Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why aren't Scott and Tessa with IMG?

I know nothing about why - just speculation. I wish there were another sports management entity out there handling figure skaters as professionally as IMG, but if there is, I'm not aware.

What IMG does is manage a figure skater's public persona without the puppet strings showing. They're also clearly partnered up the ass and can facilitate slick, yet professional and effective relationships between and among figure skaters, iconic brands and charities, for everybody's mutual benefit.

They are able to protect the private lives of the figure skaters on their client list without compromising that skater's apparent accessibility or visibility.

Example: We see lots of David Pelletier, do we not? He just won Battle of the Blades and got a flattering edit on that show. He's now frequently quoted saying warm, classy and completely unrevealing (on a personal level) things about Jamie Sale, and his tweets follow suit. These quotes do him nothing but good.

But here's the thing. David Pelletier is actually not, nor has he ever, dated Tessa Virtue. Tessa Virtue isn't available. So if you kick that one to the curb - why the hell did he and Jamie bust up? Who's he dating now? Do he and Jamie really get along or is it professional expedience? Wouldn't he and Jamie have to say more than that press release they issued about their divorce? For God's sake - they're saying they were separated a year and a half and then decided to divorce! Right under our nose for a year and a half - they lied, led us to believe they were happy! They need to explain for God's sake! The public will insist!

Oh you know - actually they don't. Yes, the internet has speculated. But in the broader world of professional opportunity, Jamie and David have sailed on with their high profile in the skating world.The famous duo from 2002, divorcing with a young son, and there's no ugly churn in the mainstream press, and fans ended up taking it in stride. What do we know about their split? Nothing. Just the brief press release.

Who handled it? IMG.

After the tsunami in Japan, there was a skating event/fundraiser in support. As presented in the press, you'd almost let yourself believe that Meryl Davis, Jeff Buttle and Charlie White thought it would be their civic responsibility, as members of the international community, to organize an event that would raise both funds and morale. Man, someone brought up those figure skaters the right way. They're so professional and mature, never put a foot wrong.

True - but who was behind that event? IMG.

IMG kept its fingerprints (mostly) off - at least it didn't elbow its own brand to the forefront. It highlighted the skaters and the cause. IMG didn't come running at you like a hyperactive Shih Tzu barking "IMG IMG IMG IMG!!!"* Yet despite this, IMG is still somehow, I feel sure, able to make a dollar.

So here are my questions.

Why did Tessa and Scott turn to David Pelletier for mentorship when Pelletier doesn't even mentor himself? He's with IMG!

Why did their four-year Roots deal end almost before it started?

Why the fuck is Joanne Rochette with IMG, and Weaver & Poje! with IMG - and Meryl and Charlie - but not the Olympic champions who are young and gorgeous - whose competition clips get thousands of hits moments after they're uploaded on youtube?

Maybe Scott and Tessa ARE with IMG and this is one instance where IMG is screwing it up? Hey Scott and Tessa - do a kitschy Toyota commercial in Japan! (That commercial kept tumblr in stitches for days.) Sign that totally honest book of yours in London - a year after its publication. Show up at random fashion shows.

Well, at least they got a couple of Audis. Maybe they don't care about image - they just want the swag?

ETA: thinking back to just after the Olympics, Tessa mentioned that she and Scott would sort of organically be testing the business waters, seeing what connections could be developed during the tour and summer training season. It didn't register at the time, but if they were signed with an entity like IMG, there would be no need for them to test the waters. IMG would be bringing the mountain to Mohammed. It's weird that Tessa seemed to be saying she and Scott would be sort of learning and fishing around - even if she was lying, which as we all know, is not beyond her.

Are there conditions to handling Scott and Tessa that neither IMG nor Roots want to handle with a ten-foot pole? Murky, amateurish, ethically sketchy, stupid conditions, so the two sides can't come to terms?

I struggle to believe that, simply because the bottom line i$ the bottom line, and whatever the conditions, a monolith like IMG should be able to manage them and find the right approach. But at the same time, corporations need to protect themselves, and Scott, Tessa and SC do wade around in some pretty unprofessional, unethical, amateur-hour waters and are dogged about sticking with it.

