Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Sports Gene - a/k/a logical fallacies in the Davis White narrative


Charlie White retweeted the above, which links to this:

Root of Athletic Success - NY Times Review

I haven't read the book that's reviewed, but reading the review Charlie linked, it focuses on athletes who may not be the most naturally talented, but compensate by putting in the work. Or, as Tanith Belbin would say, "puttin in the work." Even after "Everyone else gone home."

If you're not gifted compared to, say, your nearest rivals, but you put in Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours (Gladwell postulates this is the magical number for true mastery of a skill), you may end up the winner.

It appears to me that the usual DW narrative presents them as gosh darn hardworking ice dancers.

But that's kind of like Gilles/Poirier presenting themselves as skaters with "personality". Implicit in that label is other skaters lack personality. Because Gilles/Poirier claim personality as their signature, they must  have the MOST personality. That's simply not true of Gilles/Poirier.

Likewise, in the narrative of Davis/White as hard-working athletes who leave it all on the ice, there's the implication that they work the hardest. Just as because their apparent distinguishing characteristics as skaters is that they're fast and powerful, the implication is that they're the MOST fast and powerful.

But they're not. And they're not the hardest working.

What if the naturally talented athletes/rivals work as hard - or harder - as the less gifted athletes/dancers? What if they also are "puttin in the time."? What if, in fact, they thrive on discipline, on challenge, on setting impossible goals and meeting or exceeding them? What if they're so gifted they do this every season, versus doing the kind of hard work that involves repetition of the same stuff you already know?

It appears to me that the US media narrative, and DW's narrative, is that Davis and White are the hardest working, and, through hard work, they've defeated - who? Beautiful dilettantes? Scott and Tessa who just roll out of bed and float through their practice on the strength of natural ability? Scott and Tessa who, like, say, Jessica Dube, never try new things? A lazy Scott and Tessa who "take a break" in the 4CC's fd and still expect to win (the reaction to that event was a red flag in SO many ways. SO many asses showing.)?

Scott and Tessa put in the hours AND take on riskier programs, elements, choreography. Davis and White put in the hours so that they can maintain their delivery of, essentially, a five year old program. Scott and Tessa have improved their speed and power to where even a casual observer can tell they're faster and more powerful than Davis and White - obviously so, all the while executing programs that are increasingly challenging both choreographically and athletically, with skating skills that any idiot can tell are superior to Davis and White's.

Did Scott and Tessa accomplish this over brunch in London?

Scott showed yet another improvement this season - his topline. How did that happen? At fashion shows? He didn't spend hours on the ice with the posture bar? Not for nothing, his topline looks natural, not like something he's thinking about or reminding himself to maintain. There's nothing stiff in it. His skating is as natural and spontaneous as it's always been. What kind of hours does it take to make something unnatural into something natural? What kind of hours PLUS talent for movement does it take? Is talent a dirty word now? Does it imply short cuts, coasting etc? Is talent supposed to be fair? Are we, as a teacher from Scott's old middle school, in an excess of Olympic zeal, once said, ALL supposed to be capable of Olympic gold if we work hard?

What happens when the less talented, but plucky supposed underdog works their ass off vis a vis a far more talented athlete that is working every bit as hard and, on top of that, working smarter? A lesser product plus hard work is more deserving than a superior product plus hard work? Is that the narrative for Davis White and Sochi gold?

I certainly hope they don't hammer down on that theme this year, because every time they do, the implication is Virtue Moir don't work as hard. And they know better. Virtue Moir submit themselves to types of training that DW shun, for example. Neither Davis nor White really wants to spend the time on ballet, which might at least improve their unison and alignment. Scott Moir doesn't strike me as somebody who would embrace ballet given his druthers, but his figure skating career is more important to him than his personal preferences, and he submits to training in that as well as training in myriad other ways that develop his skating. Is it unfair that when Scott applies himself to something like ballet, that he gets results, whereas when Charlie White tries ballet, it doesn't do much for him? Does that say something about ballet or does it say something about Charlie (and Meryl's) abilities?

This may be a season where the narrative is that talent is an unfair advantage.

114 comments:

  1. they work so hard and are so creative and original thats why they always repeat twizzles and lifts :)
    such hard work!1

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  2. If this were a television show, guarantee the fans would be complaining how "boring" it is that the writers would put Moir, the best male skater/dancer, with Virtue, the best female. And how they both have good looks and pleasing bodylines. And how the writers had to go and give them not only the best lifts, but also the best footwork, and the best pattern dances, the best twizzles, and spins as good as anyone else. Oh, and they do new stuff every year - and still better than anyone else. Best choreography reflecting the most dance styles. As gifted in dance as they are on the blade.

    This would be harped on as being unrealistic propping of these characters. Tessa would be called a Mary Sue, bland, and boring. They'd have to write in the injury narrative, just to give the other characters a chance!

    But this is real life, and in real life the ones who skate best that day are supposed to win. I don't care how they get there. If it's natural talent + laziness, natural talent + hard work, just hard work, it doesn't matter. They just have to skate the best. Which Davis/White don't. They don't skate at all.

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    1. OMG A++ That is EXACTLY what would happen. And is what's happening anyway. V/M are *too* good.

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    2. I don't care how they get there either. The "Sports Gene" review does appear to postulate that the 10,000 hours (or whatever diligent practice schedule) can compensate for natural talent. The issue it raises (or doesn't raise) is can it compensate for natural talent that is also putting in the 10,000?

      Jessica Dube might be a good "Sports Gene" case in point. She was a natural athlete and a natural skater with natural power. It was like she had a magnet in her center of gravity. As often as she messed up, she ought to have messed up many many more times, but that natural balance saved her ass. She threw away stuff Meagan Duhamel labored months and months to execute. But ultimately, Dube ended up losing to pairs skaters who also had a lot of natural talent and put in the work. I guess if she'd stayed in the game, the apparent "Sports Gene" narrative would have had Duhamel - a less natively talented skater - defeating her by dint of dogged application and training.

