't know.

    Being an announcer myself, we're taught to constantly critique ourselves and each other. These are my impressions, along with those of other DJ friends I've casually asked along the way. Those of us who know Mr. Button might revere his knowledge and history, but the casual viewer is sitting at home saying, "Who IS this guy and where does HE get off?" The differerences between Buttom and Hamilton is almost a classic example of the old saying, "It's not what you say, but how you say it."

  7. #22
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    I used to like Hamilton. However over the past few years he has said some things that have led me to disrespect him. Whenever a skater skates an excellant performance he just about declares them the winner. For instance, he just about declared Nancy the winner in Lillehammar. As she was finishing her program before Nancy had even skated. In 98, as I stated in another topic during the ladies long program preview. He predicted. Kwan can make one maybe two mistakes and still probably win the Olympics. As a Kwan fan I hoped what he said would be true but it obviously wasn't. During the 2002 Olympics, was when I lost respect for him though, First his behavior during the pairs event in which he stated as the Canadians were entering their final jump, "Just one last Jump and the gold is theirs" This was before Shen + Zhao had even skated. Then during the men's final he believed Yaugudin had surrendured to Plushenko and was believed he was in danger of falling into third place. Finally during the Ladies final he believed Michelle Kwan was smart in the beginning to skate conservatively and double her Triple-Triple combination.

    While I do think Dick can be cruel at times( The Angela refrigerator break comment was just about as low as you can go). I appreciate his critique.

  8. #23
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Guess everyone has their flaws, huh? Anytime you make a prediction, you put yourself out there. There's always the possibility of surprise -- of being wrong -- sometimes in a big way. I'll take that over cruelty anyday. (And at least Scott isn't above admitting that he was wrong.)

  9. #24
    Rinkside
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    Takura, I love that photo of Yukina's layback on your posts...I absolutely love her. I'm really rooting for her this season. It will be a shame if she doesn't make it to Worlds...her skating should be showcased on the most elite stage for the entire world to see. IMO, she's the most beautiful skater in the world. I like Sasha also, but Yukina's movement on the ice appears to be more naturally beautiful.

  10. #25
    Rinkside
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    Sorry for the mistake! It's kind of late for me...that photo is of Sasha's layback. I love that photo of Sasha...that's just breathtaking!! She sure is a beautiful doll face. Sasha has the superior free leg position in her layback to that of Yukina, but both have the best back positions in that spin...Shizuka has a nice back in that spin as well.

  11. #26
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Hey, Boo. (I love that line from To Kill a Mockingbird, LOL.) ITA about both Sasha and Yukina.

    Here's the astonishingly beautiful Y.O.

    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/skate/soul/04JN/04JN29.jpg

    http://www.ne.jp/asahi/skate/soul/04JN/04JN31.jpg

    http://www.goldenskate.com/articles/2003/021104.shtml

    And here's beautiful doll-face Sasha.

    http://www.sashafans.com/media/galle...ltribune-2.jpg

    About Scott Hamilton as a commentator, I agree with D.J. that Scott is great at giving support to the skaters. Especially the ones a little farther down the list, who are skating for 10th place, or whatever. Scott acts like he can personally feel the pain of every fall.

    Mathman
    Last edited by Mathman; 09-24-2004 at 08:13 AM.

  12. #27
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Mathman - Oooooh. those pics of Yukina. A worthy contender for the best in the world but alas, her own compatriots will prevent her going beyon Japan's Nats. Damn those combos.

    And not to mention my Bebe. She too, will have a big job getting out US Nats. Damn thos injuries.

    Joe

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJStuCrew
    While his knowledge of the sport is indisputable and his experiences are beyond compare, what bugs me most about him is a sense of mean spiritedness. (We call him "The Voice of Doom" around our place.) He'll constantly run down skaters during a performance with such seemingly viscious negativity that it's downright rude. I mean, you can point out problems in a program without dumping on a skater, talking about the impact of the performance on their "career" or using the word "shame." Just because he's accomplished doesn't give him the right to insult competitors. He's an announcer, after all, not a critic.