Will Barb (eh) or more to the point - DEBBI - be out of a job if Tessa and Scott get actual professionals to handle their business? Maybe Debbi gave someone a kidney?

Debbi shows up on Skatebuzz when Canadian competitions hove into view on the schedule, but does that justify her SC salary? Clearly, the lady ain't doing any marketing. Clearly, Skate Canada's Marketing, Public Relations and Communications department is the equivalent of a couple of church volunteers with a mimeograph machine.

Yet, I'm sure they get salaries and benefits.What if Scott and Tessa went with IMG? What would Debbi and Barb do with themselves in the long working hours Debbi was not putting her mug on camera and Barb wasn't slipping sham mentions into SC material and if they weren't planning and coordinating sham incursions?

Skate Canada "optimistically' believes it will have a title sponsor once more by next year (or right after next season) - after losing long term title sponsors directly after a home Olympics in which homegrown ice dancers became the first North American and youngest Olympic gold medalists ever. And let's not pretend that a big reason SC got all up in Scott and Tessa's personal business wasn't because Scott and Tessa were going to be their sponsor draw after the Olympics. Sexy, sweet, charming kids like that with all that charisma, all that talent AND a gold medal won at home on Canadian soil? After Vancouver, Skate Canada would be able to name its terms with an army of sponsors competing to come on board.

Surely its existing sponsors wouldn't do a bolt and potential sponsors fail to return their calls.

It's not the economy, Bill Thompson. Skate Canada made a wrong turn somewhere, and keeps expecting Scott and Tessa to turn it around. And actually, with professional management, a rising tide would lift all boats. IMG might have only Scott and Tessa's interests in mind, were Scott and Tessa to join IMG's roster, but the pay-off of a really effective promotional strategy behind Scott and Tessa would be greater fan willingness to pay to come and see Scott and Tessa compete in Canada, and a whole bunch of sponsors, who already do business with IMG, might be more comfortable associating with Skate Canada.

So what is it we're not seeing that prevents Scott and Tessa from joining IMG? Protecting Debbi's job? Is that fair to the up-and-coming skaters struggling for financing? Are there conditions of managing Scott and Tessa that are beyond IMG's comfort level?

Scott and Tessa ARE with IMG but IMG only sucks at managing only them?

What? Is all this stuff linked? Debbi's job - or her getting it in the first place - the position Scott and Tessa were anticipated to have in Canadian figure skating, the launch of the sham, the commitment to the status quo, the piss poor pr and marketing, Scott and Tessa's absolutely push-button personas, and the evaporation of not just title sponsors, but sponsors for individual skaters?

When it's this bad, and nothing is done about it, yeah, it might be an "our crowd" thing and complacency, but usually a financial problem gets people off their ass, or the people in charge start feeling pressure from the rank and file - in this case, parents of figure skaters coming up, perhaps. Yet nothing. When there's a problem and no movement to correct it, somebody's covering their ass. The way people cover their ass is to continue doing what they're doing, as changing course is considered an admission they fucked up.

So this is a wonderful situation.
*Unlike, say, Skate Canada.



    Apparently JD is now Canada's hope for ladies singles!?

    OC, where do you think this awful nationals tv format change is coming from? I realized a few days after the announcement that the US does this too, so it's not all SC stupidity but would still be interested in your thoughts on it.

  2. I've always wondered about this. Doesn't IMG skating have a Twitter? Maybe we could ask. If V/M partnered up w/ IMG, they'll have so much more exposure than what Skate Canada does with them. They'll be very easy to market since both of them are beautiful together compared to D/W & W/P (no offence to them). They're talented and successful kids!

    Skate Canada is crap tbh. V/M could do so much better, but I don't know if this will ever happen. Skate Canada equals the Moir family anyway. It seems like the Moirs really have a strong connection to SC.

  3. What do you think of Alex Shibutani tweeting about Movember? Are they in this charade too?

  4. The Canadian press article is a promotional feature for the Challenge, and it looks like Dube is the biggest name. They certainly have a cleaned up version of the Dube/Davison split.

