I wanted to at least try and pull together some more of the reasons the sham has been as ridiculous as it is, and continues to be. And to observe that, while the Paul & Piper overkill stands out as bizarre if you look at it from a figure skating perspective, everything about it fits a familiar Skate Canada's pattern when seen from a Skate Canada's Stooges Think It's About Them perspective.
The Stooges look at their positions from a single perspective - Turn That Spotlight On Myself. Everything comes back to that. But, many of the opportunities Skate Canada's personnel used to have to shove themselves into the spotlight are at least temporarily closed off, and that's because of the blog.
It's not because the blog is all that. But the blog is on point, and not only are fans reading it, but so are skaters, parents, media, folks at Skate Canada and others who know that the premise of the blog is true but maybe haven't looked all that closely at other stuff. These people aren't going to go "wow, what a terrific blog!" They were already aware of a lot of the stuff here.
But with the blog being public and anonymous, and showing this stuff off, it
doesn't make Debbi & Co. look very good. It's too obvious that they're shady, that they push themselves forward in mortifying ways. While personal politics are usually something you just have to suck up, having Debbi et al's mortifying, self-serving shenanigans showcased here in front of everyone who knows them, coupled with Debbi & Co. being the taker types versus the giver types (unless the "giving" is personally advantageous to Debbi) has made Debbi & Co. change up how they play the game a little bit. But the game and its goals haven't changed.
What we've learned is this: originally it appeared that Skate Canada was staffed at the highest level with a bunch of self-important clowns who had no idea how to do their job.
Now it seems that Skate Canada is staffed at the highest level with a bunch of narcissistic clowns who were never expected to do the job.
Debbi's director titles are slippery - they've changed and morphed. Because they don't matter. Call her anything.
But for a couple of years now she's been the Director of Business Development who hasn't done any such thing or even tried. She couldn't even prep Scott and Tessa properly to promote London businesses at an appearance set up for that purpose.
So what's she doing?
She's collecting a salary and getting her face on camera, getting her name checked; she's glomming onto skating events with her huge ass microphone so as to hitch a ride on the medalists' spotlight; in the past she used to dig up a bunch of personnel and throw them on camera so Debbi and they could smarm at each other and she could pad out her video presence on Skatebuzz, and also over on Skatebuzz they'd use screen caps of skaters and events to get fans to click on the video only to find out there was no skater and no event, just Debbi talking about it.
So that's why Debbi can't clean up her act. There's no job for her to do. She's only got the act, and that, plus perks (salary, access) are the only things that interest her. That's why they keep doing stupid things, instead of regrouping, improving their job performance, and maybe doing a better job of pr. Better pr would eliminate Debbi. Piper & Paul are willing to be the means for Debbi & Co. to invent pretexts to get Debbi & Co.'s faces and names in the spotlight on twitter, on skatebuzz, on facebooks, on cbc.ca, etc. Debbi can get all dressed up next to Piper & Paul all dressed up to welcome Thomas Sabo to the Skate Canada sponsor family (isn't Thomas Sabo just about an only child at this point?). I don't remember before that Skate Canada threw "Welcome to Our Family!" sponsor parties. I don't remember a Kozy Shack Shindig.
The flip side is - why were Piper & Paul chosen as the foils? Skate Canada has a lot of figure skaters.
I don't think they just like Piper & Paul so much more. I think the other skaters are keeping Debbi at arms' length, while Piper & Paul rush into her embrace. That's why they're the chosen, because they're useful to her. She can use them as her platform at London Worlds, her little crack in the door. Debbi can't, can't not be in the spotlight at London Worlds. She'll die. That type of spotlight is oxygen to Debbi.
She can pose next to them. Invent outreaches for them that she facilitates. Then once she has that standing, she can look around for further opportunities.
So, while it's disappointing that other ice dance teams (the 800 lbs. gorilla VM aside) are not getting this push, this attention, or perks such as "Here's your bronze medal and trip to worlds, and you don't even have to skate first!", fans of those teams can at least comfort themselves that their favorites have the good sense to keep Debbi at arm's length, whenever it's expedient and possible to do so. The price they pay is - well, they will live in the shadow of Piper & Paul, because Skate Canada has only one publicity/communications department, only one person truly running that show, and that person has a set of requirements that must be met before she'll bestow the spotlight.
