Monday, June 7

The rest of the question was: On the internet I found people who love JW or Hate him, but no unbiased opinions. The professionals site said that his technical scores were very similiar to EL and UP. What was he scored so low on and why? It appears his cre

Again, you are going over the limit of text so your question was cut off. My opinion for the last few years when it comes to Weir and his programs is that he talks all about how they have all this meaning, but when he skates (especially in his long programs), he is so intense or focused on what he is doing, that all of that talk and character becomes lost and it looks like he is on a practice session, going from element to element. I know that plenty of people disagreed with my opinion originally and I know the same thing is going to happen here. It looked like the choreography of his free skate in Vancouver had been completely wiped out, and he crawled across the ice compared to some of the other men.

I've notice that since Johnny has made such a household name for himself vs. pretty much all of his other competitors, there are so many (especially gay) people I talk to that know who he is and preach about how he is so under-rated. BUT... they know nothing about skating in general and how it is scored, nor do they really know the names of any of the other skaters. I don't know if they've even seen him skate or if they are just jumping on his bandwagon, honestly!

Ask me a question about figure skating!


Anonymous said...

I am a straight women who has 2 baseball playing sons ages 13 and 11 who followed Johnny from Real Sports then his movie to the Olympics. It was very hard to figure out what really happened and it appeared to be for very different reasons. Scott Hamilton said "thats the best he has ever been". 3 time national champ at his best, 6th place does not make sense. Plus everyone who fell on their a$$ finishing before him. I guess I am looking for something that makes sense for my sons besides the obvious. I am not on any bandwagon and I have tried to watch EL skate but he is extremely boing and almost awkward.
As far as underated go to You-Tube the 40 different versions of Poker Face have well over a million views while EL OGM performance has only half that amount. Numbers say it all.
Again thank you for your opinion

Tony said...

Under-rated has nothing to do with the popularity of the skater. And while Vancouver might have been "the best he has ever been," it doesn't also mean that this equals top of the podium. Johnny, like I said, is obviously much more known (especially in North America) than someone like Stephane Lambiel, or even Evgeny Plushenko. However, it doesn't mean that because he is a household name that a clean skate means he is the best. I said in one of my responses that he did well under 6.0-- he won two of his three Nationals in that system. But if you look back to 2004 and 2005, you won't notice that much of a difference in his skating between then and now.

I don't care for Evan either, and I have repeated myself a million times but I think he did enough to be the deserving champion in Vancouver. Trust me, I'm not a fan and I think he is very awkward, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ you completely about JW's new fan base not having much knowledge about FS, they're more fans of JW himself. A good friend of mine who is very active in the gay rights causes kept saying how JW was robbed of a medal. When I stated pretty much the same points that you stated, I was met w/ a blank look and admission that he knew nothing about FS technique, scoring, etc...and just thought JW was the victim of homophobia.

I think JW is doing a disservice to FS in continuing to perpetuate the notion that he was underscored at the OG therefore missed out on bronze. It's not teaching anything about FS to his new fans, in fact it does the opposite. In no way did his personal best at the OG would've put him about Daisuke or even Stephane for that matter.

Those 2 were busting their asses doing difficult choreography and had better skating skills than JW. I wanted Lambiel to win but even I concede that Daisuke deserved his bronze over him.

Anonymous said...

sorry in the last comment, about= above

Tony said...

I'm glad someone understands what I am saying! And I still laugh at the idea that there is homophobia in figure skating. I mean, are you serious? :) But seriously, I think a lot of fans who may be.. sheltered? (putting it politely) may have started that whole blow-up and then Johnny saw it as a way to keep boosting him name.

As far as Lambiel and Takahashi- I know that Daisuke barely held on for bronze, but I would have been really upset had a sloppy and lifeless (maybe for the first time ever? in the free skate) Stephane snuck in past him. I think Daisuke deserved first place in the short..

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony - have to agree with you on the Johnny issue- and I adore his skating (he really is so elegant and makes his jumps look so easy) but he really didn't deserve much better than he got at Vancouver, unfortunately.

After the games, I was so impressed that he didn't try to deny some of the reasons why he was marked down - like using the wrong edge to do his flip and admitting that he simplified his choreography. So it's disappointing to me that now he is playing the victim card - but I guess that is what sells. Probably the best thing to happen to Lysacek (after winning Gold, of course!) was having Plushenko whine about it because everybody had to rush to Lysacek's defense.

So now it sounds like Weir's TV program is going to perpetuate the idea that he was robbed of a medal - which really is an insult to the other skaters who placed above him. But that's the nature of the PR machine and those kind of TV shows -victims and villains and nothing in between.

Did you see the documentary from Swiss TV about Lambiel that was aired recently? It was made not long after he got back from Vancouver - maybe between Art on Ice and Kings on Ice. He was talking about his Olympic experience and saying that he wished he had fallen on the first jump so that would have freed him up to skate like he had nothing to lose. It made me think that Daisuke's falling on that quad in the beginning was maybe a blessing in disguise in some ways because he really did skate the heck out of that program afterwards. It really saddens me that Lambiel was just not himself that day.

Tony said...

I did hear that Stephane said he wished he would have fallen. I don't know what was with him that night, but he was completely lifeless. I'm sure he was nervous, but it just seemed like it was even more than that. That's one of those programs that I watched live during the broadcast and have no intention of ever watching again. Still, though, for the mess of a competition (full of smaller mistakes) he had as a whole, he should be happy with his return and his 4th place finish.

I completely agree about Takahashi, and it really is a good thing he got it together after the fall. I don't think many people still to this day realize that the difference in final scores between Daisuke and Stephane was 0.51 of a point!