    Where Jessica's concerned, she's coddled even by skating commentators. Despite Jessica Dube's track record of underperforming, despite getting the 3 twist only a year prior to the Olympics and acting out like a three-year old the entire time, and despite Sebastien Wolfe having solid lifts as a junior competitor, all of their struggles are written off to being a new pair, and their simpler elements like the 3 twist are written off to Dube/Wolfe being a new pair. Poor Sebastien is stuck being the guy who "can't straighten his arm" in a lift when it's actually Jessica bailing on holding herself in the lift and taking her position. If she doesn't, Sebastien certainly isn't going to push her up there and lock his elbow when she's not in balance. She's saying no. He's the guy - he has to listen.

    You only have to look at her face and body language prior to a lift to know it's her, and whether she's going to commit to it or not.

    The "new pair" is a complete cop-out, an insult to brand-new junior teams tackling more difficult elements and challenging choreography in their programs, it's insulting to high achieving skaters who are new to pairs, it's insulting to partnerships like MTM, Duhamel/Radford, Volosozhar/Trankov and Denny/Coughlin (prior to partnering with Trankov, Volosozhar didn't have anywhere near Dube's medal count on the GP and she didn't have a Worlds medal). These partnerships tackled higher level elements and more difficult choreography in their first year together, actually took risks - and I don't think any of the women had Jessica's resume. Sebastien has perfectly solid partnering skills, including lifts. It's not him.

    As to a comparison with Lawrence/Sweigers - I think they were fairly scored this season, but I also think a pairs team willing to take on difficult elements and challenging choreography should be given a bit more support and encouragement than L&S are getting, be pushed out into the deep end internationally to see if they can rise to the occasion, instead of placing such a premium on the pretty, smooth skating of a play-it-safe program when you know damn well the team skating play-it-safe has no intention of upping the ante - ever.

    A team like Dube/Wolfe should be getting their butt kicked more instead of allowed to smoothly (or not) skate empty, safe programs with junior-level elements. Does Jessica look like someone eager to up the ante? She looks to me like someone who is happy exactly as things are - back on the international circuit and likely to be on the National team again next season, and SC seems eager to give this team every consideration.

    She doesn't care about her ranking internationally except so as to qualify for international assignments, she only cares about maintaining her position in Canadian figure skating. Very nice, but she's 24 years old and has to this point shown no inclination whatsoever to do the necessary to contend at Olympics or Worlds - not even with Bryce.

    So it's nice to have a pretty team skating a pretty program (other pairs teams could look just as pretty if they dialed the content way down too), but it's not doing much to grow the Canadian pairs program.

    You'd think she and Bryce had skated complex choreography and tackled the highest level elements possible and you'd think they'd exceeded expectations in the Olympic season the way commentators pat Jessica on the back for skating with Sebastien and excuse her for skating what is basically the same lp she skated with Bryce most of her career.

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  5. Skate Canada is crap, and the Moir Family does = Skate Canada (in that their lives are Canadian skating and building its popularity) but does the Moir family have to = specific Skate Canada personnel? Are they so attached to the current set of officials they wouldn't want Skate Canada to benefit from people who were actually competent? Is it the organization or the people in the current jobs that has their loyalty?

    Even so, professional management for Scott and Tessa would only benefit Skate Canada's bottom line. It might not benefit the specific careers of people like Debbi, who would possibly find herself superfluous. Neither Barb nor Debbi could then really run around using VM as a credential for their stellar performance as marketing professionals.

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  6. Carol Moir has a public facebook album of something called "The Steering Committee" for Tessa and Scott. It looks like it's made up of local people/friends they respect and felt would offer good advice and guidance over the years.