There's a corrollary to this that goes to the sham.
You know Charlie White's recent interview where he mentioned the moms go to every single one of their international competitions (there are some very financially fortunate skating teams training in Canton). He said they love having them there, but also "It's a way for them to be part of it." IOW, the parents put in a lot of groundwork, paved the way, made it possible, sacrificed, and this is a way for them to share in the rewards. The figure skating career is a huge part of the parents' lives even though their "kids" are adults. That comes with the territory - a kid in skating is a massive investment in family resources before there's any payback.
(Although I wonder if parents who scrimp and save to put their kid through private school, mortgage the house to put their kid through an elite college, mortgage it again for grad school, then lend them the $$ for a home down payment then want to be part of their kid's medical career. I do think the fact that figure skaters are performers make the parents extra eager to be part of the experience when things start getting good.)
Scott and Tessa hail from a tight knit community. Not only is it a small community Londonwise, over by Ilderton the Moirs are by far the most prominent family and figure skating is an extremely popular pasttime. A lot of the people on Scott's facebook who don't seem like they ever were in figure skating maybe were never part of a Skate Canada national team but they certainly were figure skaters at some point in their young lives. And Scott and Tessa are the ones who hit pay dirt - talent, opportunity, timing, success, gold medals. Everybody feels part of it.
How do they participate now that the home town heroes have hit the big time? All the cousins, the aunts, the family friends, the parents of other skaters not as successful, etc., the ones who pitched in to help in the early days or just showed up in support?
They have to participate! No question about it.
Facebook. Inflate and hype up a problem (SCOTT AND TESSA NEED PRIVACY), use facebook to solve it, and everybody participates. When the facebook sham is toned down, how do the working stiffs who are Scott's buddies get to participate in their friend's success? How do the rest of their wide circle of acquaintances, friends and family broadcast to the world what great kids and people Scott and Tessa are cause they knew them way back when? And how do they distinguish themselves when there are hometown events or skating competitions close to home? Well, with live action participation, all sham related. To extend the participation, the friends can help set up the bait (drop photos of Scott and Tessa dancing, for instance).
Without a sham, what do we have? We've got a couple of skaters who are financially solid - no fund raisers a la Patrick Chan and Jessica Dube required. We've got a couple of figure skaters who train at an elite, international training center in Detroit, USA, no intention of going anywhere else. We've got a dance team who are in many ways, sufficient unto themselves pyschologically and emotionally, because they're a couple and have been for years and constantly nurture that bond.
Where's the opportunity for participation for all the people who had a part in Scott and Tessa's success when they were coming up? Who want to feel needed and part of it?
I think it's human nature, and I think the sham served that purpose and big time. It maximized the number of people who could be part of it with very little time and attention investment on the part of Scott and Tessa. Throw some photos up and cue the chorus from Scott's hometown and parts beyond jumping on the photos to coo and reinforce the sham for Scott and Tessa. Let them host some photos on THEIR facebooks too, or elsewhere on the web (twitter. Tumblr. etc.).
Look at the enthusiasm over M'ovember. Why is Scott the captain - isn't he a guy too busy to even maintain a sporadic presence on a fan facebook? Why not one of the other guys or girls, and Scott can be on THEIR team (thus using his name to help attract donations, if that's really the goal).
And I think this is another reason the sham ain't ending. There's a second Olympics, and basically a way for Scott and Tessa to pay back their legions of hometown and other supporters, family members and friends is to find a way for them to "help" and participate, and the sham really meets all the requirements.
Just a reminder - Worlds 2013 in London. Scott and Tessa couldn't cough up the names of any businesses to promote when they made that appearance to promote London businesses, but we can bet our asses that Worlds in London will be the opportunity they've waited for to break out side door and back channel set ups and stings the likes of which we haven't seen since Canadian Nationals 2010 and Monaco. Worlds in London, they're from London, a lot of their friends in London will like to share in the experience.
I've also reconsidered this:
|Tessa's idea of romance is someone who can make her laugh|
with whom you can be completely yourself.
Scott's is being with your other half that everyone has in the World.