View Full Version : I'm so fed up with Dickie's commentary!!!!!!!

February 13th, 2000, 07:06 AM
Sorry folks, I've got to rant and rave a bit...... I've really had it with Dick Button!!! It's the morning after and I'm still furious with him. I've already mentioned his slightly wierd fixation with little girls/baby ballerinas, but even without that I think he's really become terribly unprofessional in his commentary. The way he focuses on whichever skater (or skaters) is his current favorite, showering them with praise and ignoring their mistakes, while focusing on the negatives of others....... I want to have someone commentating who points out the good and bad parts of each performance! I'm so sick of hearing about others skaters extension on their spirals, without anyone pointing out that they only hold the position for 2 seconds or that their free leg is wobbly or that their edge is shallow. Or raving about a fast spin without commenting that it's travelling all over the place. Or not pointing out flutzes, or ignoring the fact that the skater might as well be wearing ear plugs for how well they are expressing their music!!!!! Mr. Button has been at his best when he really gives us good information about what the judges are looking for technically and artistically, and keeping his own gushing out of it. He apparently has a great deal of knowledge about the world of figure skating, I wish he'd share it without so much gushing.

February 13th, 2000, 07:14 AM
Nationals 00 wasn't Uncle Dickie's best. What got me the most was not his shameless gushing but his INCESSANT REPETITION OF WORDS and just the lack of the abilities to be coherent. Oh, and then there was that *****y thing about "going to the fridge" when Nikodinov skated ... On the other hand, I am becoming more and more a fan of Susie Wynne and Terry Gannon. Terry, especially, has come a long way. He's funny and *****y. And she does such a good job of commentating on the business at hand.

February 13th, 2000, 07:34 AM
I keep wondering if they are "told" to talk so much about the up and comers. I know how much Peggy loves Michelle and she said worse things than Dick. Like I said in another post, that was maybe the rudest thing I've ever heard Dick say, about Angela. Personally, I would rather watch Angela skate than Sarah or Sasha. I prefer her style of skating.

February 13th, 2000, 08:05 AM
Dick's remark about Angela was very rude and unnecessary. The commentary by all the commentators, I agree, was less professional than I would have hoped. I really would like to hear straightforward analyses of every skater's strengths and weakneses, and less personal opinion.

February 13th, 2000, 09:33 AM
I think dick is so rude especially to angela. The other guy who said get me a soda when dick said that angela skated to the type of program that would make him want to go to the refrigerator was equally rude. I use to like him.

February 13th, 2000, 09:39 AM
I noticed ever since he saw NNN, he's been obsessed with spins and laybacks. And he compares a skater's best ability to Michelle's (especially when Michelle's is not as good). I'm impressed that Michelle improved her layback, and they still compared it to NNN and criticized her for being slow. What do they want from Michelle? She's not perfect in every single move. It seems like they expect so much from her. There are other skaters who are exceptionally great at certain aspects of skating but lacks in the rest. Dick focuses on those one or two special abilities they can do and compares them to Michelle; meanwhile, Michelle's overall skating is so much better and complete. She is a complete skater. So what if someone is faster than her, her whole performance is what makes her skating great.

February 13th, 2000, 10:59 AM
I agree about D. Button being rude to Angela N. Angela is a great skater, and has great technique. She never cheats any of her jumps and is always clean. I to, would rather watch her over Sarah or Sasha. I think Angela deserved the bronze, not Sarah. Sasha is a good skater too, but for some reason, i dont like watchin her. But, she did give a good silver medal performance!

February 13th, 2000, 12:00 PM
I can't believe D!ck said that going to the fridge comment about Angela. That was so mean. Peggy's comments regarding MK was worse in the sp. I hated how they compared MK's layback to Sasha. Last year, it's her free leg now it's her back! Obviously MK does not have the same flexibility as others. I agree though that her spins need more speed.