      If Scott and Tessa hadn't put in the work, it's possible they wouldn't have acquired the tremendous power they have now. Based on their skating from earlier in their career, that wasn't natural to them.

      I completely agree that the best ought to win. It doesn't matter if the second best works every day of their lives and the best roll out of bed into the rink - the best is the best. But, the reality is that most of the time in sports, the natively talented also work their asses off, and this "hard work" "leave it on the ice" narrative is full of shit. Gordeeva and Grinkov, for example, were apparently the only pairs skaters to show up for every practice in Lillehammer, including those scheduled for early morning. One time they were the only ones there.

      I also object to the idea that if you're breathless and sweating and near collapse, you tried harder than others. How absurd.

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    3. The reality is that if you subtracted Tessa and her classic looks and balanced proportions from Scott, and subtracted Scott's gift for music from Scott, he doesn't have classical body lines. He's slope-shouldered, which is not aesthetic for great lines. He's got short legs compared to his torso. Charlie has better proportions than Scott. Scott is a better dancer, a more natural mover, more musical, a better skater, and a better everything else, ice dance-wise, than Charlie. But it's not because he won the genetic lottery over Charlie.

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    4. BUT, I think some people believe that hard work = better. That's what the narrative is all about. Two athletes may begin with a native inequality. One gifted, the other not much more than a journeyperson. But, via puttin in the hours (and hours and hours) and working hard, the journeyperson can make up the difference and even win the edge - and prevail.

      That is really what's behind this narrative. Sure, Scott and Tessa are more talented. But Davis and White have worked hard while Scott and Tessa have been stuffing their faces with Lindt chocolate and raising their child. So that even if they're not as talented, they are skating better NOW. Does it matter if they're skating better because they're more talented, or because they worked harder? No. As it happens, skaters or other athletes who begin with ordinary gifts can work hard and end up more accomplished than skaters with more native talent.

      So this narrative argues more than that DW have worked hard and are more deserving. It is trying to cover a couple of bases. It acknowledges that VM have more natural talent. But it is trying to assert that thanks to DW's work ethic, DW have become better than Virtue and Moir.

      The problem with that is they haven't become better than Virtue and Moir. And furthermore, they most certainly have NOT worked harder than Virtue and Moir. By any objective standard, Virtue and Moir are much better than they are. The whole thing is attempting to sort of cram Virtue and Moir, by implication, into the role of talented skaters who were idle and took DW (and their own talents) for granted, and woke up too late to the reality that DW's work ethic had placed them past VM's reach. And that's a crock of shit. VM have worked every bit as hard, put in as many or more hours, and are light years better ice dancers than DW at every single competition where the two confront each other.

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  3. Also wth is this person's problem?? Their obsession with Scott is creepy as balls https://twitter.com/chay_bat/status/368005383198998528 and annoying as hell

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    1. Well if you can't attack his skating - then let's launch personal attacks. The immaturity level and hypocrisy of some of these fans is so high-schoolish and well borders on bullying. I really believe that a lot of this aggression with V/M is based on jealousy and well let's tear them down mentality. Really this is what you get off on? Wow...Unfortunately too that no one in the skating community has had the balls to respond to some of these type of tweets against any skater - not just Scott....some of these ubers who hate Scott actually love other skaters..can you imagine if Jeremy Abbott or Adam Rippon actually responded to these haters and said - yeah - this is not cool..of course it's not their job - but just once - push back - but I digress...

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    2. She's single-handedly trying to keep the Scott Moir hates ________ meme alive.

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    3. ^thats so pathetic everyone has moved on except for her

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  4. Champ camp starts tomorrow... get ready for deluge of tweets that SAY how prepared/wonderful/amazing/hardworking/FAST!/light/original/creative DW are! Tell, don't show :)

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  5. Idgaf if Scott is single, gay, married to Tessa, dating his coach, having a fling with Cassandra or whatever, they need to get themselves a media mouthpiece and start talking about how Scott has worked so long and hard to improve his topline, how hard Tessa works to keep herself in such amazing condition, how excited they are about their programs this year and basically everything but their unique relationship.

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    1. That will never happen. Moirville is like the handicap a mature racehorse has to carry when they break from the gate. Scott and Tessa are looking at their second Olympic games and as ever Moirville demands and expects a prominent role. Where else can they contribute but the sham? Marina and Arctic Edge don't need them. Maria Mountain and Jennifer Swan don't need them. Apparently it doesn't suffice for them to live their lives and help out when actually needed. Nope. They require that a starring role be created and maintained for them. It's an old tradition to create problems for special interests or friends at court to involve themselves with or solve. The sham is Moirville's. They own Scott and Tessa.

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    2. Why Moirville would choose to orchestrate and participate in something so counterproductive for Tessa and Scott makes no sense. In case they haven't noticed, the landscape isn't quite the same as it was four years ago when them cooing over photos of Scott and Jessica won the gold medal.

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    3. It's not about what it accomplishes. It's about THEM. They need to be involved. The areas where they're actually needed in the forefront of the Olympic prep don't actually exist, so the sham has to forge forward. Apparently it's not acceptable to be loving family members and neighbors/members of the community with their own lives who are available if needed, but if otherwise give the skaters' space.

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    4. 6:30, the idiocy that prompted participation in a sham in the first place would cancel out any rational thoughts or behaviors now that the landscape has changed.

      I don't understand it either. But that's what they do. It's practically become a family business. Fly out the fake GF to family vacations and weddings, make sure to take some photos, post on social media, deny deny deny in interviews. Repeat.

      Skating? An orchestrated media assault on VM's skating? A scandal in icedance judging? Huh? What's that? Here's another photo of Scott and his GF. Enjoy. :)

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    5. So, there's this: www.lfpress.com/2013/08/18/cameras-on-as-virtue-and-moir-prepare-for-sochi

      I'm not sure it bodes well for the documentary. :/

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    6. As if there were any hope for the docu-series in the first place??? It's just going to be used as another and bigger conduit for their made-up narrative of their lives.

