Saturday, February 18, 2012

Director of Business Development and Director of Corporate Communications

Look at Margo Channing and Eve Harrington up there, doing what they do best.*

Front and center with their star figure skaters.

Enjoying the benefits of Skate Canada's dime while doing nothing that benefits anyone besides its stars.

Avoiding real work or learning how to do their so-called jobs better; and, what makes it all run:


*Meantime, much of the fandom had no idea who the USFSA officials on scene at the medal ceremonies might be. This must account for why the USFSA is run so poorly and Skate Canada is in fantastic shape.


  1. LOL. Barb and Debbi hard at work, promoting SC and getting sponsors. Oh, and I guess Scott and Tessa also need the SC Powers That Be to babysit them.

    1. Here is what I've noticed - the USFSA isn't exactly rolling in World class women what with Flatt flattening out and Nagasu underachieving yet somehow without true stars they have enough women to pull it together and win internationally each year at a GPF or a 4CC. Joanne Rochette takes time off and SC's ladies figure skating is cooked.

      I believe it's a reasonable assumption that Skate Canada would be doing better with sponsors - as would some of its skaters - if it were run better. Scott and Tessa aren't hurting - they get every resource SC can throw at them and they have the official infrasture of SC kissing their ass. In turn I'm sure they are very supportive of Thompson, Barb & Debbi. After Patrick Chan whinged about it Thompson says SC coughed up a sponsor for him. Lovely. So who actually does this cozy star fucking arrangement hurt? Just everybody else, that's all. The Moirs et all can be self-indulgent, flip the bird, implicitly bash VM's training mates, chase a sponsorship deal away - and what does it matter. The figure skaters aren't hurting for money, they've got the best training and can afford to prioritize training and let the bungle of their marketing continue. It's only the up and coming skaters who suffer by SC's mismanagement and disinterest - and why should that concern Scott and Tessa? It's so nice to have everything set up to benefit just them.

      Interesting to see the kind of shape SC is in when Scott and Tessa "retire" after 2014 and if any skaters start complaining. It's not right to have a sports Fed built around the convenience of a couple of stars in a manner which short changes the rest of the program.

    2. "It's only the up and coming skaters who suffer by SC's mismanagement and disinterest - and why should that concern Scott and Tessa? It's so nice to have everything set up to benefit just them."

      It's also set up to benefit Jessica Dube and whoever her partner happens to be - for now, Sebastien Wolf. While I don't know anything about Wolf, I hope he realizes how lucky he is to be partnering the "official girlfriend of Scott Moir", given that said partnership comes with lots of perks. If Wolf is really lucky, he might even get a Caribbean vacation thrown in this summer.

  2. Post-4CC article:

    Tessa says at 4CC she felt they skated "together" and that hasn't happened since the Olympic year.

    Oh, please, tell me this isn't a set-up for another "estrangement" story with a new twist.

    And then there's this tweet about Tessa on a Sunday radio show (I think tomorrow?):!/GrossmanFAN590

    A follow-up to this new "not together" story? What, Scott and Tessa have been so busy with their respective separate lives they've been prevented from bonding on-ice?

  3. "Oh, please, tell me this isn't a set-up for another "estrangement" story with a new twist"

    totally thought the exact same thing, ugh

  4. Just a few quick questions:

    1. Are Tessa's family and Scott's family still close?

    2. Are there any other skaters with a secret marriage or a secret baby?

    3. Were Denney and Coughlin dating when she was still a minor?

    4. Is Jessica Dube actually dating anyone (for real)?

    5. Did Weaver and Poje actually say that they are platonic, or was that just Skate Canada trying to create another sham without Weaver and Poje's permission?

  5. I can only give an informed affirmative to the first.

    2. Don't know - I think SC put the cart before the horse with VM - figured they'd be superstars, so helped enable the sham - meantime they can barely get an audience at Canadian competitions, let alone frenzied VM fans, and some of the marketing strategems have actually turned fans off. So - sham = totally useless, and persists now only to justify itself.

    Denny Coughlin - don't know.

    Don't know either if WP authorized SC's "platonic" parenthetical. They're idiots if so.

    Jessica Dube - she never dumped Bryce for Scott but I believe that after Bryce's injury and her quitting the partnership they were done. She's more of a girl's girl than a guy's girl so I don't know her romantic status now that she and Bryce are no longer skating together.

  6. 1. "implicitly bash VM's training mates" - What did Moir's family say that bashed training mates?