Chris said...

It's a shame Lambiel couldn't do justice to his Traviata program at the Olympics. There are nice videos of him performing it in practice and at exhibitions were you can see what a wonderful program it is.

Anonymous said...

0.51 was so heartbreaking, but then at least he wasn't fighting for 14th place like Brian. Still not bad for someone with chronic injuries to come back and be so close to being on the podium.

Goes to show how important the SP is, had Stephane landed the 4t-3t in the SP like he did during practice all week, it would've put him right in the mix even without the 3A, not 6 points behind the top 3 after SP. Titles can't be won w/ the SP but it can be lost w/ it.

Anonymous said...

I do not think JW is "perpetuating the notion he was underscored". He has done a lot of "talk" shows not "skate debates". When Kelly Rippa says "I thought you should have been on the podium" how should he respond? It is her opinion. Most of the time he says "I am very exposed or out there and people judging me are generations older then me, I bring it on myself" or "I knew going in a medal was a longshot for me". When lifeskate quoted him from his show "What do you do when your best is not good enough" he talked about the scoring system and it not working for his style anymore. He does get it. EL was on Good Day LA and the interviewer said "JW was robbed". EL did not educate us at that time either.

By the time JW left the building on the LP night the press already had dozens of articles on the web stating "JW was robbed". About 90% of the people watching the OG do not have a 10 year degree in FS judging (like Tony). Sorry but thats what the average viewer saw. The problem with FS is the scoring is just too complicated. Maybe its why nobody is watching. How can a sport be entertaining if you can't keep score. It seems like the best part of the sport is getting on the web and discussing the programs for months after.

The season finale of BGJW is on the end of the month. It will be interesting to see how they handle the OG. Maybe they will educate us or maybe they will go for ratings. We will see.

Anonymous said...

Well, the "press" doing articles on JW was robbed, are not experts in FS either. They're also not educating the public about skating, after all the press loves to generate controversy in order to sell what they're selling.

JW's OG LP was the easiest choreographically and technically of the top 6 men. The general public may not know that doing crossovers on the ice is not scored the same as bidirectional footwork, edge changes, transitions before jumps, etc...but that doesn't mean their ignorance (for lack of better word) validates the idea that JW was robbed of a medal.

I like JW, I think he's trying to find a niche for himself as a pop culture personality, and that's fine if it's what makes him happy. Who are we to judge him at this point in his skating career, when it seems like he's done for good. JW is enjoying media tour right now, it may not be the best thing for him in the long run and he may regret some things later, but it's his life to live.

I do take issue w/ certain JW fans who continue to spew the "JW was robbed" mantra w/o providing much technical credence for their stance, instead resorting to the purported victimhood argument.

It's just so insulting to skaters who placed above JW at the OG, especially Daisuke, who certainly deserved his bronze btw. I too wanted Lambiel to at least be on the podium but I though 4th was the correct placement for him as much as it hurts me to say it. Daisuke was the rightful winner of the bronze, period.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I guess my point did not come across. I was trying to say that JW is not responible for the "Robbed" issue, the press is, who are mostly non-experts and also the casual viewers are responsible. JW has made many PR appearances but none with a platform that would allow discussing the "Robbed" issue. Again we will see with the season finale how he addresses it.

My other point was you cannot blame the average viewer, such as myself, for not understanding why skaters were scored as they were. It is impossible to understand the system without years of obsessive study (sorry Tony lol). If the average person cannot understand what's going on, even with the experts commentating, something is wrong and it cannot be good for the sport. For the sake of FS you educated people should value the opinions of the average viewer, you need us.

Anonymous said...

It makes me laugh when I go on message boards and read comments like "I'm not an expert on figure skating but I think Johnny was robbed of a medal". Comments like that are rampant on certain boards (that was an actual comment btw). If you try to educate them by simply pointing out how scoring is based upon elements, starting base scores of individual skater's programs, get shouted down. Some do not wish to be educated on FS, they're more into personalities, which is fine but if only they'd drop the pretense and cop to it.

It's one thing for avg viewers' opinions to matter, it's another to dumb down the sport so that it becomes a popularity contest based upon personalities. I know there are a lot of newly converted FS fans who truly want to learn about the sport, and I commend them for that. Then there are fans who don't wish to learn about the sport, who nevertheless continue to opine about JW was robbed, EL sucks, so on and so forth. Well, it gets ridiculous after awhile, and I'm no EL fan either frankly he bores the hell out of me.

As for JW perpetuating the idea that he was robbed of a spot on the podium. He's not totally innocent in that aspect either. Remember the interview with Joy Behar where he said "there was already one American assured a medal -- a medal spot and maybe they were saving room for the -- two Americans couldn’t be on that --" You don't have to read in between the lines to get what he was implying. That, by the way wasn't the only instance where he fanned the flames of "JW was robbed" memo.

If you were Daisuke, how would you feel about having your accomplishments questioned by a fellow competitor like that? Immediately after the OG, JW was gracious but strangely enough as he hit the media whirlwind tour, it's like he did a 180 and either said or never corrected insulting implications directed against those who placed above him at OG.

Anonymous said...

I'm an average viewer too, and I'm completely honest to say this: I wasn't impressed by Weir's free skate at Olys. I remember it was clean but didn't have anything memorable. So I was really surprised at the way some of his fans reacted to his placement after the competition. It's probably because I'm not American and didn't know the context behind the skater.

Anonymous said...

Is their politics involved? Does the AFSF along with other countries, present their front runner to the other judges? Could their be truth in the statement about the podium having diversity? I did read a very long blogg on Aunt Joyces about judges kinda helping with one event then paying back on another event. Tony?