Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Big Finish! The GP Final Dance & Men’s Picks

Well here we are! Welcome to the ISU Grand Prix Final... otherwise known as Act 1’s Closing Number. We’ve seen all the players by now, and are well on our way to learning all their respective lines. Only the best of the best get to carry us to the holiday “intermission”; that fact alone usually makes this event more watchable… it’s like a greatest hits CD after several releases with a lot of “album filler”.

How have you done this season thus far? Are you missing the odd-hour ESPN coverage something fierce? Are you wishing NBC will do something about that next year? Or are you satisfied with the On-Demand capabilities of Ice Network and couldn’t care less if it makes its way to mainstream TV again? Are you trying to keep up via You Tube (or some similar source), cursing the screen every time a clip has been “removed”?

I’m sitting here with the finalist names in front of me, wavering between certain choices here and there, wondering if I should go take a peek at how this competitor fared over that competitor a few weeks ago… or how many points so-and-so racked up per event… but guess what? I’m not even going to mess with all that. Why make it a sport about numbers any more than it already is? I’m going with my gut on these predictions.

Based on recent history, my “gut” is downright unreliable. But as they say, ice is slippery… and those blades are so thin… so maybe this is all a better fit than I’ve realized!


Gold—Delobel/Schoenfelder (FRA)
Silver—Domnina/Shabalin (RUS)
Bronze—Belbin/Agosto (USA)

OK, so my USA spirit is showing a little with the Belgosto nod. It seems very possible, yes, that the steadily rising rep of Faiella/Scali will help them to the podium, particularly when Belgosto still seemed to be in rebuild mode when they competed earlier in the fall. And of course, Khoklova/Novitski has a serious shot at bronze too (some might even say silver?). But my hope is that Tanith and Ben will show up in Korea fully polished and ready to shine. As for Gold/Silver… the upset of Dombalin from a few weeks back is proof that they are still plenty beatable—especially when the team in question currently owns the world title.

Much as I love Davis/White, I think they are the newest (if not also the youngest) team invited to the big dance this year, and can consider it a huge victory if they come anywhere near the podium.

But that may just be the old school talking.

For MEN:

Gold—Brian Joubert (FRA)
Silver—Patrick Chan (CAN)
Bronze—Takahiko Kozuka (JPN)

Uh-oh… so much for that USA spirit.

Let’s start at the top this time. Joubert is far from the top point-getter coming into this weekend, but I still think he’ll take this title with his fuller arsenal of jumps and riveting short program (which, as you’ll recall, is what brought him enough points to still win Cup of Russia when his free skate wasn’t tops). Chan and Kozuka are well-matched to duke it out for the other two spots in my opinion… but with Chan’s presentation scores as off-the-chart good as they’ve been, I have to predict him to silver.

As for Johnny… I hope he can nail his quad and edge one of these guys out, but I admit I’m still thinking about that awful cold he had 2 weeks ago. I heard he stayed overseas these past 2 weeks rather than fly back and forth, and that will surely help (or at least keep it from getting worse), but still, a bad cold is a bad cold. Add strenuous training to the mix, and I sense he’ll be force to adopt an attitude of “Oh well, let’s just get through this, then rest till after Christmas, then pour it on in time for Nationals.” And really, who can blame him?

Of course, that’s someone’s cue to tell me how he’s made a full recovery!

For the
Clip of the Day, I’ve got the D/B Piano number from last year’s GPF. Sorry, but I still like this one a lot better than this year’s…


Aaron said...

Everytime I read your predictions I'm forced to question my own! Good lord!

Haha...I fretted for like 5 minutes trying to figure out who D/B was until I clicked the link and found out out it was D/S...stop confusing me! Hahahahahaha

Laura said...

I know what Aaron means. I am always second guessing myself, you all make very good arguments.

Kelli Lawrence said...

I didn't read any other predictions yet-- will do that after I post part 2 tonight-- but will surely say the same things and have the same second guesses!

And sorry about the wrong initials on the link! My bad for being too lazy to type it all out... LOL