Things Are Happening – January 27, 2021

A. Aunt Flo

You know that thing where you’re watching the YouTube stream of junior Classic and think, “I wish this were expensive and worse.”

Well, USAG is here for you, signing a five-year deal with FLO to broadcast its non-NBC events in the US—and all the events internationally. Moving major gymnastics events from free YouTube streams to a service that charges $150/year, just so FLO can lob a buffering potato at your computer screen and then blame it on your internet speed, all while filing copyright claims over someone’s unrelated 15-year-old video of Shantessa Pama’s beam warmup, is going over super great. We’re so very happy. Access achieved!

The first elite event on the FLO slate will be Winter Cup, where the big sessions are already scheduled for NBC Networks but broadcast of the junior competitions and senior men’s event finals was previously undetermined. Presumably that will go to FLO, and per USAG they’ll be showing podium training as well. National team selection camps are also currently on the FLO schedule. It’s good content! But our collective history with FLO, the historical quality of its broadcasts, its expense, and the McKayla Maroney incident—to name a few—precludes any excitement there.

B. No One Saw It Coming

Turns out, trying to hold a college gymnastics season amidst COVID isn’t going fully awesome!

Yesterday, LSU had to withdraw from this weekend’s meet against Auburn because of “the contact tracing” and “the protocols.” Whatever that means. Jay professed that they haven’t had a major outbreak on the team, though I imagine they’ll have to wait for further test results to know where this falls on the nothing or something spectrum. If the tests are clear, they’re hoping to reschedule the meet for the following weekend, which would have been the SEC midseason break.

Other things that make you go huh: “’The girls wear these monitors that measure the amount of time they have been around each other in a 24-hour period,’ Clark said.” Uh oh, who let Jay read 1984 again…

Us: Can you guys please wear masks more?
LSU: OK, now if you spend too much time around Bridget Dean you explode.

Michigan’s athletic department, meanwhile, has shuttered competition and training for two weeks, meaning Michigan’s upcoming meets against Ohio State this weekend and Illinois next weekend have been postponed. As per the current schedule, Michigan’s next meet would be February 15.

Ohio State will join Michigan State’s meet on Saturday, as Michigan State is now ready to get started after scrapping its previous meet over lack of preparation. Cal, George Washington, and Illinois State are also expected to start their seasons this weekend, while SEMO is slated to resume competition after canceling last Sunday’s meet, and Bowling Green will continue competing and hoping for fuller lineups than last week.

C. Who’s Canceling Me Now

The FIG’s latest cancellation belongs to the Baku Apparatus World Cup, previously scheduled for March. This event was not going to count for Olympic qualification since the FIG decided to count the half-results from last year’s competition that was canceled midway through (not over it). We’re seeing that the FIG has been very willing to cancel the events that have no Olympic implications (Baku, Cottbus) but is still clinging to other pipe dreams, like the idea that the Stuttgart qualifier can be moved to a different city in Germany and held as planned.

The Pan American Championships, another Olympic qualifier, have mutated again, and the new plan is to hold the event in Brazil in June. Qualifiers have until June 29th to be completed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more qualifiers “move to late June” in the hope that they can squeeze themselves in.

D. GymCastic

In the latest episode, we discuss whether the Olympics are secretly canceled and the gympocalypse that was week 3 in college gymnastics.