    2. "the Virtues are neck deep in it as well. The Moirs are the public face." - I know nothing about Tessa's family. You never even see them. Why is that?

    3. Was Tessa faking the quad injury at 2011 4C's? If so, why? In the video, it seems very weird that she skates away from Scott without telling him "Hey, I'm hurt" and he keeps skating, oblivious. Then at the boards with their coaches, Tessa doesn't say anything at all.

  7. Yes, I believe Tessa faked her quad spasm and I believe the withdrawal was planned. In addition to your other remarks, Tessa didn't even rub her quad or favor that leg. Her stroking was smooth and even. And she bent/stretched that thigh to take a bow.

    Look at Maksim Chmerkovsky afflicted with the exact same problem on DWTs while performing live with Kirstie Alley - he was in agony and it was just a spasm.

    I think they went to the 4CCs in 2011 to see how their short program (a new part of ice dance) stacked up against Meryl and Charlie's internationally, and Tessa was in no way prepared to compete the long.

    Tessa's family isn't in skating the same way as the Moirs - the Moirs are coaches, they run a skating camp, all their kids are figure skaters. Jim Virtue was on the board of SC Western Ontario and the Virtues are a sports-minded family but not a specifically figure skating family the way the Moirs are. Besides, it makes a good team to have one family draw the public spotlight while what the other family is doing goes under the radar, especially where the sham is concerned.

    Bashing VM's training mates: After Worlds 2011, there was a Carol Moir, Alma Moir & friends discussion on Carol Moir's public facebook wall which she knows can be seen by all the fans. Alma Moir called them "10" (Meryl and Charlie) and said let's have each team skate the other's program and see who the real dancers are. The tone was extremely sour grapes. There's nothing wrong with standing up for what you've skated but considering the relationship between the two teams and how D/W have never bitched, it was poor form. Also, I bashed them for it because if you google back to the days of Berezhnaya & Sikhuerlidze versus Sale & Pelletier, the Moirs were in the forefront of incredible bitching over B&S getting the gold. I think a fair reading of that competition would show that B&S's program had a higher level of difficulty, that David Pelletier had an illegal hold on Jamie in a lp lift and that if the teams switched programs S&P couldn't have handled B&S's short program or long. But because Anton S. had a glitch on one double axel landing, the Moirs carried on in the media about oh how unfair, and never mind everything else B&S did on the ice. Figure skaters above all know that a stumble does not determine who should lose or win - everything is weighed. Or Patrick Chan wouldn't have any gold medals, for one thing.

    It was a double standard. They'd bitched back then over a team with a more difficult program winning because they thought one stumble made S&P the winners.

    Tessa's energy flagged at the end of Worlds 2011 and they got a bit sloppy but hell with that, they should have won. It's a very small-minded attitude these people often display, self-absorbed and self-serving. Also this weird inability to reason that is visible in the higher ups at SC on down.

  8. At 4C's - I'm wondering if Tessa knew that they were going to lose after she fell out of the twizzle, so she just faked the quad spasm to withdraw so they wouldn't be scored. It would look bad on them to be Oly champs and lose to D/W going into World's. So fake an injury and you have WD but no losing score. Whatever the rationale, it was a poor decision because their stamina was not built up to the level of D/W and they lost World's anyway. If the Moirs think that you can be in less than peak condition but still deserve to win, they are delusional.

    I believe that the griping from that camp has influenced scores in more than one occasion. If you are known as a griper then maybe the judges will throw in a little something extra just to keep them at bay. I was unaware about the Moir's comments on the pairs scandal - this explains a lot about their whole M.O. With the Moirs whole lives revolving around figure skating, they are like the American version of the Kennedy's. A "royal" family within the federation who get what they want whether or not it is deserved. With Tessa's family being under the radar she appears on the surface to not be involved in the pettiness, but I believe she just enjoys that perception and in fact is very involved.

    True, you never hear D/W complain about anything. They looked a little mad backstage after losing Olys but they never said anything bad and always act grateful to be participating, like their comments about medals not counting after the earthquake in Japan. It is probably very difficult to hold your tongue when you are frustrated, but it is all a PR game, and D/W get it whereas SC and V/M camp don't.

    After you brought it up I noticed that the USFSA does indeed have a message of inclusion - their ads show beginner skaters being just as important as the champions. Compared to the SC officials who have no lives but to butt-kiss three favorite athletes.