    I can see the wisdom of something like this when V/M were young skaters and it was becoming apparent that they were headed toward important accomplishments in their sport. But now that Tessa and Scott have in fact reached super-elite status, it's a mystery why they have not also advanced to the big leagues in professional management. Even before the Olympics, it was clear that this team was not being managed well, and since the Olympics it's just gotten progressively worse. I don't buy that it's just because every.single.person surrounding them is incompetent (although I agree SC is grossly incompetent). You're probably right that there's some specific reason that has to do with Tessa and Scott as to why they're in this loser-status regarding professional management. From the looks of things, they intend to go on exactly in the same way without changing anything. I guess they don't really care.

  7. With regards to pairs, I agree Skate Canada and skating commentators have definitely given Dube/Wolfe a cushion to fall on...LOL...but seriously it is obvious that this pairing has very little chance to make the podium in Sochi...Skate Canada has no back-up plan if Chan gets injured, Phaneuf will improve under Orser (maybe not as quickly as people hope by Nationals) but certainly she is not a medal contender for Sochi, dance is in decent shape but it will be interesting to see what Skate Canada does with Paul/Islam and whether they stay with Mitchell's Islam as their coach and stay in Barrie...basically it looks like Skate Canada is not only mismanaging Tessa and Scott, they are not supporting other talent that is obviously there (case in point - Skate Canada was obviously backing Crone/Poirier over Weaver/Poje - luckily Weaver/Poje persevered) but holy cow sometimes you wonder is Skate Canada being run like a high school rather than a sports entity...oiee..

  8. Obviously everyone around them isn't incompetent - Marina, Igor, Meryl, Charlie, teammates like Weaver/Poje and former teammates like Jeff Buttle, Carol Moir strikes me as having more than average decent instincts considering she's neck deep in all this herself, etc. Pelletier's professional career is reaching new highs even if he was a bad idea as a business manager. He was competent enough not to manage himself.

    I don't think everyone around them is incompetent, but everyone is committed to or feels entrenched in an idea that was idiotic to begin with and had an absurdist execution and they are carrying through with it. The people specifically responsible for marketing and communications don't know what they're doing. You know the famous nightmare everybody supposedly has that people will find out their frauds and whatever they have will be taken away? That's Debbi Wilkes' reality in her current position and Barb ain't any better.

    The problem with their ineptitude isn't just that Scott and Tessa are being managed poorly, but the insistence on keeping Debbi and Barb in the marketing position is damaging to skaters coming up.

    oc, not logged in

  9. P.S. - not to mention we of course don't KNOW who is around them. We only know what we're shown.

    oc, not logged in

  10. Well not only do they need to get rid of Debbi and Barb but Bill Thompson and Mike Slipchuk are not exactly getting the bigger picture either...

  11. The Skatebuzz website is such a joke. Boooring!!

    And their "Above the Crowd" newsletter? Talk about a joke.

    Great analogies of church ladies with a mimeograph and a lowly High-School sports' program. When my kids were in High-School, the newsletters were more attractive and professional-sounding/looking than SC's "Above the Crowd."

  12. Bill Thompson hired Debbi and told us two and three made four when reciting her non-qualifications for her position. Maybe it was never a real position, but just a title.

    Mike Slipchuk, who has now re-emphasized himself as Mr. Athletic Development and lowered his profile, used to love to spout off on marketing topics - it was Slipchuk who explained to us that the stars of the past were stars because fans knew them and connected to them - ergo we needed to know SC's current stars by learning their personal stories. It was Slipchuk who kept smoothly telling us that Scott and Tessa were all set to skate their TWO - did you get that? TWO! programs at 4CCs last season. Now his love affair with twitter seems over.

    It's Thompson who is talking about the economy, how sponsors are scarce for sports in general, and how it's only natural that with two sparkling, popular, young, newly crowned Olympic champions on board, SC's long term title sponsors decided to cut ties and no one else seemed to want the job. Yes, that made sense.

    He says SC should get a title sponsor any year now - in fact is very close - now that SC has set up deals with TSN and I think cbc.

    Why is he talking about it? Why isn't Debbi talking about sponsors, corporate relationships. That's her job. Why is she mostly a Canadian skating talking head, team leader, event producer and sham enabler?

    Where does she get the time if she's doing the job her title says she's doing?

