Monday, February 19, 2018

Thank God


I enjoyed Scott Hamilton, Leslie Jones,
and Adam Rippon commetary on the heat in the
VM SD. "Are they dating?! Cause you have to
have kissed at least once to do that!'
Hamilton. "I don't knooooooooow."
He knows.

The score for the French was obscene.

The French were indifferent in the free, and worse in the short. Scott and Tessa had to spike the ball, and I think the crowd helped.

Thank fucking God. Two gold medals, one short of what they deserve. A fake epic battle. Well, a fake epic SKATING battle. A battle where they had zero room for error (despite Madison Hubbell's bullshit) and the French just had to stay standing to get scores a razor's margin from perfect. Virtue Moir cleared the hurdle. I can't even express how important it is, how huge it is, in my heart, and for me, for them to have two golds. I mean, obviously, every VM fan and true skating fan out there feels the same.  They should have more, but I'll take it. 20 and 22, gold medal. 28 and 30, gold medal. That'll do it. Should be three.

I can't quite believe it, but they're clutch. At least this time it was possible for them to win, no matter how absurd the standard. A tiny difference between 2018 and 2014, in view of the revolting double standards, but at least the possibility existed, where there was no possibility in 2014. VM, if you are beyond the beyond, we will give you the opportunity to defeat a French team with indifferent skating skills, a French team with careless bodies that are indifferent to what's happening at blade level, even though we'll call that talent.

Congrats too to the Shibs. I had extra incentive to root for them after reading about Madison Hubbell's verbal antics (also didn't want Gadbois to sweep).

My twitter timeline is trending with both Virtue Moir and ShibSibs. I don't do a lot of searching or hashtag following for either, so I'll take it as genuine. I don't see Papadakis Cizeron there at all. Every four years, the civilians can tell who deserves it.

PS  - good for VM for going back to the old lift. Bullshit is bullshit, and I'm glad they thumbed their nose at the pandering.

Still absolutely insane that P/C had such a mess of an Olympics and still won the free. This sport needs to be booted out of the Olympics - it's not a sport.

I must say, the faces on Papadakis Cizeron got on my nerves. Dudes, you don't deserve to be anywhere near the medal ceremony. At least I always thought Davis White understood that. Sure, they wanked it that "hard work", all the effort friends, family, country, blah blah blah put into things worked to kind of make them justify it, but I always got the idea that Charlie, at least, understood it was not about who skated the best. So P/C - suck it up. VM are leagues better than you are. Have a little shame.

Finally, it's nice to see Tessa's face. Part of me wonders if her face and eyes during Sochi isn't why they were here. She's as well bred as they come, but she knew they were fucked over in Sochi, and maybe it's harder for her to swallow than Scott. Scott was probably not feeling the greatest in Sochi either, but during the medal ceremony and elsewhere he was dialed in to the expression in her eyes and seemingly distracting her to the utmost. Here, I didn't get the "OMG, we won the Olympics!" vibe we saw in Vancouver. It was much more subdued. I often think winning is like that - real winning, when you deserve to win, or are a megaton better than your rivals. It's what's supposed to happen. It feels natural. Things are right. No need to punch out walls or jump through the rafters. The real problem is when you deserve to win, and don't. It rankles. I feel Tessa has always felt it. If she fucked up, she'd be the first to think she didn't deserve it, even if someone else's skate was inferior in the fundamentals. However, she's not an idiot, and she knows if she and Scott skate their best, they're better than everyone else and should win. So since 2014 she hasn't felt right. Now she feels right.

So do I.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Epic Crap from PJ Kwong


PCs fucked up twizzles

Gif of P/C's truly hot mess twizzles. This is not glitchy, not need a discerning eye, this is fucked up the element. +3s.

I have a pit in my stomach, and not that "secretly know it will all come right in the end but don't want to jinx it" kind.

Read this this morning from PJ Kwong



Mother of God.

So far:

This was very nice.