Jessica Bendinger Interview GymCastic: The Gymnastics Podcast

Jessica Bendinger Interview What got cut from the movie. Scary NYC punk shows in the 1980's and of course legendary punk band, Bad Brains who get a nod in the movie. The continued relevance of Stick It. Pitching movies about women to a Hollywood system constipated by gender and structural bias. Why she started her Mob Queens podcast Alternative to the Bechdel Test Training at Muriel Grossfeld's gym with Marcia Fredrick and Don Peters Needing more diversity in Stick It. Our mutual love for Oana Ban and Mattie Larson as both a gymnast  and bad ass hero. Gymnastics, PTSD and nervous breakdowns. Jessica pitches Stick It 2, genderless mafia gymnastics revolution or Stick It 2, the horror version: Escape from the Ranch. Listen to our full episode about  the movie 422: Stick It (Commissioned) JOIN CLUB GYM NERD  Join Club Gym Nerd for access to Behind the Scenes episodes. Behind The Scenes: Project K Behind The Scenes: LIVE after NCAA Finals Behind The Scenes: Live After NCAA Semifinal I Behind The Scenes: Aimee Boorman to the Netherlands Behind The Scenes: Beam Smash Regionals Buy our awesome clothing and gifts here. We have masks too! RELATED EPISODES 422: Stick It (Commissioned) Episode 36: Maddy Curley from Stick It and Brooke Buffington On Their New Gymnastics Movie! 368: No-No-Nunnoisms (Commissioned) 367: Shawn and Nastia: From Feud to Friendship (Commissioned) 365: 1988 Olympics Team Competition (Commissioned) Unitard Revolution Behind The Scenes: Project K Michigan Wins! Behind The Scenes: LIVE after NCAA Finals Soviet Gymnastics: Not the Specter of Evil (Commissioned) Behind The Scenes: Live After NCAA Semifinal I 2021 NCAA Championship Preview Behind The Scenes: Aimee Boorman to the Netherlands Regionals Got Weird Behind The Scenes: Beam Smash Regionals
  1. Jessica Bendinger Interview
  2. Unitard Revolution
  3. NCAA Championships Recap and Jaime Santos Esq explains the NCAA case before the Supreme Court
  4. Soviet Gymnastics: Not the Specter of Evil (Commissioned)
  5. 2021 NCAA Championship Preview

28 thoughts on “Things Are Happening – January 27, 2021”

    1. A few years ago when Apple was breached, nude photos of Maroney were stolen from iCloud and leaked. She was underage in the photos (she had taken herself) and FLO decided to post the links to where you could view Maroney’s nudes. So technically speaking FLO allowed it’s viewers access to child porn.

      Once again USAG is trash. After all that has happened to them already, they go and make a deal with FLO to broadcast their non-NBC meets, completely tone-deaf to what the company does to gymnasts.

      I pray for a Twitter protest, hopefully led by Maroney and Biles against FLO. That company is also trash.

      Like

    1. Apparently contact tracing is due to what monitors are recording, and protocols are rules/policies set by NCAA, but geez LSU: follow rules or you get put out, and certainly wear your masks. On the other hand, Utes keep some masks in the Kris then put on their faces, so…isn’t that a protocol!?! Geez, NCAA!

      Like

    2. Why tell the whole story?

      They don’t need to. The only one that can judge them in this lifetime is GOD the almighty father and his son JESUS CHRIST our LORD SAVIOR.

      If they don’t want to wear their masks they don’t have to. It’s their right to refuse as AMERICAN CITIZENS with FREEDOM!

      FAITH OVER FEAR!!

      The Democrats started this PLANDEMIC to sabotage our KING TRUMP. Then they STOLE the election from the good CHRISTIANS in this country. Now Biden is going to keep this PLANDEMIC going further in order to continue to take away OUR RIGHTS AS AMERICANS. We will wake up one morning as a COMMUNIST country.

      GOD BLESS LSU for being true PATRIOTS!
      GEAUX TIGERS!

      I will PRAY for the rest of you mask wearing SHEEP.

      Like

      1. As a Christian, my response is…

        1. Jesus is the king, not Trump
        2. Thanks for the prayers, but with all due respect, let’s pray for the hungry, the sick, and the poor, the way Jesus did.

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      2. @Anon Wrong. What part of Margarine GANGreene and Colorado GunCUNT BOOBert are you managing to ignore? How about HeeHawley and his ‘cancel culture’ screams? Have you even noticed the bullshit NYT ‘stories’ about President Biden’s Peloton and Rolex watch? How about all the new FBI evidence about exactly how much inside info and help the coup planners had?
        You’re just too stupid.

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  1. OMG. This is even worse than trying to follow figure skating if that’s possible. At least Peacock only charges me 4.99 a month for crap.

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    1. And at least peacock is a usable product that doesn’t put commercials in the middle of programs/routines and blame the product not working on your internet connection.

      I made the mistake of subscribing to Flo and never again. Sorry for the gymnasts who are going to lose this exposure.

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  2. Check out rotation 2 of the Oklahoma—WVU meet. Six Oklahoma athletes clumped together at the top of the vault runway, zero masks among them, for several minutes. GA—LSU meet, three Georgia athletes not wearing masks all the way through their beam rotation.

    Other schools do it too, y’all, and it’s not only wrong because LSU has had issues.