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  13. What kind of grates is Scott, Tessa and their families had no trouble leaving Skate Canada COACHING. They not only went to the U.S., they were being coached by - gasp - RUSSIANS (the elders of the Canadian "skating community" - at least on facebook - can be really bitchy about all things Russian skating). But coaching really spoke to their bottom line. If they wanted to be Olympic champions, which they really, really REALLY always did, they HAD to make a pro-active coaching change. So they did. Bye bye Waterloo and their friends Suzanne and Paul. The kids with the maple leafs on their skate boot heels romped on over to Michigan and coaches with a lot of consonents in their last names.

    Here, on the marketing/pr side of things - they seem okay with maintaining the status quo. They're okay with promoting SC and competitions a la lame.

    So it can't be costing them very much. They have enough money, who cares about the rest since they're all going to ditch all the fan junk and facebook stuff after Sochi anyhow. They'll be leaving that mess behind.

    So we have to figure that financially, Scott and Tessa are good. The rest is maybe not optimal, but they're not incentived (as they say in the corporate world)to change.

    But it does affect others. IF they're supporting the status quo, and it's negatively impacting up-and-coming skaters in their wallets. The status quo is making it tough on skating families, making it a real struggle for other skaters to ever reach the position Scott and Tessa enjoy now. Not everybody has the privilege of growing up with a skating rink that pretty much belongs to your mom and aunt, or a family that is comfortable enough $$ to support two athletes in elite-level sports (the other being Tessa's brother when HE was coming up in baseball and I think hockey). There are up and coming skaters with the drive and talent but not the privileges and $$. They could use a healthier skating federation, one that sponsors wanted to associate themselves with. They could use a little long term thinking instead of the entire marketing program resting on basically star-f*cking and star-coddling.

    The sponsorship and $$ situation is extremely serious for them. But not serious enough for Scott and Tessa. If it affecting where they live, or THEIR bottom line, or THEIR options, they would change, Debbi or no Debbi. Basically it would be really sad if they enable the status quo and nurture all their personal loyalties only because they can afford to, even if skaters lower down in the ranks can't. I KNOW Scott and Tessa are quick to act in their own best interest, so this is not costing them, just others.

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  14. Anon way above - I think Skate Canada IS run like a poorly managed high school organization (I don't want to insult good ones).

    Politics and personality over qualifications, relevant experience and results. Those in position are doing fine - look how much Barb is marketing herself! It's the non-star skaters who are treated like garbage.

    oc, not logged in

  15. "Why is he talking about it? Why isn't Debbi talking about sponsors, corporate relationships. That's her job. Why is she mostly a Canadian skating talking head, team leader, event producer and sham enabler?"

    She's too busy making sure a camera crew follows her around to tape her (really really boring) conversations with past and present Canadian skaters and looking for ways to insert herself into Scott and Tessa's on-camera moments. (And thank you for previously pointing that out, btw. It was hilarious.)

  16. ^I actually looked at Patrick Chan's PJ Kwong + SC logo board piece from HPC and there was Barb pulling a Debbi. Instead of having to exit stage left when Debbi entered stage right and took center stage, Barb, in Patrick's video, suddenly needs to look through the rink windows and point things out to someone who dutifully stands upstage of her, directly in the sightlines of the camera filming Patrick. Somehow, we still get a good view of her face. Again, everyone else in "background" is clear of those sightlines and nobody else seems to need to position themselves directly behind Patrick and to look through the rink windows.

    I did enjoy watching her "cross". It looked just like camera blocking on a real show.

    oc, not logged in

  17. "Where Jessica's concerned, she's coddled even by skating commentators... all of their struggles are written off to being a new pair, and their simpler elements like the 3 twist are written off to Dube/Wolfe being a new pair....."

    so true, I <3 Tracy Wilson but her voice goes up about an octave in excitement when D/W take the ice

  18. For the most part, Tracy Wilson is a great commentator and she definitely has insider information. I wouldn't take her so called excitement about D/W too seriously during the GP outings...she has been mandated by SC to not be will be interesting when nationals come around, lol...