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    7. 7:06 it's more than idiocy, it's selfishness. Hard core selfishness. They're using their own loved ones (Scott/Tessa) for their own ego needs and I don't know what else, even if it creates hardship for their loved ones (and of course, Scott and Tessa themselves are enablers). The fact that Scott and Tessa are enablers doesn't excuse them. They choose to keep this up. They choose their own needs over what would be easier for the skaters themselves. They could let Scott and Tessa off the hook. Six years on, and they haven't and won't.

      The more the sham persists, the more blatantly obvious it becomes how superfluous the Moirs actually are at this point to Scott and Tessa's success, but they don't let go. Every skater needs and appreciates a loving family to ground them. That's not a good enough role for Moirville. The reason fans are shoved into the role they're assigned - intrusive, critical, deluded - is because by assigning that role to fans the Moirs can tell themselves it's not them. But it's them. It's not us. They can project all their issues onto us and it doesn't make it so, and furthermore everyone can see it.

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    8. What the hell is Pyette's continuing obsession with referencing the London Knights when he writes about Scott and Tessa? And did he skip looking at her sportsnet layout her swimsuit was blue, not black.

      At least he referred to fans as having a "lingering" feeling they should be real life sweethearts, although I continue to find the continued ignoring of their child very sad. I hope they back up this decision by keeping the nieces and families out of the camera frame, otherwise there's something wrong with these people - more than we already know.

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    9. wtf is that article jfc will v/m ever get good press

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    10. "Virtue and Moir are part of figure skating’s best rivalry with American training mates Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The Canadians couldn’t beat their foes last season and lost the world championship at home at Budweiser Gardens in the spring.

      There’s always the back stories of Virtue’s past injuries and willpower to overcome them, Moir’s intermittent jousting with judging, the duo’s different personalities and approach to figure skating, and the lingering belief the skaters should be real-life sweethearts."

      Nice...Is Ryan on the USFSA's payroll? WTF - Scott's intermittent jousting with judging? Jesus Christ - you might as well label Scott Moir the Don Cherry of skating...and the duo's different personalities - what Tessa is a saint and Scott is the devil? And god forbid this idiot doesn't mention the London Knights in an article?

      It's nice to know that this is the best that London, Ontario has to offer in terms of sports journalism. Wow.

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    11. OC@7:35

      I mean, is he paid per London's Knight reference? Is it required for him to mention the Knights in all articles in order for him to keep his job?

      The lingering belief line still bugs me, and I have no faith in these people to keep the nieces and rest of the family off camera this season. The only person who won't be included is, once again, poor little Toddler Moir.

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    12. ETA: I thought this line was interesting: " Sometimes, I’m not even sure our family and friends know what it is we do when we leave for Canton to train every week.”

      Maybe if the family and friends were more interested in the actual skating than the sham.

      Tessa had two bathing suits for the shoot. The blue one piece and a black two piece. I wonder if she she had the black suit on beneath the jersey and shorts outfit on the bike.

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    13. Anon here at 7:40 pm. Hey Bob Fritz - V/M's agent - please start doing your job and read the article - is Scott Moir really John McEnroe in disguise? No you say....Jim Virtue - the guy who has probably bankrolled this adventure - this is how you want your team portrayed - a guy who is a lawyer and whose kids were all basically involved in a variety of sports - from your own newspaper? Can you imagine Marina Zoeuva reading this article and her impressions? Basically you want to continue the same narrative...well you might as well expect the same type of judging then...

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    14. The whole article sucks. Are we supposed to believe Scott didn't know about Tessa's photoshoot or they didn't talk about it before "they went on their separate vacation." Give me a fucking break.

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    15. I was actually surprised she didn't specify separate vacations. I guess you can take the "didn't talk much" thing as that though.

      But here's an idea...is there any way that subconciously Moirville doesn't really care if they win gold again? We've talked about how it's obvious that they want ownership of V/M and are perhaps jealous of Marina & Co.
      Maybe them being possibly the best ice dance team of all time is more than Ilderton bargained for. If V/M weren't from there, they'd probably be D/W fans as per the "attainable" theory that's been floated. I just can't figure out why Moirville would be selfish to the point of actually truly hurting their chances at winning. Whatever the reality is, these people are a piece of work all right.

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    16. It's funny that you have a team that is extremely coachable and have done exceptionally well. - which is the hard part...then the PR aspect which should be the easier of the two to succeed in is a total failure. The product itself (the skating) is the best in the world. You have two people that respect each other - so that's easy. So why the hell do you need a marketing tool and this need to hopefully be entertaining for this documentary, Tessa? Wasted energy. Be yourself. Be confident. Move forward. Moirville - what can I say - let the skating be the show period...

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    17. ^they didn't talk much about it because there is nothing to talk about. scott doesn't have a say on what tessa does with her life. the media needs to stop attempting to portray him as a controlling partner.

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    18. Ryan Pyette sounds like a freaking tabloid writer.

      What a ridiculous, stupid article. Bathing suits. Scott the funny guy. Tessa excited to have cameras following her around and she hopes it'll be entertaining.

      You know what, this is the kind of stuff Tessa and Scott are comfortable talking about when they're interviewed, well one can't entirely blame Pyette for not writing about them as if they were true athletes. It all sounds like a joke.

      As always, not an intelligent word anywhere about icedancing. I'm trying very hard not to dread the documentary. This kind of article isn't helping.

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    19. I'm dreading right along with you. I'm wondering what kinds of crazy scenarios they've concocted for our viewing pleasure.

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    20. Well said anon at 9:33 pm.

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    21. Anon at 9:48 pm - perhaps another trip to a marriage consellor - hahaha? or tessa going to a fortune teller to see whether V/M win in Sochi...yeah it can be weird...lol

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    22. 9:31, I don't know where you're getting this idea that the media is attempting to portray Scott as a controlling partner. He may or may not have an opinion on Tessa posing in revealing outfits and as her husband, he's entitled to have one. It doesn't say that Scott was unhappy with her decision or that he tried to stop her. They do a lot of things wrong in the media but I think their mutual respect is always well represented.

