Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nice to see you've got the time William

File under "Sanctimony".

After a sparsely attended and empty rink-board'ed Canadians, William Thompson shows up on fsuniverse to defend Skate Canada's honor in the judging-influence department. Goodness he takes his responsibilities seriously.
Good morning

To clarify one point. Skate Canada does not in any way pressure or manipulate judging. In fact, we specifically request that they judge what occurs on the evening and not worry about team selection etc. We have selection criteria that allows us to look at more than one event.

As a former Olympic judge, I find this suggestion completely objectionable and patently untrue. Our first obligation is athletic fairness to the skaters. If judges make errors, it is because they are human and not as a result of pressure from Skate Canada to place skaters in a particular order.

William Thompson
CEO Skate Canada
(On a paid subscription thread.)

Well, that settles that, obviously. If Skate Canada were pressuring and manipulating, they'd tell us straight away.

Bill knows from things both objectionable and untrue. And he knows about manipulating. Or maybe the problem is he doesn't. Bill & Co. care about what's being said about them by FANS? They absolutely don't give a flying shit about how well they're doing their own jobs - how well Canadians went off? Boy do they have priorities.

What are they saying about us?

Where do these people get the balls?

Bill! Two programs at 4CC's 2011. Remember? Jessica/Scott - remember? Debbi W. and Debbie M. in the Kiss'n'Cry hauling Jessica down, right? And Tessa's shins being the only reason whatsoever she and Scott didn't compete the GP and Nationals last season? I know in his mind it's not the same thing. Truth is a one-way street - Skate Canada lying its face off to fans is part of its "responsibility to the skaters as athletes." Bill Thompson is in no position to go on a fan chat board and posture about transparency and truth.

Why is their response always to blunder in and showcase themselves?

Even though here the topic is judging, Thompson is not in a position to say any type of fan speculation is objectionable. This is like when he bailed on twitter. "I don't lie on twitter." Read I don't lie on twitter.

It's objectionable that Skate Canada would pressure judges to score a certain way! I'm a former Olympic judge.

Read - we lie our asses off in other ways but not that.

Too bad - what Skate Canada does contaminates everything so he's got nothing. They're unbelievable, how they compartmentalize. They're corrupt "here" but "innocent" there, so they're going to grandstand about the area in which they find themselves innocent.

In his words, though, I believe we find the key to how Thompson intends to justify all the bullshit and lying they did to fans.

They are going to turn pious. They were protecting the skaters' personal lives. And while they're at it, why not market lies about their personal lives to the fans and have fans shell out for it? And why not use Skatebuzz to market Debbi - he was doing what he needed to do for Debbi too, right? Making fools of people was part of their obligation to skaters as athletes. Because there's no other way to protect privacy than the way they did it.

Read, there's no other way to protect privacy and keep a bunch of clowns in charge of it than the way they did it. Bait and switch, tease and wink, hint and pull the rug out, photo bomb and blitz, sham and stagecraft. These are all time-tested, professional ways of fulfilling your responsibility to your skaters.

None of what they've done with the shamming and hoaxing has been necessary for the skaters. Their operating premises are insane. It's like when Thompson told twitter that something was "personal to Tessa." Since when? When a then-Director of Marketing and Public Relations (now Director of Business Development) asks one of their own teams if they're a couple (Wilkes to D&D), when SC helps promote a book full of lies purporting to be a book full of personal revelations (VM's book) - they can't then get all pompous and talk about "personal" and "our responsibility to the skaters" - they're too pro-active. They're only obsessed with fans as to their personal reputations on gossip forums. Not their job performance. Not their ethics. I live for the day the president of the USFSA shows up on fsu riding a high horse.

In the judging department, Thompson says "the skaters as athletes" but almost anything SC does with the skaters can be swept under that umbrella and they do a LOT that's dishonest vis a vis the public, and a lot that is unnecessary.