    1. "I believe that the griping from that camp has influenced scores in more than one occasion."

      I don't agree with this. This is that eternal discussion on skating message boards about how easily the judges are influenced by such-and-such comments and/or circumstances. I highly doubt the Moirs really have any kind of influence over the judges. Throughout V/M's career they've been fairly judged and I think we can thank COP for that.

      Where I do think you are right is the Moir's leverage within the SC Federation for special treatment (not unfair scores from judges). This has been evident in SC's involvement in the sham. For example, announcing some years back at a competition, through those skatebuzz earpieces (sorry, forget what you call those), that Scott and Jessica were dating; finding ways to insert "Moir and Dube" in print articles and interviews; Debbi's overseeing the "kiss" during the post-FD celebrations at the Olympics; finding ways to declare V/M are platonic, etc. And who in SC makes sure the jumbotron/TV shows Jessica with the Moirs during any competition in Canada? The TV camera at those venues doesn't waste its time searching out the family members of all the other skaters - nope, just Jessica Dube sitting with the Moirs. They've made a point of making sure that happens. And of course as this blog has pointed out, by extension Miss Dube gets all sorts of special considerations and promotion making her look as good as possible, contrary to what's true about her skating history - all due to the Moir's influence in the Federation. These are just some examples I can think of off the top of my head, I'm sure SC has its hands dirty with this in many many other ways.

      That is special treatment and consideration for the Moir-skating-family, and how wonderful that they happen to have some skater-stars. It looks like SC can't do enough stupid things just to make sure the Moirs are taken care of. And now they've all made a complete hash of V/M's PR and sponsorship opportunities, to say nothing of the way they're making Scott and Tessa look like people who are dishonest and opportunistic. It saddens me to see Scott and Tessa just going along with this and not taking control in setting things right.

    2. "Miss Dube gets all sorts of special considerations and promotion making her look as good as possible, contrary to what's true about her skating history" -- Exactly, I don't know why they pick her of all people to go along with this, when there are better skaters out there. Maybe she's the only one desperate enough?

    3. Remember how far back this thing goes - to at least spring of 2007. Jessica was a Skate Canada heroine for how plucky she was after the face slash, for returning quickly to the ice, and for skating with Bryce (the face slash wasn't his fault but when it's your face and his blade, it's the one with the blade who is going to feel guilty). She'd had motivational issues prior to the face slash but afterwards seemed to confirm her sterling character.

      Then factor in her spoken English wasn't the best back then and the Moirs speak no French, but the Moirs are friends with the Davisons, and Bryce cares for her - and nobody back then was able to predict how delightful it would be to be trapped with her in this mess for 4 years. D&D were budding stars too, considered to have Olympic 2010 podium potential, a bit more fragile psychologically than VM, and also appeared to confirm their potential by getting bronze at Worlds 2008.

      Of course it's idiotic to take the top pairs team and the top dance team and just switch partners but that's exactly the sort of formulaic, over obvious ploy Skate Canada would embrace while ignoring the obvious pitfalls. It was so useful logistically! What could go wrong?

    4. I believe Tessa and Scott flubbed the twizzles because the program wasn't ready. They had no intention of competing it/completing it - it was b.s. that they even pretended they were going to skate the fd. The whole thing reeked of phony, from the run-up to the 4CCs, SC's tweets, the facebooks, and the performance itself. They were just going through the motions and face acting. They didn't even react when they bobbled the twizzles, it was like they had blinders on and were just place marking til they got to the part where they were going to bail.

    5. That's sure what it looked like. It was creepy to see Tessa just standing at the boards, staring at her coaches, not saying anything. I'm not sure if she was just waiting for the camera guy to go away or what, before she started talking.

    6. If a skater is thinking about dropping out and they only have 2 minutes to decide before disqualification, they would be talking to their coaches, explaining what they feel, should they go on, etc. She just stands there with that Stepford look. It's hard to tell if Scott is in on it or not by the way he is acting, but he probably is. Then he get's all this adoration "Aww, look at how he cares for her, rubbing her back, he is the sweetest partner."

    7. Of course Scott's in on it - he's as aware as she is that they can't do the program - it's too soon for the lifts and even if she were set for the lifts she wasn't in condition to complete the skate. She was running out of gas at Worlds and that was in April. The whole thing was staged before they ever got to Taipei.

    8. "it was like they had blinders on and were just place marking til they got to the part where they were going to bail."

