Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weir Accepts US Championships Results, But His Fans Deny Them.


Johnny Has No Regrets

After two not so great seasons, Weir, the three times US Champion was determined to turn heads. Turn heads, but he did after two wins at Cup of Russia and Cup of China. With dazzling free skates at the US Championships, the skating genius made an attempt at regaining his crown but Lysacek defeated Weir as a result of a tiebreaker by a hundredth of a point.

While Johnny is satisfied with the results, by saying:

“First place, second place, last place, I’m just happy with the way that I skated . . . It’s really a vindication to know that I came back and didn’t completely fall apart” (Johnny Weir An Elegant Redemption. By Kathleen Bangs International figure Skating Apr. 2008),
the fans are buzzing with concerns. They feel that Weir is deserving of the title this year.

There were some concerns about the way fractions of points were rounded off by the computer that was fed scores by the judges. It was suggested that Weir would be declared the winner instead of Lysacek, had the points been rounded differently. Many fans feel the steps in calculating the program component scores for the free skate are an issue that needs to be resolved as a result. Weir’s fans conclude that, had the scores been computed correctly, Weir would have regained his crown.

According to some commentators, there is nothing vague about the scoring system. It is straightforward calculation. Some fans even feel that Johnny’s habits of not keeping his remarks at bay may have been another reason for losing to Evan, and others feel the skating federation wants "cookie cutter" skaters who say nice things and say what the federation wants them to say.

So, did the wrong guy win the US figure skating title in St. Paul? It all depends on who you ask. If you read the International Skating Union's guidelines, Johnny Weir should have dethroned Evan instead of losing on a tiebreaker when their scores deadlocked at 244.77. Weir's supporters and some mathematically-inclined fans agree.
Some of Weir's supporters feel that Johnny's capabilities are being dismissed while those who are biassed to Evan are buying into the USFS party line about Evan being the great hope because his image is more "masculine" .

To those fans, Weir beat Lysacek at Cup of China this year and actually beat him by 01 point at Nationals despite a computer scoring error which USFS refuses to acknowledge. They fey that the score incorrectly increased Lysacek's free skate score by .01 and as a result it became a tie. So Lysacek was given the gold in a regulations tiebreaker. According to some fans, Weir's programs are better choreographed, and when he is scored by international judges who are not under the influence of USFS and their bias tendencies for Lysacek, he has the upper hand.

Weir scored epic wins at the Cup of China and Cup of Russia, defeating two-time world champion St├ęphane Lambiel of Switzerland both times. Weir was magnificent at the U.S. nationals despite finishing second to archrival Evan Lysacek. Probably if Weir had just thrown in a double toe loop at the end of his triple lutz combination, he might have won his fourth crown. In any case, it's too late to do anything about it now, since the rules state that the results are final as soon as the medals are awarded. Weir himself is “ok” with the outcome.

I love them both, While I do feel this season could have been different, all in all, Johnny and Evan gave us the "skate" "we"(the fans) desperately yearned.

Now that Evan has withdrawn from Worlds, it will not be the same jaw tightening, couch gripping, breath holding experience as I was hoping it would be.

The Ladies' event is another story. I may need to be restrained!

1 comment:

Katrina said...

Johnny's fans need to suck it up and realize that he lost fair and square:

COP, Easy As 1-2-3

Under the Code of Points, every point counts. Shocking, right? I've been surprised by how many people can't seem to grasp this truly astonishing concept. You know how you can earn those points? By reading the rulebook and noticing that hey, you can attempt three jump combinations in the free skate! Fancy that!

Of course, Johnny’s thought process is, "Rulebook? I don't need your silly RULEBOOK!" Johnny looks down on you plebes—so obsessed with minutiae! Can't you see that he is an artiste?!

The simple fact of the matter is that Johnny could have easily tacked a double toe on the end of one of his jumps and he would have won. It doesn't get much more straightforward than that. He's been making this error for years and has yet to correct it. It's his own fault that he lost.


It's The Halfway Mark, Stupid

Under the Code of Points, landing jumping passes after the halfway mark—that is, the second half of a skater's program—earns a 10% bonus on the jump's base value.

It stands to reason, then, that a skater has much to gain by placing as many passes as they are capable of after this mark.

Johnny had three jumping passes, containing one combination, after the halfway mark. Evan had four jumping passes, containing two combinations, after his. These things add up. Evan may have had a hard time muscling out the jumps tonight, giving Johnny the edge on quality, but he and his team had the smarts to lay out his program in such a way to maximize the point value.


Fancy Footwork

Having higher level spins and footwork is a wonderful way to safeguard your program when the jumps are sketchy. Team Lysacek realizes this. Good on them.

Evan in particular is known for his intricate, commanding footwork. Lately he has been achieving a rare level four on his straightline footwork—this is compared to Weir's level three.

It's a numbers game, and Johnny is losing.


You Are Not A Beautiful Or Unique Snowflake

Johnny and his supporters love to cry that Johnny is somehow being held down by the USFSA in favor of the admittedly less controversial Evan Lysacek.

Right.

That is why in 2006, Johnny won the National Championships with 225.34 points – over Evan's 224.47. That is a mere 0.87 difference. You can't tell me that the big bad USFSA couldn't have nudged Evan's score up the tiniest little bit to take that title if they truly hated Weir and wanted Evan to be their National Champion going into the Olympic Games.

In 2007, Evan barely beat Johnny in the short program. It was anyone's game in the long. Evan just happened to skate one of the best programs in Nationals—hell, in skating— history, and Johnny had a complete meltdown.

In 2008, as we all know, Johnny won the short program, and overall Evan and Johnny tied, with the nod going to the best free skate—Evan's. Yeah, that sounds like the work of an evil federation.

Johnny is not being discriminated against for being outlandish. He is not getting held down because of the utter nonsense he spews whenever there's a camera pointed in his general direction. He is not being disrespected because he is a "character." He is losing titles because he is a Code of Points moron. It is insane for anyone to play the "Johnny is a beautiful, misunderstood artist and is being oppressed by the establishment!"-card.

Johnny has won three National titles. He almost won a fourth. Evan opened the door tonight—he kicked it wide open—and Johnny didn't step through it. Plain and simple.

And that's how Evan won fair and square. Get off it already. Evan isn't cookie cutter either. He knows to keep his mouth shut and learn from the old saying "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

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