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    23. husband or not he is not entitled to anything.

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    24. 10:34

      I read 10:19 as saying Scott is entitled to an *opinion.* It's not the same as saying he's entitled to tell Tessa what to do.

      In that case, yes he is entitled to an opinion. Whether anyone cares about it or wishes to follow it is another matter entirely.

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    25. What do you mean he's not entitled to anything? He's not entitled to have an opinion on anything at all? Have you ever been in a relationship? Because that's not how most relationships work. You don't have to do what your partner tells/advices/wants you to do, but to expect them not to have an opinion at all is unrealistic. And I mean this in a broad sense.

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    26. As to the fact that their p.r. should be simple and straightforward, that doesn't serve Moirville's interests. They're interested in complicating things like p.r. More for them.

      When Worlds was in London last year, Scott described every person in the venue knowing who he was, and how exhausting it was. Meantime his family is hawking yellow sweatshirts so VM can be drowned in a sea of yellow in the stands and all over the venue, and Moirs are all over the venue themselves.

      These people dismiss anything that's inconvenient for them to acknowledge.

      oc

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    27. Well said, 10:56.

      A marriage (or any serious romantic relationship) isn't going to work if one party or the other is going off and doing things without consulting the other. It's not about control; it's about respect and partnership and being on the same page. Discussing things and having your partners input in a decision is not the same as a partner making a decision for the other. I'm sure VM discussed the shoot, and Scott was entitled to an opinion as Tessa's husband, but I'm sure the decision was her decision to make.

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    28. I don’t feel sorry for them and I don’t think this is bad press. This was an interview for Tessa to plug her latest projects. She chose the topics, and they weren’t skating. Let’s face it, VM are not pushing a skating narrative. Exactly what 9:30 AM says - someone needs to intervene and explain to them what they should be selling.

      VM should have “people” and their “people” should be putting together a big story in a big magazine with quotes from Dean, Zhulin, Platov, and Krylova about how great they are.

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    29. Their "people" have convinced them that the public is interested only in a fake story about how they're the best of friends who may or may not have romantic feelings for each other. They've been misguided on this for many, many years and are at the point now where they probably don't see any possible way out of the hole they've dug themselves into.

      Or else they do see keeping up the sham as being more important than their career. I sincerely hope not though.

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    30. "But here's an idea...is there any way that subconciously Moirville doesn't really care if they win gold again? We've talked about how it's obvious that they want ownership of V/M and are perhaps jealous of Marina & Co."

      That's what I think. The skating appears to be secondary to the V/M machine, after their primary purpose of engaging in petty social media games with fake girlfriends. They already have one gold medal so the V/M machine can hitch their wagon to the stars and ride it out.

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    31. "VM should have “people” and their “people” should be putting together a big story in a big magazine with quotes from Dean, Zhulin, Platov, and Krylova about how great they are. "

      I think VM do have "people" but unfortunately those "people" aren't doing their job. 6:54 is right, the skating appears to be secondary. Their well-oiled machine spits out sham material at predictable intervals. There. Job done.

      Tessa and Scott appear to be making up PR ideas and strategies as they go along. Like this latest Marketing Tool idiocy. Since their "people" are busy looking out for the sham and looking out for themselves, VM are left looking like they're fending for themselves and of course this not being their area of expertise, it's all wrong.

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    32. Some of that Pyette article looks like he's trying out that angle of "Scott was jealous... that sportsnet asked TESSA and not him to pose, ha ha ha" that we speculated about back when Pyette kept telling us Tessa befriended, while Scott only rooted for, the 2004 London Knights. Why let a good angle go to waste?

      I guess Kate Virtue doesn't tell the rest of the family what Scott and Tessa do in Canton.

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    33. "Their "people" have convinced them that the public is interested only in a fake story about how they're the best of friends who may or may not have romantic feelings for each other. They've been misguided on this for many, many years and are at the point now where they probably don't see any possible way out of the hole they've dug themselves into. "

      I really doubt they're convinced of any such thing, anymore. They lie about what fans think and want all the time. How is this different?

      They pretend all kinds of things about fans that aren't true - things they know aren't true. This is just something else they're pretending. It provides Moirville with an occupation - and Moirville energies might be intrude even more on Scott and Tessa if they didn't have the sham to divert them. The sham is an expedient for issues that have nothing to do with fans.

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    34. I would frame the articles as "Virtue and Moir enter the season as the reigning Olympic gold medalists, and the #1 ranked team in the world by the ISU"... and write off Carmen as something the judges don't understand. Hate them being put out there as perpetual losers by the Canadian media.

      DW would not let that #1 ranked by the ISU thing go to waste. Every article mentioned it in 2012 when VM were the reigning world champions. And even when they're not #1 ranked by ISU, icenetwork helpfully makes up its own ranking and makes them #1 there.

      DW's attitude and angle is always We're Winners. Win Win Win Win Win. We're either Winning or we deserved to Win. We're Number One. When we don't win we need to speak to the judges so they can explain themselves because it's just so incomprehensible.

      They don't sit their and detail all their flaws and kind of apologetically shrug "yeah, we lost a lot this year, the other team is totally talented and awesome and working with them pushes us every day, but we'll totally try to fix all the technical stuff next year in the hopes that we can humbly compete" which is the vibe Team TM gives.

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    35. "They don't sit their and detail all their flaws and kind of apologetically shrug "yeah, we lost a lot this year, the other team is totally talented and awesome and working with them pushes us every day, but we'll totally try to fix all the technical stuff next year in the hopes that we can humbly compete" which is the vibe Team TM gives."

      Oh my gosh, yes. This is what they do. I do want an attitude of humility and not arrogance. But they can shut up already about all the little things they "need" to improve and "hope" the judges see as improvement. Keep to the generic "today wasn't our day..." or some such.

