Friday, January 6, 2012

What Debbi Wilkes was supposed to be doing

This is a description of what are basically services IMG is able to provide in the sponsorship and corporate partnership area during an Olympics.

Make the services Skate Canada specific and there's a snapshot of the responsibilities built into the job of "Director of Business Development."

Bill Thompson specifically cited Debbi's "relationships" as a value add Skate Canada would benefit from in hiring her for the Director's job.

Now figure out how Debbi can do this job for Skate Canada/Canada - especially as SC hasn't the infrastructure IMG enjoys - and be the Canadian figure skating team's Team Leader during the Olympics, not to mention:

Skatebuzz, Skate Canada 2011

ACGM "Gala" rehearsal
 The above photo is so gross. Debbi always manages to be right in there. Her face is in the shot, and her face is as close as she can get it to the figure skater. Add in that it gives the appearance a freaking grown up person can't say words without her CLOSE supervision, very CLOSE supervision, approval and comment.

Hidden from view is the giant spoon Debbi holds to place words in a skater's mouth syllable by syllable.

Now the ratio of Skate Canada's ambition and self-regard vis a vis its competence doesn't flatter any of its Directors. Still, I sincerely doubt Bill Thompson hired Debbi expecting her to actually do the job the implied in her title. He just gave her a title - a title that's been somewhat fluid over the years - and set her loose on her real job, which is apparently living up the asses of Skate Canada's star figure skaters when they're on camera. I think the actual business development part was going to take care of itself. Now that it's a bit of a mess, it's Bill's baby. Debbi ain't doing it. But we'll see her front and center on Skatebuzz come nationals, along with more video showing silent, inane clips of figure skaters' faces and riveting footage of parking lots.

Built into Debbi's real job is the premise that figure skaters are figure skaters - they can't string a sentence together - they're figure skaters! They know nothin 'bout politics - they're figure skaters! They don't know how to describe their program or their competition performance - they're figure skaters!*  Figure skaters are encouraged to be robots, inarticulate, ignorant and camera-shy, because that opens up a role for Debbi who is their conductor, maestro, etc. vis a vis the camera.

Not to mention look how Skate Canada fell over Patrick Chan after that interview he gave - it's like a posse of babysitters rushed into the play group to bail him out, elbowing each other for the spotlight. It was ridiculous. Chan is an adult (but - but - he's a figure skater!). But Skate Canada is a little quick on the draw to insert itself into any media opportunity and divert attention to its personnel instead of its skaters.

Of course, Debbi, too, is a figure skater and what she's good at is truly obnoxious interviews such as her interview with Carolina Kostner, attempting to turn figure skaters into little Debbi parrots, and of course, promoting Debbi.
*Debbi just wasn't painfully obnoxious and patronizing while interviewing Kostner, she also said to Scott Moir "Tell us about the short program. " and then she prompted: "The fall." Because otherwise Scott is not going to know to address it. I also wish the skaters and whoever is interviewing (and it would be nice if it wasn't Debbi so we could delude ourselves SC takes care of actual business) would be miked instead of wielding a mike to and fro as if it's a completely different era.


  1. It's just revolting the way Debbi is always right next to the skaters, and I agree completely about the way she spoon-feeds the answers to the skaters. Not even good answers, either. Yeeesh. How can they stand her?

  2. That picture is also gross because she appears to be wearing nothing but a bodyshaper?! bad angle I guess

  3. Oh god, anon above. Cannot unsee!

  4. Wait... V&M went to "marriage counseling"? For real?

  5. That's what they said.

    According to the book, to heal the one-year rift caused by not talking to each other for two months. However, since this blog has proven that particular story to be b.s.... well, what did they go for? I'm sure any long-term relationship could benefit from some counseling, for many different reasons, so kudos to them for going. It just so happens they most probably lied about why they went. And I question, why share this particular piece of information anyhow? It serves no purpose.

  6. Sure it serves a purpose. OMG, from late 2008 to late 2009 they were estranged. Not only were they not a couple, not intimate or close, they weren't even close as skating partners any more. They were out of sync! It was so bad they had to go to counseling!

    It's how they manipulate. From late 2008-2009 they were setting themselves up to be officially together forever. So very important to get fans thinking they're not even close during that time.

    They sure are obsessed with themselves, that's for sure.

    They really do borrow strategies from sociopaths - using elements of truth to enhance the plausibility of an outright lie.

    Somebody has a bizarre idea of marketing. That marketing = straight up fraud - if it's "marketing" a hoax is okay.

    Not quite.

    For them it progresses from being okay/necessary to lie to protect your privacy to it's okay to actually profit from your lies - put them in a book, sell them as never-before-told-information - and take money for them.

    They don't want to accept any limitations built into lying, they don't want to exercise discipline, they don't want to be mature. If a prior lie gets in the way of some entitlement, they ignore that lie and make up another, more convenient lie. Fans will swallow anything. We can see the respect all over.

    They basically want the benefits of lying but not the inconvenience, they want to enjoy their privacy while profiting from exploiting their private lives. So they make up a private life and sell it as exclusive real life information.

    After Sochi, they'll have Rosie DiManno and other "sportswriters" who have covered Canadian figure skating on the case with purple prose, telling a tale of their special needs, implicitly blaming fans for the decisions they made, doubtless coming out with new stories to cover their ass. Fans will be blamed. They'll focus heavily on the more bizarre elements of fandom, feigning empathy, but implicitly telling us that VM had no choice but to make the choices they made in the face of this type of fan. After all, they're unique.

    I only have a guess about counseling but I think it's reasonable that Scott has been much more gung ho about being "open" as a couple, with a different timeline, had expectations that they'd be out there sooner - than Tessa - who is perhaps unable to bring herself to actually do it. Tessa has prevailed. Reconciling that may have required counseling.

  7. check out Alma's profile pic - "why didn't Grandma want me in the picture??" - how will this NOT be traumatic for these little people? I hope there's a plethora of normal pictures to drown out the weird scam ones.

    Is this obsession with two babies damage control for the rubber ducks? If that's the case, it was very convenient timing for Nicole to have a baby!!

  8. They don't see it as trauma cause they'll be long gone by the time these babies can get on the computer. Facebook stuff will be gone with them.

    It's not going to be OMG grandma, in 2012 you left me out of your grandma fb profile pic.

    Who's going to keep the snapshot of that for posterity? It'll be gone, with her facebook.

    I'm interested to see Tessa and Scott's Kiss'n'Cry shoutouts over the next few years myself.

    That's kind of an endearing profile photo though. Grandma Alma with two adorable baby granddaughters in Santa hats. Yet it's 100% manipulative. They're competitive with this - it's interesting because you're not supposed to get into a juvenile competition with fans, or blogs, or message boards. Anytime a skater does that, they look bad.

    I still circle back to all the times Tessa has talked about business. They have a really warped and self-serving idea of what "business" entitles you to do.