February 15th, 2000, 06:52 PM
On the one hand I don't want to defend D. for his commentating Sat. night, but on the other hand, I have to give him credit for saying some of the harsh things that he said. For instance -- the going to the refrigerator comment about Angela Nikodinov. Sorry, but I was ROTFLMAO....because it's true. Angela Nikodinov has had soooooo many opportunities to get herself together and prove she deserves to be among the top 3 US ladies skaters and time and again she bores us to tears or turns in a worse-than-mediocre-but-better-than-Butyrskaya program. Someone needed to say it and D.'s the only one old enough to be able to say it out loud and just have people think he's getting old and crabby. But, at the same time, I want to smack him for some of the other comments he made about the skaters. And believe me, it wasn't always WHAT he said, but HOW he said it. For some reason this year D. is being mean-spirited, petty and downright rude about the performances. If you saw the Ladies SP on ESPN and heard his comments about Michelle, then you know what I mean. When D. turns on Michelle, then you KNOW it's time to check his medication. That was as obnoxious as I've ever seen him be, and believe me, D. has been obnoxious for a long, long time. Although I think maybe D. needs to retire, I'd hate to see him go because apparently ABC's idea of a replacement is Peter "Yes, I really am as stupid as I sound." Carruthers and Suzy "No, I haven't been inhaling helium. My what exquisite shapes the ice dancers are making today!" Wynne. I think a cranky D. is better than those two morons any day, anywhere, any time.

February 17th, 2000, 01:12 PM
Peggy's comment right after Michelle's scores were announced
she said something like "that was not bad" I am guessing that she was refering to Michelle's performance and didn't mean for it to be "on air". Just wondering if anyone else cought that.

February 17th, 2000, 02:45 PM
Yuppers! I caught that remark of Peggy's too. I only wished that they hadn't cut away so soon so I could have heard the rest of what she was saying.

Anyway, regarding Uncle Dickie - I too thought his refrigerator trip comment about Angela's skating was rude and uncalled for, although unfortunately it does have a ring of truth to it. Only afterwards did I think back to it and had the following idea. I've read in several books about skating that the skaters frequently get comments from the former skaters turned commentators and sometimes even the judges about particular parts of their programs or skating that could use improvement. This is usually in the form of constructive criticism and many of the skaters do listen to it and take action. For example, look at Sarah's improved posture and presentation and Michelle's improved layback - which by the way used to have more bend in the back but I believe she had to sacrifice some bend in order to position her leg in the "correct" position. Anyway I think Uncle Dickie's comments were specifically directed at Angela because she does have so much potential to be the complete skater but she keeps holding herself back. I think Uncle Dickie wanted to shock and embarass her into action. I'm not sure if it will work but Uncle Dickie does seem to have too much genuine affection for young ladies to be deliberatly mean for no reason. ;-)

February 17th, 2000, 06:54 PM
I did catch that comment by Peggy. I don't know what she was trying to say. I do know that she really loves Michelle and I think she wants her to do well. Maybe she trying a little too hard not to be bias on TV.

February 18th, 2000, 09:03 AM
I agree that some of his comments were pretty bad, especially about Angela. That was just outright insulting & uncalled for. And he missed some things, like how long spirals are held & spin travelling as well. I was adding all these things to my commentary to my husband as we were watching.

But Dick has been going on about spins and laybacks long before anyone heard of NNN.
>>I noticed ever since he saw NNN, he's been obsessed with spins and laybacks.<<

Every year he has a new "fetish" in addition to the "free leg on the layback" which is his #1 complaint. One year it was the straight back position (during crossovers, sit spins etc.) Another year it was pointed feet. Other times it is travelling. etc. etc.

But in his defense I will say that, (as a non-skater who while watching the 1984 Olys didn't even know the diff between dance & pairs) I have learned a lot about skating from Dick & I have learned a lot of details to watch for. If you listen to what he says you can learn a lot, although he does get out of hand at times.

Terry Gannon is getting better, I agree. Susie Wynne is ok but I think she gushes over the skaters too much rather than giving a balanced critique. Kind of like Scottie says in his book, that when he started commentating he was too "pro-skater" because he empathized with how difficult it is out there, rather than giving the audience a balanced crituque.

February 18th, 2000, 10:12 AM
Well I will throw in my two cents. I wished there was some way to turn Uncle Dickie's voice off and still be able to hear everything else! LOL! I know he is trying to help the skaters, but he gets way of hand sometimes. I think sometimes he can be really cruel, like with Angela poor thing I'm sure after she heard that she just wanted to go and crawl under a rock and cry! I know that you can learn things from him, but man it has been how many years since he has been on the ice, and I am sure he couldn't get out there and do half the stuff that they are doing now. Okay I will stop and be nice. Sorry.