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      1. Yeah, me too. My issue though is that Jessica spent nearly ten minutes on the podcast this week raging about the LSU team and DD taking her mask off in the stands, while completely ignoring both of these other examples of even worse mask behavior (and I’m sure there are more than this). It seems to only be a crime when committed by someone in a purple leotard, and that’s not correct or fair. I’d expect Jessica’s new holier-than-thou mask police angle to apply to every team, because an unmasked face is an unmasked face…but I guess not lol.

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    1. Not that it excuses anything, but every single athlete on OU’s team and their coaches have already had COVID, and they’re not the only squad this is true for, which is why you see such lax protocols, even when lax protocols are probably what caused the team outbreaks to begin with.

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  3. I would hope there would be a letter writing campaign to stop the FLO deal, but I know Simone can just say “no” and the deal would be off.

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  4. It’s a wonder that NCAA teams and now USAG sign exclusive rights over to flo. (How much does flo pay them???) But, they can only do so because the viewers pay for subscriptions. We must all boycott. I subscribed twice for meets I desperately wanted to watch, but never again. It’s not just about how I spend my money, it’s about taking away their viewers so they won’t get more contracts.

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    1. Why are you asking how much Flo is paying as if it’s some secret backroom or illegal deal. That’s literally how broadcasting works. Media companies PAY MONEY to the event organizers for the rights to show the event. Then they media company uses the money from subscribers to pay for the broadcasting rights, as well as to pay their employees, equipment costs, and many other expenses. And if they’re lucky they’ll make a little profit. It’s not shady. It’s called running a business.

      Sounds like there are plenty of reasons to dislike this deal. But the fact that money is changing hands to make it happen is definitely not one of them.

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      1. I’m not that naive. I’m only pondering how much flo is paying because on all other accounts, it’s a horrible deal for USAG. It will not promote the organization, increase viewers. In fact, moving these competitions from free youtube access to behind the paywall will greatly decrease exposure for these events. Not to mention the lack of ethics with the Maroney link. Sure, business is business and money changes hands. I’m just thinking Li Li is savvy enough to know this was a horrible move, and made it nonetheless.

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      2. The only way the Flo deal makes any financial sense is if JO events are involved. Because yeah, the “just plain fans” won’t be spending $ for this, but if every member of little McKinleigh’s extended family has to fork over cash to Flo to watch her do beam at her level 7 meet, then you start to see a business case.

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    1. Now someone needs to get that link to Simone & all the other USNT members (past & present, male as well as female). A bonus for getting it to people with big social media followings. Simone is the biggest name, but I’m willing to bet most gymnasts missed this news & FLO has done a good job at keeping the Mckayla Maroney thing quiet out of mainstream memory.

      Gymnastics isn’t the only sport for which FLO is preventing publicity/popularity. I think it has all the non-NBC/Olympic Channel competitive rock climbing events. When that happened a few years ago those fans were even more pissed since climbing is even further from mainstream thought than gymnastics.

      Not that I’m in love with NBC’s current tv sports coverage for “Olympic sports”, either, & it’s just going to get worse with the NBC Sports channel going away, but at least Peacock is relatively affordable. Their tv coverage of winter “Olympic sports” has gone from showing most things on tv up until the pandemic started to so little tv coverage that none of Mikaela Shiffrin’s wins this season have been in televised races, not even with tape delay. There have also been major breakthroughs of Americans in other winter sports in events that used to be televised. You’d think more things would br covered since it’s so easy to do commentary from home set-ups these days, but no. Instead of actually putting up new/fresh content, they’re doing a lot of “Return to Sochi” & “Return to Peoyongchang” repeats as filler. The new content is pretty much only on Peacock, which I find really complicated for watching sports, & Olympic Channel’s app/streaming. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reduced NBC Sports tv coverage is one reason USAG has made the deal with FLO. (Sorry, big rant of mine this winter.)

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  5. Ah remember the good ole days when FLO was free and you could access routines from almost any optional gymnast in the country…. Flo knows their site is optimal for recruiting and knows at the bare minimum coaches will subscribe for recruitment as their coverage of Level 10 athletes is way beyond anything available elsewhere. And THAT is part of the problem. They aren’t looking to please the average viewer. They are just trying to put exclusive content behind a paywall because they know people need to use the site

    Like

    1. Also it is embarrassing that athletes can’t use footage OF THEMSELVES from Flo broadcasts. I know athletes who had copyright strikes on recruitment videos posted to youtube with less than a hundred views

      Like

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