      Part of the problem though is they don't have DW's media machine with the relentless "Win" drumbeat. VM's media are tabloid morons.

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    36. IMO, V/M detailing what they felt wrong is a sign of their perfectionism, but I agree they need to cut it out. For years, I thought it was a sign of humility and humbleness from them, and certainly, many other teams over the years have recognized and commented on the things they need to work on with their skating. With the D/W PR machine in high gear, they need to drop it though.

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    37. 10:20 - I agree this is how Virtue and Moir should be framed. They're number one by the ISU and that's not publicized? Articles on both teams imply constantly that judging isn't always on the up and up and yet someone can't suggest that Carmen's brilliance upset the apple cart - i.e., it was penalized for being "too" good (which face it, is the truth) so the judges rewarded DW performing their same old program for the fifth time instead?

      There are plenty of ways to make that point implicitly. They're Olympic champions, two-time world champions, Carmen, the ISU ranking, etc.

      Instead the only people who got their wrists slapped for not appreciating Carmen were the fans - who DID appreciate it.

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  6. Where does Charlie say that he and Meryl are the hardest working dancers?

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    1. It's the DW narrative and his link is part of it. They work hard. They're out of breath and falling over - obviously they gave more out on that ice than VM. They stay late after everyone else gone home. DW train in the same rink as VM and as the Shibs. When Tanith tweets "Everyone gone home - these two still puttin in the work" - let's not pretend we don't know the message she's trying to put across. Everyone else is just clocking in and clocking out and going home to their lives, and only Rocky and his gal are staying late, still plugging away. Only they have the dedication to keep at it after hours. They could be at home with their feet up, like VM and the Shibs (everyone else), but they just work harder than anyone.

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    2. You'd think all that hard work would at least produce upright posture, but Tanith's photo showed them hunched like crabs. That's like her commentary. I was watching her FF 4CC's commentary and she talked about VM's edgework as if it were nothing. She praised their ability to make gliding from edge to edge seem special. It IS fucking special, Tanith, and your boyfriend and his partner can't do it. That was as inverted a piece of supposed praise as I've ever heard.

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    3. "hunched like crabs" so they are bringing back their ND fd for the olympic year? maybe this time charlie will let meryl play the hunchback/quasimodo she has the perfect posture for that role ;)

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    4. You got all this from a tweet? WOW! Amazing!

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    5. It is BLATANT in the tweet. What else do you think the tweet is saying by noting everyone else is gone but they're still putting inthe work? Don't be obtuse on purpose.

      It's the consistent thread of their p.r. The idea that Scott and Tessa "took a break" at the 4CC's while DW nobly skated their whole program through. The pre-Worlds article implying VM wrongly were awarded the Worlds title in 2012 despite a glitch in their program followed by a description of DW's frenzied, frantic, activity-dense DF - they were ripped off by VM who couldn't even skate clean while DW were killing themselves.

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    6. I think you read in things entirely too much. It could be he simply enjoyed the book.

      Not everything has an agenda.

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    7. Not everything has an agenda but I agree with oc 9:08, this tweet is blatant in its agenda.

      Of all the books and articles Charlie is reading he chooses to tweet about this one? Give me a freaking break. Of course there's an agenda.

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    8. 8:27, MY remarks were about TANITH's tweet. TANITH's tweet dripped with agenda.

      oc

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    9. Correction - it was also about Charlie's link to the article. I wrongly thought for a moment it was being said I was reading something into a different tweet of Charlie's.

      Of COURSE Charlie's tweet is part of the hardest-working-ever meme.

      Delete
  7. its sad though that V/M work their asses off every year and never get rewarded for it

    ReplyDelete
  8. Meh. Not particularly surprising since it (ie mind f- games) has been steadily, or should I say, stealthily made against VM post Olympics win. Never mind, that they have improved in abundance since then season after season...as quoted famously, George Orwell - serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness...in other words, it is war minus the shooting. < unquote> So it already begins, with VM's SD reveal this week...oh the comments! My word, I seriously hope VM bring it ON ... And ON ... For A Second Olympic win. Based on the merits of their undeniable lines, musicality and extraordinary skating! I seriously wish the judges can f- see it for THAT this year...

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  9. This is off topic from this post but if Scott and Tessa are really together, then why hasn't anyone been able to find a marriage record or birth record of their child? I thought those were available to the public? I believe they are together but I just need concrete proof lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 9:39
      This has been discussed to death already.

      You can just demand a record of something? From whom? Where?

      If you aren't able to find a valid, reliable source you trust then you'll have to go with your gut instincts regarding all the things that are making you think they're together. That's what I did. I have no insider access to anything. But I do think I'm not dumb and I am capable of coming to logical and rational conclusions about what my own eyes and ears are telling me. What about you? Once I stopped allowing their sham PR to jerk me around everything fell neatly into place.

      Delete
    2. Neither marriage certificates nor birth certificates are publicly available. This information is easily found with a google search, but I'll make it easy for you. In Ontario, for the birth certificate, and individual 13 or older may apply for their own birth certificate or the child's parents can apply for a copy. That's it. For the marriage certificate, the married couple, children of the marriage, parents of the parties to the marriage or an authorized representative acting on behalf of any entitled individual can apply for a marriage certificate. Only the married couple can apply for a certified copy.

      So, no, these are not publicly available documents. The only two people who can get a copy of Toddler Moir's birth certificate are Tessa and Scott. Only Tessa and Scott, Toddler Moir (when she's of age, I would assume), Joe, Alma, Jim, Kate, or someone VM have authorized can get a copy.

      So, you know, not happening with the public getting those documents.

      Delete
    3. Well that makes sense so I'll just go with what my eyes can see then. I saw some behavior at Worlds this year that makes me think there is something going on between them so I'll just go with my own feelings then. Thanks.