February 23rd, 2000, 09:51 AM
i agree, this year's commentary coverage just stunk. they should have just given them 3 complimentary front row tix and just left it at that because i really could have done without the rude and uncalled for comments coming from dick, such as the already mentioned angela one about going to the fridge. what nerve! i didn't have too much problem watching her skate, but if other people do or did, he should absolutely not go around saying things like that. that's not commentating, it was low, and he should know better than that.

his usual technique and figure skating know-how was seriously lacking. i recall while nnn skated and (unfortunately) and just didn't have a good night, he said, "but so what..." or something to that effect, but turned right around before and after her skate and was criticing right and left about everyone else.

finally, his constant gushing and obsessing over the younger skaters was extremely tiresome and made me sick. don't get me wrong, i'm as excited as the next person about all this new talent that the u.s. field has, but please, let's watch them develop and enjoy their skating as they are just starting out.

i don't usually like to complain about someone like dick button who is quite legendary, but i've had enough of him for at least a little while. because of his status, i expect more from him than say someone who's less experienced or doesn't know a whit about skating. and if it were not for the fact that i have to listen to the program music, i'd mute my tv for the whole show.

hope i didn't tick anyone off, but i had to rant a bit.

<img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/smile.gif ALT=":)">

February 23rd, 2000, 10:59 AM
Nope Buster you didn't tick me off. Every once and awhile we all have to let off steam. If we kept it in we would be miserable and people wouldn't want to be around us. I would rather someone vent themself then keep it all bottled up inside.

February 24th, 2000, 05:04 PM
I think that Dick is overdramatizing the effect of having so many talented, good young skaters entering the senior ranks. While it's great for US skating, and certainly great for all of us to watch, I think that excessive hype like I believe that Dick indulged in at Nationals is only going to cause problems for these young skaters.

If they are subsequently hyped way beyond their current abilities by the rest of the media, and then backlash stories appear if they don't deliver perfection in every single skate from this moment on, it'll only add enormously to the pressure-cooker situation that the young skaters are in.

Dick's hyperbole contributes, I think, to the young skaters being unduly pressured to develop into perfect verterans far more quickly than is humanly possible, and does not allow them the time, perhaps some years, that they may need to really perfect their performances.

The baby ballerinas analogy is so far from apt that I think he should not be using it. For his information, yes, quite a few 15 and 16 year old dancers were taken into professional companies such as the New York City Ballet, and very quickly became principal dancers (meaning, stars). But these young women *already* had the technical and artistic skill to perform on the same level (or even on a higher level) as the rest of the company of older, more experienced, professional dancers. They were not needing further time to develop, as the skaters who have just entered the senior ranks do.

Anyway, I think that Dick's excessive remarks on the younger skaters may end up harming their careers, or at least making thngs more difficult for them. I would not want to see any unnecessary obstacles put in the way of such talented ladies.

February 25th, 2000, 02:17 PM
ITA SJB. For me, Dick's excessive gushing, pushes me the wrong way. Instead of making me appreciate some of the good qualities, it makes me look at all the qualities I don't care for. Nobody likes to be FORCED into an opinion. I really like when he is excited by a skater or a performance. It makes it that much better. But if he keeps overdoing it, his opinion won't have as much weight as it used to(for me, anyway).

February 29th, 2000, 04:51 PM
that there are some (sports and other media) writers/commentators who, at a certain point in their careers when they are considered by many to be "elders", decide to become "curmudgeons" (sp?). They decide they're gonna say whatever they want to say and not care a whit what anyone thinks. Dick seems to be at that point. He's got the experience, he's got the age, he's got the broad knowledge base, he's got a few well-known quirks that many find amusing (and others find kinda weird)...

I think he needs to declare himself the figure skating curmudgeon and get out of regular program commentary. Skating programs need to be called by reasonably unbiased, informative commentators who can refrain from taking sides. Dick doesn't do that anymore, and he tends to drag the other comentators into his world, so we are prevented from hearing what we really want to hear during the performances.

Let him do an editorial or two during a competition where he can say anything - even sing if he wants to. Heck, he's really earned that right.

March 1st, 2000, 11:12 AM
I think the "Man Of the Century" has caused his head to grow a bit bigger and he thinks he can say whatever he wants without caring what effect his words have on people.

Beth I agree with you about turning off the voices. I would love to be able to watch a program without having to listen to what skaters had for lunch, or where they live, or how old they are. I know I'm stretching it a bit but I think you get my point.

What bothers me the most is that people look to Mr. Button as the authority on figure skating. If he says it's true then many people are going to believe it. Everyone is expressing how his comments can hurt these young skaters, but what bothered me was how his comments about these girls actually hurt Michelle. This year more than any recent years that I remember, the press about who won the Nationals, why they won, if they should have won, etc. etc. was pretty negitive. I wouldn't be surprised if many of these reporters were influenced by listening to Button's comments. That's why I wish he would go back to being objective, and pointing out the good and the bad of all the skaters.