Then too, Skate Canada has other obligations to their figure skaters - an obligation to direct and manage a financially viable organization. An obligation not to squander important relationships and resources. An obligation to put competent people in key positions. An obligation to market and promote events so the figure skaters are rewarded with the idea that the public actually gives a damn about what they work and sacrifice for year round.

Thompson has been sitting on his ass ignoring those obligations for two years.

He has an obligation to the public as Skate Canada has public funding. Don't pull the wool over the public's eyes and market hoaxes to them whether it's a book signing hoax or a relationship hoax or a wedding guest hoax-by-implication, all so you can sell falsehood to them while making them think they're paying for the real deal.

Amazing. One little area where he thinks he's got some authentic standing and he can't wait to on a fan message board how clean his hands are.

That's an awful lot of self-righteousness for a guy in his position. And it's revealing about what matters to him.

What are people saying?

They don't get it.

After a couple of posters snarked, William Thompson returned to say:
Good afternoon. I have been on the board for many years. Criticize me if you wish but the reason I am here is that I read the board from time to time to pay attention to skating fans. I would see this as a positive. Occasionally I correct things where I feel they are incorrect. In this case, there was no defense of the judging rather, I corrected the assertion in this thread that Skate Canada told the judges how they are to judge. Further, I do it in my own name for complete transparency.

William Thompson
You know what I love most? Bill not only posts to a message board about a few fans chewing the fat about judging, he sticks around to see people's reactions. He doesn't care for some of them  so he comes back to "correct" them! Canadians were this past weekend. It's a week day. He's got stuff to do! What's he doing checking how people reacted to his post on a fan board and then overreacting when I think maybe two participants rolled their eyes?

Come back and correct us soon again Bill.

This is them. Obsessed with themselves, not their jobs. They're wannabe stars, SC's personnel.

I think skating fans as well as sponsors are already aware William Thompson would "see it as a positive" if attention of any kind were paid to them by the self-impressed Skate Canada higher-ups.

OTOH, I think it might be argued that Skate Canada, led by William Thompson, pays way too much attention to skating fans in all the wrong ways (hoaxing, shamming, reputation protecting, lying, high horsing, message board gossip about themselves when they don't care if the same posters are full of shit about skaters due to the lies Skate Canada disseminates) and not enough attention to the public in the right ways (a web page that's user-friendly, not a showcase for the in-house media whore, ethical use of publicly-funded resources and venues, and a well-run figure skating competition).

Dear lord he bragged on his transparency. Well yeah, Skate Canada is transparent but not in that way, Bill.

William Thompson's facebook is restricted.  However, this photo isn't:
"Ah .. St. Lucie."
This he leaves open to the public so the public can be impressed by how much weight he'd lost and his streamlined physique. Why would a former mediocre figure skater turned organization official publicize his naked torso? Vanity. It's not vanity, necessarily, about that godlike silhouette pictured above. It's vanity thinking fans are interested.

Just like him mentioning to a bunch of fans on fsu that he thinks they should basically count themselves fortunate someone at Skate Canada is paying attention to what they say - even if all he cares about is what a bunch of fans say about HIM. Yeah Bill, not so much.

Russian fans post darkly about the Russian Fed, all Feds get gossip about dealmaking and politiks. Bill has to step in twice on a fan message board? He talks back to fans? And when a fan or two wonders why he's thrusting himself into fan business, he lectures they ought to be gratefeul attention is paid at all? What's wrong with him?

I tell you what, based on Skate Canada's track record of squawking loudest when they're guilty of something, I figure Thompson showing up on fsu means Skate Canada politicked pretty hard for Gilles/Poirier with the judges and simply didn't expect so many fans to call them out on that.

I'll also, like many fans, call them out on their reluctance to send Amelie Lacoste to Worlds. Okay, if Kaetlyn wins, we'll send her - no skate-off with Cynthia. If Cynthia wins, she goes. If Amelie wins, skate-off.