      Delete
    4. Yes, just trust your eyes and what you saw. Once you take that leap of trusting yourself and ignoring all of their BS, you'll land safely on your feet.

      Delete
    5. Anon 9:55--Can you tell us about their behavior at Worlds? To help along all those who are still doubting their own gut instincts.

      Delete
    6. @9:55
      9:46 here - when I say "gut instincts" I don't mean using only "feelings" as a measuring stick. I mean adding up all the things we see and hear, connecting all the dots, and making sensible and rational conclusions. Making sure 2+2=4 and not 5.

      I hope that's what you mean. Informed feelings. Not feelings for feelings' sake.

      Delete
    7. 9:46 here again, I want to say something else I should have included in my original comment. I may not have any insider information and I've relied on the public domain for the "dots" I've connected re. VM. However, another big factor for me was adding to all of that what oc says in this blog.

      No matter what the blogger has talked about, agree or disagree, imo he/she has never sounded like an irrational lunatic. People come in here and toss around all sorts of offensive terms and throw fits because they don't like the premise of the blog. But not liking someone's opinions or not liking the way they're said is not the same thing as irrational streams of thought. So some don't like what oc says, so what? Show where the thinking is that of mental illness (as many have accused) or is illogical. It's not.

      How can someone come in here and think the blogger is brilliantly showing and describing the differences between VM and DW's skating and then turn around and say all the blog's thoughts on other subjects come from a crazy deranged mind? Sorry, that's not possible.

      Years ago I had already come to the conclusion something was very wrong with VM's pr, with their platonic narratives and with their portrayal of Scott-Jessica. This blog helped make sense of all that, and yes, I also had to decide whether to believe oc *knows this for a fact.*

      It was not hard at all to decide to believe oc. And there's this. From the moment I settled on this being the truth I've never seen anything in what VM and/or Moirville say or do that contradicts it. On the contrary, the more time goes by I feel the lies are more transparent than ever.

      Delete
    8. This is a stretch, but when OC posted that they were married in Monaco in Nov 2009 I did my own research. Monaco weddings require residency and the posting of the Banns of marriage, announcing the marriage on the church door for 10 days. I understand one of T or S has a relative that works for Prince Albert, so this requirement could have been waived. Further, all Monaco marriages are entered into the register of Births, Marriages and Deaths at the Mairie de Monaco (Monaco Town Hall). As far as I could tell, this information is not posted online: http://www.mairie.mc/ Tessa and Scott could probably have arranged to not be entered in the registry, but one can also picture them signing the book because it’s cool and they figure no one would ever look there. So if anyone is truly interested and they’re ever vacationing near there one could always try to visit the Monaco Town Hall.

      I even tried to see if there were baptismal records of Toddler Moir, going off the church listed in Tessa’s grandmother’s obit, but the website didn’t announce baptisms and its archives didn’t go back that far anyway.

      It’s actually really hard to scrounge up this type of information if you’re not a professional investigator. We don’t even have the baby’s name or birth date.

      Delete
    9. Tessa and Scott are very connected there not only via "Heather" (the putative Moir connection in Monaco) but also via her "French family.". Furthermore, $$, connections and celebrity can cause requirements to be waived or expedited via surrogates, of which Scott and Tessa have more than most people. They didn't meet and have a celebration with Prince Albert purely because he's into Canadian figure skating Olympians.

      When did I say they were married there in November of 2009? I said 2009, autumn, which is true.

      oc

      Delete
    10. My understanding is that they were married in Monaco either shortly before or after TEB 2009. I'm not sure how this is known information though. What sort of hints were there to this happening??

      I've tried looking for info on the child as well but as you say, without a name or a birth date, it's impossible. I can take a guess at the name and assume that she was born sometime during the first week or two of January 2011 but that's it.

      Delete
    11. I think the assumption is that Autumn 2009 after TEB translated to November 2009. ;) Fair enough?

      Delete
    12. "Neither marriage certificates nor birth certificates are publicly available."

      In the US, marriage licenses are of public record. Anyone can ask to see them, but you have to know at which courthouse they are filed. Sometimes they show up in paid internet search engines. Don't know about Canada.

      "So if anyone is truly interested and they’re ever vacationing near there one could always try to visit the Monaco Town Hall."

      What are the chances they may have had a "spiritual union" - a commitment ceremony but not legally binding? There would be no record of that.

      Delete
    13. 5:11 p.m. - TEB was 10/15-10/18. The marriage was part of, if a slightly extended part of, that event. That's far from November.

      7:16 pm for God's sake! They are legally married.

      Go ahead. Pick another Canadian celebrity you know for a fact is married and produce their marriage certificate. Do it for an American celebrity too. Not on smokinggun.com or any gossip or other webpage that gets hold of these documents, but via the actual courthouse records.

      oc

      Delete
    14. I think some people don't automatically remember that TEB wasn't in November that year and didn't bother to look it up. Or, vaguely, it gets mixed up as being at the very end of October. The 2009 gp was completely out of order from what it usually is and not everyone remembers the order or the exact dates because of that. It was 4 years ago. People don't always remember dates perfectly.

      I don't think the marriage certificates being public record at the courthouse applies to all US States. I'm fairly sure it doesn't apply to mine and you still have to show documentation of being a fairly close relative or one of the involved parties to see it.

      Google turned up this link: http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-906.006-e.html

      "Ontario

      In Ontario, civil registration dates from July 1, 1869. The Archives of Ontario holds records of births from 1869 to 1914, marriages from 1869 to 1929, and deaths from 1869 to 1939. Incomplete marriage registers prior to 1869 are also available.

      Due to the large demand, staff members at that office are unable to undertake genealogical searches in these vital records. However, microfilm copies of the nominal indexes and the original registrations are available through inter-institutional loan from the Archives of Ontario and through your local Family History LibraryTM. Should you prefer to hire someone to search through those records on your behalf, the Archives of Ontario can provide a list of researchers.

