It's no secret around here that I personally have hope for the COP system, don't think the Ladies event at Euros was the Big Scandal it was touted to be, but agree with all those concerned about the reputation overall of figure skating judging on a broader level.
It hit home to me yesterday how it has gone for me.
As a FS fan, I'm into the competitive side of things. I occassionally watch an exhibition type event on TV, but that's pretty rare. I go all out to never miss a GP series event, or World's, nationals etc.
But here's what I DON'T watch. Ice Dancing. And it's not because I don't respect the difficulty and intricacy of dance, or the general beauty of a good dance program. I USED to watch it as vividly as any other competitive FS dicipline.
But for years now, I've believed the judging was largely fixed ahead of time. That took the interest right out of it for me. So I've never bothered to learn much about the details of that dicipline competitively, because in my PERCEPTION it didn't matter.
I sure hope that singles and pairs don't go further in that direction perception wise for me. Yes, I've always believed that skaters with fame have all been held up here and there, etc. But I do think FS as a sport is at a real crossroad. It will all go the way that Ice Dance has gone for me - completely losing the interest of those fans who ARE fans of the competitive side of things if the perception of the judging doesn't change. If that happens, then the only fans left who will turn on their TV's will be the ones who are interested purely in the beauty of the skate - not the competitive nature of it.
This is NOT meant as a criticism of those who love to watch skating for the sheer beauty of it. That is not in question at all. But for me, if my perception of FS becomes that it is NOT a competitive sport, then it's over. I didn't even watch the Dance portion of Euros yesterday - just fast forwarded the whole thing with zero interest. That's what made me think about this issue.