Athletic fairness to the skaters. Bill is all about it.

Screw him.


  1. I came over here just to see if you had anything to say about this. At this point, I don't even know what to think about this whole mess.

  2. Ugh. I found his posts to be very off-putting and the exact opposite of genuinely wanting to interact with the fans.

    I love how he didn't say anything about the thread were people are discussing the low attendance at Canadian Nationals and mismanagement withing the ranks of Skate Canada.

  3. Thanks for the info - I don't subsribe to the private message boards on FSU - so for Mr. Bill to make such statements on FSU is overkill. I mean really? It's just a fan message board, Bill and for years fans have argued above judging...These guys are spending too much time following the forums and not enough time/resources on the actual sport...oiee...

  4. Where does he get off, that's my question. He's using all the words "transparency", "obligation" - as well as the increidbly patronizing "I would see that (his attention) as a positive." Duly noted your highness.

    They're just clueless. They don't know what it means to put the words they use in action.

    1. "Where does he get off, that's my question. He's using all the words "transparency", "obligation" - as well as the increidbly patronizing "I would see that (his attention) as a positive." Duly noted your highness."

      It's like he felt we should be honored by the fact that he took time to post amongst us peasants...

  5. Since when does a CEO interact with fan message boards about his/her company? If Thompson felt Skate Canada needed to address the judging issue the place to do that is on their official website, or via a press release. And if a customer wants personal contact, they can go to those official sites and contact through the posted email for contacting the company, or leave a message on the official sites, if there's provision to do so.

    IMO what he did was inappropriate. It really wasn't his place to openly post like that on a site that exists for the fans to discuss and vent. It's perfectly fine for him to be lurking, but not interact in his official capacity as SC CEO. That just looks stupid.

  6. To the anon above @1:09 it looks like Bill pulled a "Debbi" AND a "Barb"....LOL - totally agree with your comments...

  7. Anon two above - looking stupid is what they do best. They are completely preoccupied with fans and totally full of themselves on a personal level. He had no business interjecting himself into a fan conversation.

    Especially not, as I happen to know, because his word is worth nothing and he acted like it carried weight. And especially not because it's unprofessional. How dare he lecture fans about what they believe when he has helped lie to them for years?

  8. This is so unprofessional. What company President would have a photo like that not on lockdown, and also bicker with fans on a message board? This is pathetic.

  9. Wow - I'm shocked that a CEO for a major federation would actually do something like this in public on a fan message board. Was it really him? If so, I have no more words....

  10. He not only did it, he followed up later after not liking that a couple of posters were less-than-impressed. We should count his presence as a "positive."

    He devoted a portion of his work day to this.

  11. this is unbelievable, what a joke these people are. can you imagine gary bettman having an online spat with some random fans on a FAN forum?? these people wouldn't stay afloat as a mom and pop store, how is this happening, are they literally living off the tax dollars?

  12. If the Skate Canada CEO wants to be a "presence" on fsu then shouldn't he also be giving feedback on all the other various subjects that pop up regarding SC? Things like the dearth of sponsors, the low attendance at this last Canadians. Fans say lots of things about the Federation and have tons of opinions. Why doesn't he go into those threads and give the Skate Canada position and explain some things? He does seem to think it's okay to comment under his official title - we might as well also hear about all these other matters.

    (And I have to agree with the opinions expressed here - what a bone-headed thing to do.)

  13. I just think his "I am not a crook" appearance that he described as a "correction" is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. As nobody is ever going to admit to something like that, coming on to a fan board to "clarify" that he's never done that, nor has Skate Canada - is just weird. Like a lot of the stuff SC does, it calls attention to itself in the wrong ways. What - if he didn't clarify, he's saying it's true? What else does he feel he needs to clarify?

    See? It's pompous for one thing - hey folks, the accused has come down from the mountain to say he's not guilty - end of topic!!!