      For births after 1914, marriages after 1929, and deaths after 1939, requests should be addressed to:

      Registrar General [www.orgforms.gov.on.ca/eForms/start.do?lang=en]
      PO Box 4600
      Thunder Bay, ON
      P7B 6L8"

      The link for the Registrar General takes you to the website that has the information that was posted last night.

      Delete
    15. A confidential marriage license in Ontario, per google, hardly costs more than a public marriage license. And in Alberta, all marriage records are confidential. This is google. I haven't looked at the actual regulation documents.

      And generally speaking, marriages that are recognized as legal where they take place (Monaco for example) are then recognized as legal in North America. Also google.

      I don't understand assumptions like "probably Scott and Tessa would sign the Town Hall book because they wouldn't think anyone would check there!" HOW do people jump to a conclusion like that one? After finance, Monaco's economy runs on tourism. VM have European fans as well as North American fans.

      Delete
    16. Furthermore, according to the New York City Department of Health website, a person needs appropriate i.d. and other required documentation both on line and in person to view a marriage record. Marriage records over 50 years old are public because they're considered historical documents.

      I will research some more but I believe restricting birth and marriage records to the specific parties most directly concerned has become the rule, not the exception, in North America. Of course if someone requires the records as part of a legal process, that may be authorized as well, but they're not as a matter of course available to anyone from the public.

      Delete
    17. It would be really nice if people thoroughly researched their assumptions before assuming they're accurate. Even just by reading secondary sources it's obvious all marriage records aren't available to anyone in the USA. Same goes for assuming what Scott and Tessa might think about signing a publicly displayed Town Hall registrar in Monaco. People have things take place in their heads, don't vet it, and figure it's true and then proceed.

      Delete
  10. Is Ryan Pyette considered a decent sports journalist in Canadian media? That article is downright embarrassing, writing about Tessa and Scott as if this were a celebrity-gossip piece.

    Somewhere in there he throws in a mention of the local Hockey team (the *real* athletes--would he ever dare write this kind of crap about them?) and oh yeah, Tessa and Scott are Olympic athletes and have new programs. Ooooo, we hope they win (no explanations why they *should* win).

    But eh, it's more interesting that Tessa posed in a bathing suit (the chosen title and accompanying picture, wth) and let's explore how did that make her feel, and did Scott have feelings about that? (more wth) And did you know Scott is a jokester? Isn't it *so* exciting a documentary is being made about them. Did you know there's a tense rivalry with the team who they just couldn't beat last season? (No analysis about that - let's just go with the premise VM are inferior and/or absolutely equal to DW and deserved to lose every time they skated against each other.)

    Tessa promises the documentary will include off-ice/personal stuff to make sure it's interesting. After all, who cares about that skating stuff. It's so boring, right Pyette?

    Is this the kind of "journalism" to expect throughout an important Olympic season? I know VM are full participants in their sham but really, I can't help feeling sorry for them that this is the best their own media can do for them. It's no wonder DW and all the force of the USFS media can control the skating narrative. VM are screwed by the very agents that should be out there countering all the stuff coming at the fans telling them DW are better.

    There doesn't seem to be any competent agent in sight, nor Skate Canada, making sure the reporting sounds and looks professional.

    This was just, well, a bunch of crap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen sports fans treated so poorly in any other sport. They're a fucking dumping ground for everyone. No reporters in another sport would justify actively lying to the public on behalf of an athlete's agenda - except for those who write about figure skating.

      Can you imagine journalists writing about another sport justifying not just keeping mum, but justifying their active participation in helping athletes deceive the public? What distinguishes figure skating fans from the fans of other sports? Gender and demographic. The fans of this sport are beneath contempt for those who participate and those who write about it. There's no attempt to hide it. Most writing about other sports, written to be read by fans, don't dump on the fans who are the intended audience for the articles. Just in figure skating.

      I wonder how either skaters or journalists manage to endure in a sport with a public they treat with nothing but contempt.

      The link to Pyette's article had the words "big reveal" in it even though that wasn't the headline. It reminds me of when journalists enjoyed saying things like "Scott Moir has cut the cord." a few years ago.

      All of this rests on treating the public like garbage. The journalists who write about skating don't bother to learn anything about it because the public doesn't deserve better. An ignorant public also obviously serves the purpose of many inside skating.

      oc

      Delete
    2. Can we ask for Jennifer Swan, Maria Mountain, Mary Branigan even Marnie McBean to conduct an intervention...on both sides...one side with Tessa and to help her define - what message do you really want to get out there? Bridal shoots, swimsuit shoots, your interest in fashion, school, the London knights, sports psychology, ? aspiring actress...don't get me wrong - there is room to market yourself but not with type of mumbo jumbo...you guys didn't learn that Pyette gave you crap coverage at Worlds and now this...perhaps Tessa should get Pyette on a rink and have him try to do certain skills without falling on his face...perhaps then he will take you guys more seriously...

      Marketing tool - BIG FAIL....

      Delete
    3. 8:25 - since when has Skate Canada's own media habits been professional? Remember how mewling, cloying, pandering and embarrassing Debbi was on Skatebuzz? Skate Canada used to have two media speeds - Arrogant Pomposity and Children's Story.

      oc

      Delete
  11. I thought nothing could top Magical Wizard Hair. There's nothing I'd want associated with my team more than a sugar-packed children's cereal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tessa and Scott are sponsored by pudding and chocolate. I'm not sure we're in a position to be mocking health benefits. Alas, I will miss the magical wizard hair. Farewell!

      Delete
    2. Good point, but my comment (the intention at least) was more heavily weighted on the corny children's cereal commercial end of things. I'm taking it too seriously, I guess. It just doesn't seem very elegant - I guess that's what D/W fans love about their team haha

      Delete
    3. I agree with 2:32/3:38. It's not about health benefits, it's the inelegance of it. They really ARE like Kraft cheese singles.

      Now Charlie is tweeting about Sesame Street. Remember when ice dance used to be for adults? No wonder people didn’t get Carmen.