Sui Han and Tarasova Morasov were more than capable of blowing their long programs. The miracle is Savchenko/Massot skating clean and racking up enough points to catch up.  Fourth to gold doesn't happen often. Savchenko seems to me to be a better "pure" skater now than she was before. She has more speed, more run of blade on her throw landings.  More true difficulty in the lifts, more flow in and out, even if the final lift was glacial. And, putting in a word for Bruno Massot - he's about as stiff in the torso as many other male pairs skaters, but he's more than the warm body escorting her through these Olympics. He does not pop up when he throws her, for one. While not quite sustaining a Grinkov-esque glide, he is a very strong skater and pairs man.

And of course have to put in a word for Meghan Duhamel who has really shown her maturity, decency and humanity in a big way.

This guy:

Did not want to win Olympic gold. He didn't choke
For two Olympic cycles he has been an epic
instance of willful, maybe even conscious, self-sabotage.

Monday, February 12, 2018

So this time around VM's presumptive biggest rivals weren't in the team competition, so we're left to understand Virtue and Moir are a bit lacking in the tech department, since they're getting docked for imaginary missed key points and nonexistent edge imprecision. That will really be the ultimate planned humiliation - to pretend Gabriella Doesn't-Even Bother-To-Care-About-Steps-And-Footwork Papadakis is more precise on pattern dances, chocktaws and footwork than Tessa Virtue. We know it's coming.

The team win and Virtue and Moir's placement is pointless absent the French, since we can't see if the tech controller scrupulousness over invented edge placement issues in VM will be extended to scrupulousness over the standard slop presented by the French, or if we're going to see ceiling shattering "That's how it's done!" scoring in TES. It would figure, though. Davis White were defeating Virtue & Moir in pcs while the public relations were telling us Virtue and Moir were struggling technically. If Papadakis & Cizeron win, the media relations will say their ineffable, undefinable, ethereal floaty magic carried the day, while a scan of the protocols will reveal that the judges decided one of the sloppiest teams ever to stand on a podium were technically more precise than the greatest technical skaters to ever step onto a rink.

I wonder if we'll ever get instant replay on a key point or choctaw transition. Nobody's gotten around to it - wonder why.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

I was white knuckling it through the start of the team event in figure skating, not having seen that Papadakis & Cizeron decided to give it a miss. So we don't know if the tech caller who decided Virtue and Moir's pattern was L2 would have rated P/C's unmatched, shallow edges, broken lines and sloppy transitions a 3 - or 4. Why not just go for broke.

It's very difficult to read the tea leaves when VM's nearest competitors are ice dance's other punching bags, the Shibutanis.

P.S. re skating forums - describing a tech caller as "strict" or "brutal" suggests exacting standards, no benefit of the doubt. I think many fans don't understand that there actually needs to be something to be exact about for the "strictness" to be justified. Without that, "strict" isn't the word for what's happening.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

There are usually about six subjects* I avoid on social media or the news, and figure skating has started to become one of them:

A recurring gif on my twitter timeline.
Applies to so much stuff.
Last month I was on a political blog, squinting and skimming so as to avoid certain key words, when one participant mentioned he was taking a break by watching figure skating. I knew this meant the Grand Prix Final, and as mentioned in last month's post, I knew it would turn out the way it did for VM, and didn't watch. It's not that VM had a rougher skate than usual, although, along with the Shibs, more is expected of them just to stay in contention for the podium than is expected of Papadakis Cizeron, who are only subject to the "don't fall down" requirement. Hell, more is expected of juniors.

It's the Papadakis Cizeron scoring I can't tolerate. The widespread promotion of all things gaslighting has taken its toll, and Papadakis Cizeron are the proverbial bridge too far for me this year. It's only skating. Who needs it.

I didn't even enjoy Virtue and Moir's new ending in their Nationals free dance:

Well, not as much. They're splitting the difference. She's kind
of playing dead with her character up there, but if you
want to overlook it, you can. Then she gets out of it and
they emerge from the program as themselves. Oh my God,
what an improvement. That quiet, nuanced ending
they had before - that sort of thing has no place in ice dance. 
And I was not expecting this:

Iliushechnika and Moscovitch. How it Ended.