      What was also really suspicious was how they subsequently announced they had reformatted the lift that caused the problem, the lift that gave Tessa difficulty with her thigh, blah blah.... and that now the "new" way to do the lift was just a straight upside-down lift.

      So what happens when that FD is finally unveiled at Worlds? That lift that supposedly "caused" Tessa's problem was left intact, in the exact same place in the program. The one that was easily identifiable as the "upside-down" lift was later in the program and didn't seem to be related at all to that first one they claimed caused her muscle spasm. The whole thing was weird.

      But it was a fabulous FD, I wish we could have seen it grow throughout a season.

    9. That's right- the lift they bailed on because of the "spasm" stayed the same, the upside down lift is a familiar lift they did later - they've done variations since 2007-2008.

      But mostly if you're going to have a thigh spasm, learn to act and move as if you have a thigh spasm. Look stoic. Focused, tense, something. Instead she looked blank-faced and I imagine later Scott was happy that a reporter played up he looked "frustrated" (Which he didn't, in my eyes) as that would help sell that he wanted to continue. I also don't believe for a second that if Tessa were in actual pain Scott would try to convince her to continue - not for a second. The woman has skated on legs that were on fire, and he knows it. Few figure skaters have had to skate with that type of specific pain, where the pain from every push into the ice with your blade was ameliorated only by adrenalin. That whole bit about how he wanted her to carry on was absurd. If it were real, that's the last thing he'd do.

    10. "The one that was easily identifiable as the "upside-down" lift was later in the program and didn't seem to be related at all to that first one they claimed caused her muscle spasm. The whole thing was weird."

      Yeah, and the weirdest thing it's that they said right after the withdrawal that they changed their lift because of a Tessa's pelvic discomfort.
      It started as a "split lift" and ended with an "upside-down one", their words: "heavy for the whole body there" or something like that. I wonder if it is something related to the baby.
      Anyway, I believe the whole 4CC thing was planned, Igor and Marina seemed a little bit careless about Tessa's "unexpected quad spasm".

  9. Can you paraphrase what was said in "Menage a Trois sur la Glace” for the non-French speakers?

    1. Jessica begins by saying I'm Jessica Dube and I skate with Bryce and date Scott Moir, and that's the way it is. Bryce says that it's hard to see them together (I think he says boyfriend and doesn't mention Scott's name) and they used to be friends and are not anymore. Jessica says she and Scott don't hide but at competitions they each have their own jobs to do (the inference we're meant to take, I believe, is that just because we don't see them together at competitions doesn't mean they're not a couple - they're working).

      What most fans took from it were Bryce's remarks. Fans took that and ran with it. What I believe was the intention was to create a pretext for why, at Canadian competitions, fans wouldn't necessarily see Jessica and Scott hanging out around the venue, despite being a couple.

    2. Didn't Bryce also say Jessica and Scott had dated behind his back?

      Whatever SC thought they were doing with that interview, it was unbelievably unprofessional to share that kind of personal garbage. But then to have Bryce and Jessica go on and on about how difficult the "triangle" had made things for them personally and all the inferences made about Bryce's best-friend ("but not anymore") and former lover who delighted in rubbing Bryce's face in God, how stupid can a Federation be to think this is good PR for its skaters? Jessica and Scott came off looking like assholes, which was confirmed in the minds of the fans with all the subsequent revolting facebook photo spams.

    3. I don't believe Bryce did say they went behind his back. His two key points were that it was hard to see them together and he and Jessica's "bf" had been friends or best friends and weren't any more. That was the kicker. That set up Jessica and Scott to look like assholes with the facebook spam, and it made Scott and Bryce look like phonies with their buddy/buddy display at Canadians and WTT. Why bother setting that up (that the friendship was ruined) - if you aren't following through? Furthermore, as the Jessica/Scott relationship had first surfaced in 2007 and everyone could see things were fine, why come out with this shit almost two years later and make a soap opera out of it? It was gross.

      They are short term thinkers. Even all the pieces of the sham are compartmentalized so they never consider how it works as a whole. They never considered that once Bryce said that, the parading of Jessica/Scott would make the two of them look like pricks. Because they only had a limited agenda for what Bryce and Jessica were saying - to explain to snooping fans why Jessica and Scott wouldn't be seen together much at competitions. Bryce and Jessica are competing and focused on that job, so best Jessica/Scott avoid each other a bit so as not to bother Bryce, and Scott and Jessica are both competing separately - so remember fans, a competition is work. There's the excuse for why this "we don't hide" couple aren't around together much in Canada at the times when the most fans are around checking things out.