  19. Actually I am curious to know why Jessica has decided to do the Challenge and then possibly skate singles at nationals? Does her team (ie. Barube) think that she has a shot of being top 5 at nationals? If Myriame Samson is still out with injury - does she squeeze in there? Or is this a back-up plan to skate singles just in case D/W implode at nationals and they play the "Jessica" is a hard worker card (ie. skating pairs and singles)...I also wonder if Cynthia Phaneuf and Jessica are still chummy chummy or will Cynthia's move to Orser open her eyes to how Jessica is being coddled...

  20. "I wouldn't take her so called excitement about D/W too seriously during the GP outings...she has been mandated by SC to not be critical... "

    That's actually what I was meaning, in that her excitement sounds suspiciously chirpy not genuine. It's because I respect her opinion that I don't believe her :)

  21. Does SC want Jessica, specifically, coddled, one can't help wondering.

    Yes, comeback skaters and split partner skaters were favored in the GP, but Jessica ended with the same GP schedule she had with Bryce - a match with VM, and shamming happened at both competitions. Convenient.

    Can't ignore either that MTM got completely different GP assignments than VM, while D&D would get the same as VM season after season.

    I feel like Skate Canada is producing a conspicuous Jessica Dube image-rehabiliation campaign, and as usual they're heavy handed and over-obvious. And you have to wonder why they're so invested in rehabbing her image.

    Bryce and Jessica - Bryce told us she informed him she didn't want to make any changes, a better idea was not skating with him, and it was a bit of a shock to him.

    Oh - didn't you know? That never happened. He got injured, his career was over, she wasn't sure of her direction until by complete unplanned happenstance she and Sebastien decided to meekly give it a try.

    "How Bryce Became A Coach" is on blast right now.

    WHY is it so important to rehab Jessica's image as Bryce's ex-partner AND as a skater? She's not doing it herself -SC is helping her.

    Suddenly she gets praised to the skies for doing the EXACT SAME THING, only SIMPLER - that she did with Bryce - a tactic that's an utter slap in the face to the Canadian pairs who are busting their ASS.

    SC's pairs situation is pretty lively - why is SC so very eager to prop up a duo that, as has been rightly pointed out, is not going to make any impression internationally? No podiums on the GPF, Worlds or Sochi. MTM and D/H have a better shot down the road, so perhaps do Beharry/Bobak.

    Bryce's own words say what he's always said - that not having an obligation to a partner allows him to not hurry healing, and that it won't be til later that he can try a jump and see if he can think about returning to pairs. His story hasn't changed.

    Bryce's knee may not end up fit for pairs anymore, but he doesn't know that yet. He's open to coming back if it's possible. Why is SC trying to pressure Bryce into declaring himself done? Every article on him has that message - he's DONE. He's a coach now. It doesn't matter that he's wait-and-see. The article writers ignore that. They've gotten the message - they're supposed to tell us he's RETIRED. He's on a new path.

    Plenty of pairs skaters his age and even older have gotten new partners (such as Dylan Moscovitch). Why can't Bryce? Do they not want Bryce on the circuit? Do they not want the reminder that he used to skate with Jessica, stand by Jessica, show patience with Jessica, and Jessica failed to return the favor?

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  22. The "Bryce is a coach!" story is heavy handed.

    Although SC usually coddles its skaters, it does have clear favorites, and with Dube-Wolfe, the message, now full-blown, is we're to disregard that Jessica Dube is a hugely experienced, 24-year old, chronically underachieving former 3-time National champion, 2-time Olympian and World medalist. We're to view her instead as a young girl getting her feet wet with a new partnership. Even if the performance backslides from one GP to the next. Even if she makes unforced errors skating a program that the JGP gold and silver medalists could blow out of the water.

    As with Bryce - when a program succeeds, it's due to her star qualities and gorgeous skating.

    When the program implodes, Sebastien is new to pairs and we have to be understanding. Jessica will help with this by conspicuously "reassuring" Sebastien at center ice after the program concludes - even if she's the one who has bailed on elements like lifts.