      Heck, DW’s Notre Dame de Paris was actually less dark than Disney’s version!

      Delete
  12. So, more-or-less, the mean girl inner clique at FSU just admitted that their sole reason for disliking Carmen was that it was VM's program.

    Of course, they also fail to realize that VM are the only team with the ability to skate that program. As usual, for that clueless bunch, it's all about the theatrics, not what's happening when the blade meets the ice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With that bunch it's not just about theatrics, it's about who *they* deem to be "in" or "out." Mean-girls snobbery at its best.

      Delete
    2. It's in the secret source part of the forum that you have to pay for. Just a bunch of VM are so totally boring posts, well except for that Carmen program, well no that Carmen program is gross #publiccunnilingus, oh but wouldn't it be hot if WP skated it....

      Just a bunch of people acting out their sexual fantasies about Kaitlyn/Andrew... gross.

      Delete
    3. It's reverse snobbery and often the best skaters experience a lot of it.

      Delete
    4. Not to mention, if people learned something about the actual skating, and stopped appreciating it totally as theatre (and I don't even think they appreciate it as theatre in the fandoms - it's about the personalities they root for), programs might be less boring. Of course long time self-described fans of the sport like Peter Murray are incredibly insulted by this suggestion. It's amazing that the idea of learning more about the sport is insulting to someone who declares they're such a fan of it. They obviously don't WANT to appreciate it on a level other than personality/emotion. In that case, they ought to stop describing themselves as skating fans.

      Delete
    5. yes link pls. or screencaps!

      Delete
  13. How are GP beating BA in this poll? http://www.sport-folio.net/en/articles/3-day-battles-gilles-poirier-vs-belbin-agosto-gypsy-dances/

    No, BA aren't VM. No, they aren't, as Piper said on twitter, one of the greatest teams of all-time. They are, however, light years better than GP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No doubt that some have been encouraged to vote for G/P. There's a small league of supporters that show up anytime G/P need a little push.

      Delete
  14. Samantha Cesario has chosen to skate a dark, passionate Carmen this season. Let's add that one to the growing list, shall we? Meanwhile, where's all the D/W inspired Notre Dame pieces? Surely as much loved World Champs they're pushing the sport and lending their brilliance to others?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol 8:42. That is exactly what the DW fans have said. Their team is pushing the sport in new directions!
      Bwahahaha

      Delete
    2. Adelina Sotnikova too - she described her SP as "Carmen, the BITCH" http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?87476-From-Russia-With-Love-Spring-into-Summer-2013&p=3965054&highlight=carmen#post3965054

      Delete
    3. I wonder how many all-black-with-sheer-cut-outs costumes and women wearing black fishnets we're gonna see on the circuit this season.

      Delete
  15. How do we know these people were inspired by Tessa and Scott's Carmen though?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're specifically going for the dark side of Carmen. Not that it's never been done, but Scott and Tessa are the first to do that type of program in several years, and suddenly everyone's Carmen has those themes. Obviously though, Carmen is an Olympic favorite, so we shouldn't overstate.

      Delete
    2. What's the light side of Carmen?

      oc

      Delete
    3. N&K's 2006 FD was specifically about the affair between Carmen and the toreador; they called it a flirty Carmen. G&G's 1988 SP to March of the Toreadors. Mirai Nagasu's 2010 LP. Plushenko's 2002 LP had his typical cheeky hip movements. L&T and W&L (Germany) used it for the Spanish OD in 2002. None of these programs were of "OMGEvilCarmenSex&Death" variety.

      It's not that V&M are the first to do the dark side, but it's fair to say that a bunch of modern Carmens (Max Aaron and those mentioned above) the season after V&M did it were probably inspired in part by them. I'd have said the same thing for any modern angsty Carmens that came out in 1999, after K&O did it.

      Delete
    4. In my opinion then, the other programs were doing the "light side of Carmen." Virtue and Moir were simply doing Carmen. The essence of the story is Don Jose/Carmen ending in Carmen's death. That's not a side, that's the core of it.

      Delete
  16. This blog is a logical fallacy. The real story is that Tessa had a child with David Pelletier and since they were an item and the child was conceived while it was still thought he and Jamie were together, it's been kept a secret. Doesn't look good for Ms Virtue, does it?

    As for the blogger, I believe there are two options to explain his/her steadfast adherence to the tale that Virtue and Moir are married and Moir is the child's father:

    1) Blogger has been given misinformation and sincerely believes this to be true. The same can be said for anyone who claims to have been "the truth" by a source.

    2) Blogger is part of Team Virtue/Moir, knows exactly what the real deal is and pushes these lies on us because it's better PR than having it publicly known that Virtue was behind the breakup of the former Canadian sweethearts.

    The truth is that Moir did date Jessica Dube and is dating Ms Hilborn. Virtue has a child with Pelletier and would prefer to keep this fact secret. Virtue and Moir are not and never will be a couple in the romantic sense.

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    Replies
    1. child with pelletier? hell no

      Delete
    2. Awww, are you confused because of all those pictures in the blog banner? You poor thing, it can happen to anyone.

      It's ok - some day you'll understand.

      Delete
    3. This makes about as much sense as anything else does.

      Delete
    4. 11:52--No it doesn't. This one makes zero sense whereas VM married and with a child makes perfect sense.

      Delete
    5. How so? Neither theory has proof as far as I can see.

      Delete
    6. 12:02, the blog is not a theory, and the fact that many commentators here don't know what the proof is doesn't mean there isn't proof. Of course there is proof.

      10:47 a.m., don't reply to what I'm saying here. I have said before this comment section isn't a forum for people's theories. This blog was started specifically because the blogger knows for a fact that Tessa and Scott are married and have a child. This is not the blogger's theory.

      Deal with your Tessa Virtue/David Pelletier fantasies somewhere else.

      Delete
    7. I believe the above poster is the same one on FSU that's been trying to push the Tessa and David storyline for who knows how long. The same poster that sees what nobody else sees at competitions.

      Delete