    When you're the one being accused it's just silly to behave as if you're your own arbitrator and your word is evidence. The thinking is just strange. He shouldn't be responding to stuff like that, and since he has, then it leaves open, as you said, why he doesn't answer anything else. He and his cohorts are very protective of their reputations as personalities. The organization, the skaters ... not so much.

    Also - fans are not stupid. Everyone could see there was something a bit fishy about the push for Gilles/Poirier and all the "Vanessa was great and I loved C&P BUT stuff..."

  14. Why did TS lose Roots? There was that huge press conference announcing the partnership.

  15. Yeah, that's the mystery. Roots said they had a "four year engagement" with Scott and Tessa. They are now conspicuously associating themselves with other Canadian figure skaters, but not Scott and Tessa. Scott and Tessa offloaded a lot of Roots stuff during the 2010 Xmas sham onto the Dube family, and Jessica was wearing a "right to play" hoodie at Liberty. Scott and Tessa themselves are back in a lot of lululemon - especially Scott.

    They are business conscious, interested in corporate partnerships, interested in earning. I can't help thinking Roots didn't expect Scott and Tessa to keep their actual status secret forever, including parenthood. Roots, too, was coy, saying they had a four year "engagement", not partnership or deal. This is similar to a lot of sly allusions being made at that time, which abruptly were shut down.

    It's sad. It's as if Scott and Tessa were prepared to come clean, but when they saw they could get away with it, they opted out and losing Roots was a price they paid.

    WHY would they cop out like that? How infantile. What in God's name do they really think the down side would be? Do they honestly think fans wouldn't understand the lying part? That they'd lose all control of their public persona? That they'd be harshly judged and stoned?

    Do they think suddenly everything about them goes on the public record? Don't they know that there are real professionals (not figure skaters or athletes doing sports management as a new career move) who would understand what to say, what not to say, and when enough had been said, all without damaging their brand or opening them up to intrusion? And don't they understand that the public knows its own role in this, understands the cues, and wouldn't cross examine whatever public account of themselves Scott and Tessa made?

    It's sad. I think in 2010 they were at a crossroads - do they come clean, or do they keep going. Neurosis and paranoia won out, and so did politics. Politics that serves other people who put themselves forward at Scott and Tessa's (and Skate Canada's) expense.

    Essentially I suspect Roots wasn't interested in spending four years promoting a pair of married parents as a pair of cutely platonic best friends. I suspect that when they signed Scott and Tessa, they, as well as Scott and Tessa, anticipated that sooner rather than later their actual status would become public. When Scott and Tessa chose to stay down low, I suspect Roots bailed. A lot of corporations would recoil at that partnering with people who are doing what Scott and Tessa are doing. Presenting an image is one thing. Being aware that your promotional partners are actually one thing while pretending to be another - most corporations would prefer to keep their distance.

  16. "A pair of married parents"

    So they're not only the parents of Scott's "brother's baby" but also married as well? That is insane. How did Roots know but the public didn't know? I believe TS are in love but not together. I think Scott's feelings for Jess are a sham, but the relationship is real (to Jess, anyway). Scott and Tessa seem so in love but on the brink, and they just want to avoid the pressure of public scrutiny by burying their feelings & dating other people. As in love as they are, I think it would be too hurtful for Tessa to have Scott making out with Jess and posting photos. That is why I believe Tessa and Scott are not really together (or married, or parents) but want to be.

  17. Scott and Tessa are together and of course Jessica doesn't think he's her boyfriend.

    Scott and Jessica didn't "make out" if you look at the photos - they put their lips together. Most of the time they look exactly like old photos of some obviously gay husband of an aging Hwood star puckering up to save face (from the old school Hwood days). It's unfortunate this is some people's takeaway on it.

    If Tessa was hurt over the photos she wouldn't insist on the photos and the sham in general. Scott doesn't do anything that isn't co-signed by Tessa.

  18. That said, yes, it's insane. Unfortunately.