I guess an entire glass door fell on Dylan? It didn't miss
any part of his important pairs equipment.
His hands. His back. His knees.
MTM V.2 go to the Olympics.
Whatever happened to schadendfreude?
What is this era called? The neverending winning streak of things that suck? I don't even have anything against MTM V.2. That's too small a thing to matter.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I knew it would happen and did not have the stomach

I've spent a lot of the past couple of months obsessed with politics, appalled at most of the media and disgusted by some politicians I'd previously respected.

I didn't have the strength to check in on the GPF and discover that the ISU allowed ANOTHER team to defeat VM. Bad enough they went back and forth w/Davis White, but a second team is obscene. Another team with dumbed down skating and an aggressively ignorant fan following is showered w/10s while VM fans shrink from community discussion.

I knew it was going to happen, just went completely derelict on the blog because it was going to be that ONE THING that broke the camel's back.  I mean, not really, I'm fine, but enough already.

VM were imperfect (you know, that's like saying Hillary Clinton is flawed like you always have to say it about her, because all other candidates were perfect). Papadakis & Cizeron skated a program that even juniors can't get away with, so they truly are exceptional. It's not as if they've shown the way. What they do applies only to them.

Was just reading a discussion on Golden Skate in which a fan claimed that the Moulin Rouge lift is not really a lift. I just thought of Charlie White sliding Meryl's ass along the ice before swinging her by both arms, pivoting, and landing her on his back and thought - what a magnificent lift that was. Not as good a lift as jumping onto your partners unevenly balanced thighs knees first, though, while gripping his shoulders. THAT's a lift.

If there has been a skating team that has had to
eat more shit than Virtue & Moir, I don't know
who they are. I think the ISU adores being sadistic
and having control over a pair of talents that
so clearly outclass and outskate any other team that
has ever competed in this ... activity.

Friday, October 27, 2017

A whole article on this?

I've said before that I doubt Virtue and Moir are actually being coached by Marie France Dubreuil and Patrick Lauzon. I don't think they ever have been. Even last year's programs, I bet used a mere veneer of Dubreuil-esque flourishes while Virtue and Moir got their real coaching somewhere else. They're beyond Dubreuil Lauzon, technically and in every other respect. They've worked with and trained with the best in the world, and while there are excellent coaches who never became World or Olympic champions themselves, Dubreuil Lauzon are not among them. DL's signature team is Papadakis Cizeron. We can see how resourceful that choreography is, not to mention technically pristine.* Virtue and Moir are out of Dubreuil Lauzon's league, and if Papadakis Cizeron skated exactly as they skate now but didn't move to Gadbois, they'd have stayed in thirteenth place. Gadbois results aren't due to superior skating. It's just payola.

Here's a whole article out about Brian Orser kind of sub-coaching for Virtue Moir for three hours while D/L were delayed. Virtue and Moir don't need Brian Freaking Orser watching over their warm-up jackets and skate guards at this stage of their career and abilities. Not for a single practice session at Skate Freaking Canada. There are a million stand-ins who could do board duty.


I'd love to know how the money for this charade is structured. Dubreuil Lauzon and Virtue Moir could be a straight quid pro quo - they enhance Gadbois's reputation by giving Gadbois the credit for fixing their nonexistent flaws, and in exchange for that fake news, Virtue and Moir are allowed to win.

Virtue and Moir are absolutely stunning in the Skate Canada practice videos.

They're thrilling to watch, but it also makes me a little sick to my stomach. A bit later I'll do Virtue Moir's free dance rotational versus Gabriella sitting on Guillaume like a he's teacup in an Ages 3-7 amusement park ride, while we all know that the judges are going to treat both elements as if they're equal in quality and oh so close in execution. I know this, and yet it's hard to keep down.

Also, Weaver & Poje go back to a 2012 free dance.

Je suis triste de Je Suis Malade

Blech. Bunched fists of drama from Kaitlyn, lots of face skating. Hated that program.

Beverly Smith has dumbed down her writing incredibly. Je suis malade à ce sujet aussi.