    I much prefer Scott Hamilton. Here's a guy with a few titles and no shortage of experience either. He also points out problems with a performance without sounding like he's TRASHING the skater. He also has a more relatable vocabulary, never using terms like "frivolous frumpery." And he sounds happier, as if there's no place he'd rather be and enjoying (or sympathizing with) what he sees. Dick often sounds sour and bored. Maybe he is, I don't know.

    Being an announcer myself, we're taught to constantly critique ourselves and each other. These are my impressions, along with those of other DJ friends I've casually asked along the way. Those of us who know Mr. Button might revere his knowledge and history, but the casual viewer is sitting at home saying, "Who IS this guy and where does HE get off?" The differerences between Buttom and Hamilton is almost a classic example of the old saying, "It's not what you say, but how you say it."
    The "casual viewer"? You've interviewed ALL casual viewers and they've made these comments about Dick Button? I find that hard to believe. And I know you didn't mean it that way, but, quite frankly, when someone makes generalized statements like that it makes me grind my teeth. (And right now I have stitches in my mouth so it hurts to grind )

    I like Dick Button. I've always liked him. And he isn't an "announcer". It wasn't what he was trained to do. Why shouldn't he point out the good, bad and ugly? I mean Peggy is talking about Sasha "folding like a card table" and has made other "ugly" comments as well but no one rags on her. Scott is one of my favorite male skaters but I could do without listening to him applaud each and every skater. Tell me truth. Tell me what to see and what not to see.

    I've listened to Button for years and I enjoy his candor. I also recognize that in the past 4 years since his second brain injury that his personality has changed a little. As the spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association, he is as candid as he is when commentating on figure skating. I'd rather listen to 6 Dick Buttons than one Peter Carruthers.

  14. #29
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by realistic51
    The "casual viewer"? You've interviewed ALL casual viewers and they've made these comments about Dick Button? I find that hard to believe. And I know you didn't mean it that way, but, quite frankly, when someone makes generalized statements like that it makes me grind my teeth. (And right now I have stitches in my mouth so it hurts to grind )

    I like Dick Button. I've always liked him. And he isn't an "announcer". It wasn't what he was trained to do. Why shouldn't he point out the good, bad and ugly? I mean Peggy is talking about Sasha "folding like a card table" and has made other "ugly" comments as well but no one rags on her. Scott is one of my favorite male skaters but I could do without listening to him applaud each and every skater. Tell me truth. Tell me what to see and what not to see.

    I've listened to Button for years and I enjoy his candor. I also recognize that in the past 4 years since his second brain injury that his personality has changed a little. As the spokesperson for the Brain Injury Association, he is as candid as he is when commentating on figure skating. I'd rather listen to 6 Dick Buttons than one Peter Carruthers.
    Well, I could've said "the casual viewers that I've spoken to," but I didn't want to overstate the obvious. And you've missed my point.

    I also appreciate candor, but you can convey both good and bad without sounding harsh or judgmental. The only reason Button comes off that way is because he chooses to do so. (It obviously isn't due to a lack of education or command of language!) His choice of words, therefore, seems quite measured and deliberate, revealing a certain meanness of spirit that I dislike. You're free to disagree. Perhaps he doesn't realize it, but I find it hard to believe.

    I'm with you as far as Carruthers is concerned. I guess in the case of both of them, it exemplifies my conviction that just because you're accomplished at whatever you're watching, that doesn't make you qualified to jump into the broadcast booth and play "announcer guy" (or gal). Technical advisor? Yes. Announcer...?

  15. #30
    SkateFan4Life
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    [QUOTE=Eeyora]I used to like Hamilton. However over the past few years he has said some things that have led me to disrespect him. Whenever a skater skates an excellant performance he just about declares them the winner. For instance, he just about declared Nancy the winner in Lillehammar. QUOTE]

    I remember that. When Nancy Kerrigan completed her Lillihammer long program, Scott Hamilton stated (to paraphrase), "Dreams do come true. What a great night for Nancy Kerrigan!" His commentary was slanted, in the sense that he practically crowned Kerrigan the Olympic champion before Oksana Baiul skated.

    I wish Hamilton would refrain from using the phrase "He/she nailed it!" Ugh. What a wierd description to successfully landing a jump. IMHO, of course.

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