    We will ignore that Jessica has now shamed Sebastien in at least four performances. When you "refuse" to complete a lift, as she has done, you're saying "I don't trust my partner." Lifts are ground zero for a male pairs skater's self-respect. Lifts are Job No. 1.

    She has had no compunction doing this, then reinforcing the idea it's his fault by doing "it's okay!" mime center ice once it's over. You can just feel the blood of male pairs skaters everywhere running cold when they see this, wondering what kind of unreal saint was Bryce all these years if THIS is what Jessica does no problem at all.

    Probably a lot of pairs girls in cordial-but-not-warm relationships with their partners unexpectedly received flowers and a big hug from their partner after these guys got a gander of what Sebastien is lugging around.

    The reality is Jessica bails when SHE's not feeling strong on her feet, when she's had a glitch somewhere prior to the lift element (or whatever element she punts). It's not him. But goodness, it certainly serves a lot of purposes to act like it's him. Hope Sebastien knew he signed up for this. Sebastien being younger and (we'll be told over and over and over and over - GREENER) gives Jessica the cop-out of her dreams. She'll reassure him, the commentators will tell us how green he is and praise Jessica's perseverence and patience.

    It doesn't take a genius to suspect Skate Canada has put all it's pr - uh - muscle? behind Jessica now, wanting to prop her up and sell her to the public is all about wanting to restore her to her former position in Canadian skating so that she can can continue her sham responsibilities without unsettling the logistics, and so people will continue to buy her as Scott's gf.

    Scott and Tessa are nice people and both come from good families but sometimes I wonder if all this stuff erodes any good will from non-famous teammates. The ones who don't get the consideration they'd appreciate because resources are diverted to keeping this stuff going.

    oc, not logged in

  23. OMG! Skatebuzz just tweeted we should be on the lookout for Jessica Dube's upcoming performance at Challenge.


  24. Skatebuzz = Barb.

    oc, not logged in.

  25. You have to think that other Canadian teammates are not exactly happy with these shout-outs to mademoiselle Jessica...let alone their families, coaches, friends...
    And I totally agree about the PR shenanigans for Bryce's current coaching etc..I remember when Jessica had a radio interview with the French media after the break-up and basically when the reporter brought up Bryce's name - she basically ignored the question - very ice princess of her...and I live in Montreal and speak fluent it's not a matter of interpretation....let the soap opera's just too bad that the rest of team Canada is having resources pulled from them to support this *&&*%

  26. "it's just too bad that the rest of team Canada is having resources pulled from them to support this *&&*%"

    It's corruption.

    SC are assholes.

  27. "You have to think that other Canadian teammates are not exactly happy with these shout-outs to mademoiselle Jessica...let alone their families, coaches, friends..."

    A tweet after the event with the results is perfectly understandable, but this bs about giving a "heads-up" because one particular skater will be taking the ice is excessive and absolutely has the stink of a specific agenda being in play.

  28. The tweet is Barb - she's a moron, and she uses her association with Scott and Tessa to promote herself - that's all she cares about. Debbi must be her role model. She's promoting Jessica because that makes it easier when Jessica suddenly enjoys assignments, placements, support and status she really hasn't earned this season with her placement as a pairs skater or her efforts in singles. And THAT makes it easier for Scott and Tessa - Scott isn't with a loser gf, and Scott need not spend any of his actual life posing for photo ops with Jessica - she'll be right there on the same circuit as him and Tessa. Just like Jessica is on the family wedding circuit. A billion people are attending - throw Jessica in and Scott has to be there anyway!

    This has nothing to do with figure skating. It's gotten twisted. It's all star politics and entitlements. But resources that belong to other figure skaters are being spent on Jessica and that's not right.

    All of Skate Canada reeks of cronyism and personality politics. Look how Barb tried to upsell/leverage herself on twitter using Joannie Rochette's mom's death and Scott and Tessa's gold medal. She and Barb paste themselves to Scott and Tessa (and Patrick Chan, in a pinch) because they're self-aggrandizing. They want to upgrade their resume and pad their capabilities. "I managed the pr for Virtue Moir!"