      Then of course stick Jessica in the stands and spam the shit out of facebook in the run up to the Olympics, rubbing Bryce's face in it in the eyes of the fans.

      They are so freaking stupid. And I completely agree - it was unbelieveably unprofessional but that's how SC does everything - they're unprofessional and pompous. Debbi asking D&D if they're a couple - she's one of the organization's directors for God's sake! Skatebug answering a Jessica/Scott question by a fan. The sports shrink re-confirming to us all that Jessica and Bryce were lovers. Imagine if the USFSA officials were talking about and asking their skaters this stuff. It would be ridiculous.

      Maybe this spins off Skate Canada's avowed belief, explained by Mike Slipchuck, that personal stories create a connection between the audience and the skaters and invest them in the skaters' skating. And of course, personal stories have to go right into the bedroom, right Debbi, Bill, Mike?

      Says a whole lot more about how creepy they are than it does about the public.

      And look how well it worked.

  10. I'm just curious, what's your opinion on what this might be?

  11. Anon 10:10,

    Whatever it is, it looks like Skate Canada is not involved and that can only be a good thing. :)

  12. Have you seen the video of her blowing him a kiss and him catching it? 3:22
    Totally platonic!

  13. Anon 10:10,

    How'd you stumble upon that? I've always thought that Tessa's other name is Megan. Kate still lives in Michigan.

  14. Kate might be a relatively recent resident of Michigan but her story about having moved there after Tessa and Scott started training with Marina and Igor was bogus. Just meant to stopper up speculation about two very close teen-agers on their own in the States. It was part of their post-Olympic lying spree. Mommy was there as a cock blocker, so no worries! They've always been platonic, ever since puberty!

    Kate could well have good reason to be in Michigan now. Although in the Windsor Star article Tessa is as ever mentioning how much as possible she likes to be on campus. She always manages to make it come off as if she likes to be away from Scott as much as possible, and she keeps so very busy off ice so as to head off even the possibility she and Scott could have inappropriate moments off ice. I don't know how that girl's head works except at age 22 she acts like she wants to do anything but be around Scott - mommy, school, sleeping late - whatever it takes to let us know she's way to busy being balanced to have any meaningful off-ice experiences with her partner.

    I don't mean to bash UoW but it's not UoM and from what I'm told not the classic collegiete experience they're attempting to portray. I think the choice of school is more location and citizenship.

    Wasn't it just wikipedia that kept harping on "Megan"?

  15. When the mini Wikipedia battle of Tessa's full name was going on, the person who kept changing it to Tessa Jane McCormick Virtue was doing so from a Canton IP. I've been inclined to believe that is indeed her real name. Not sure where Megan sprang from in the first place.

    Are Tessa's parents separated? I remember someone, somewhere speculating on that earlier in the season. Seems odd that Kate lives in Canton, unless there is a good reason that she needs to be there.

  16. As to where Kate lives, she also claims to have moved to Michigan when she didn't, so what they say about themselves is never to be taken at face value - they lie for their own reasons about the simplest stuff - such as where they live. I think they could be telling the truth here - and only now - that Kate lives with or near them simply because she says she's retired, Tessa, her youngest, is 22, Jim Virtue hasn't been visible with the families at events since the Olympics and even then didn't sit with Kate and Jordan, and just as Gordeeva and Grinkov managed to balance it all with the help of grandma, having a grandma available can help make everything work for VM too.

  17. I think a good comparison for figure skating in terms of popularity in Canada is curling. My mom's a huge fan and this week is the women's nationals. Sponsors galore and pitch perfect "curling is fun and for everyone, you should try it!" ads.

    1. That's a great way to sell curling, but I don't think "fun for everyone, you should try it!" would appeal to Skate Canada. Skate Canada is star-driven. The personnel wants to be stars - Debbi, Bill, and Mike - and are very impressed with themselves. Their attempts at publicity are a weird combination of self-important, bombastic and dated. Skate Canada wants us to be IMPRESSSED. And I just don't think that's the way to sell figure skating, especially if those you're meant to be impressed by include its directors. It doesn't appear as if either the public or potential sponsors are impressed, so maybe they should try a different approach. It's nice to hear that other sports have some common sense.

    2. I forgot to mention that the CCA also has an elementary school "learn about curling" program.....sponsored by Capital One. Again, probably not Skate Canada's style...