    When she was on twitter awhile back, Barb acted as if the press release had never been invented, as if she had to personally coordinate and update each media outlet that inquired, as if there were no electronic infrastructure populated with credentialed media who could simply receive an emailed press release. She acted as if she had to react on the spot, as if no anticipation or planning had gone into the event years in advance. The statistics her buddy Kelly was reciting were absolutely meaningless and nothing but Barb-hype.

    She and Debbi suck up to Virtue Moir cause it's all SC has and they plan to use it to credential themselves as legitimate marketing professionals, which they are not. And because they have nothing else to do.

    Take a look at One Way Ministries and then tell yourself that's valid experience for Barb's current job. She's a mimic, that's all.

    VM have a privileged status with Skate Canada. Understandable - they're Skate Canada's biggest stars. They've earned it. But then factor in Jessica and it gets very shady. Other skaters get the short end of the stick or not nearly the attention, pr play and support as Jessica - all while taking risks and BREAKING THEIR ASS - while, as said above, Madmoiselle Jessica sails along, doesn't break a sweat, insists on skating an essentially content-free program with lower level elements despite her years and years and years of experience, and it's set up perfectly for her because any mishaps are sloughed off on her stooge-partner. It's a Jessica rehabilitation program, using PR resources, publicity - all for WHAT?

    oc, not logged in

  29. The recent profiles on Bryce really bother me because they are more emphatic about the "fact" that he's retired than they are about his coaching. The takeaway is definitely he's RETIRED, he's DONE. The rest is just puffery. It reads like pressure to me - as if SC is really putting the screws to Bryce to get him to stay out, so Jessica will look better. And though I think Bryce is great - what "considerations" will SC give Bryce if he plays ball and stays out of figure skating, knee or no knee? The pressure is just VERY uncomfortable - I recognize it - I'm sure I'm not alone in getting that from the pieces that have been done on Bryce's new career. He's RETIRED. Got that?

    Then the headline touting Jessica Dube as an Olympic prospect in SINGLES. Christ! She's not even an Olympic prospect in pairs. She'd have to get off her ass for that to happen.

    Her career is turning into a bit of a scam, just as her (and Scott and Tessa's) public love life has been one. It's wrong.

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  30. The bottom line is there are figure skaters who wait years to be able to take one of their parents overseas for a competition. Meagan Duhamel is one, Asher Hill another. Jessica's parents both went to Paris with her in 2009. Isn't that special. I think it's obvious she didn't pay for it - just look at the budget-travel trip she took to Paris on her own last spring.

    Of course her parents had to "work" (see sham photo shoot) but still. I'm sure there are other skaters willing to do a little quid pro quo if they get to go to the Carribean with their siblings free of charge, or they get to take their parents to an overseas competition, if they get free choreography from Marina Zoueva. Spread the freaking wealth, Skate Canada.

    Oh that's right, Skate Canada doesn't have any wealth. Wonder why - they allocate resources and manage funds so well.

    There are a lot of good-looking figure skaters in Skate Canada - a lot of pretty girls, too, who could probably use some publicity such as Hello's "Most Beautiful." I know exactly how this sort of feature is put together. The magazine doesn't have some comprehensive knowledge of the personalities in figure skating and other sports. They contact the governing bodies' public relations departments, do a "reach out" for names to be submitted. Jessica was not an Olympic success story, but she comes out of the Olympics and not Anabel (who was retiring, in an appealing romance with her partner, and planning a career as a pro), not Tessa, not Joannie, not Cynthia, not some promising junior - gets the mention, but Jessica. And what comes along with it? "My bf, Scott Moir."

    I'd also like to point out that Scott and Tessa are polite, courteous, considerate as far as their professional behavior. They're disciplined athletes.

    But manners doesn't = character. Being "nice" doesn't = being good, strong, or having ethics. There's a distinction. I wish they'd observe it more.

    oc, not signed in

  31. Virtue and Moir ARE with IMG.. Says it on their website and they've been with IMG for a while..