Category Archives: Stuff and Nonsense

Things Are Happening – May 27, 2016

1. Some European gentlemen are here

Qualification has concluded at Boy European Championships, and as expected, Russia and Great Britain qualified well ahead of the rest of the field and will be fighting it out on Saturday to see who can take the moodiest team selfie. I mean…win a gold medal? Or something?

The title probably should have been Great Britain’s to lose, but following the withdrawal of Max Whitlock, the Fightin’ Faded Empires have had to put up a few D scores in the 5.8-6.0 range that they wouldn’t normally have expected to use. So, in spite of a qualification performance much cleaner and less Russiay than Russia’s, Great Britain trails by seven tenths and, in the team final, will need to rely on Russia to be very Russiay in several of the most Russian places in order to come away with the title.

Team Oleg and Team Pablo Braegger’s Earring also emerged from qualification within a reasonable range of each other and should duel for bronze. Meanwhile, Romania got a 1 on high bar and will be using Ponor from here on out.

In event news, there will be no Hungarians in the pommel horse final, no Germans in the HBar final, and Stepko didn’t make PBars, so…what is this world? Verniaiev made four events finals, just missing rings and pommel horse because they’re the stupidest. Denis Abliazin also missed out on the floor final after going OOB, because of course he did. If gymnasts could get deductions named after themselves, a 0.3 neutral deduction for going out of bounds on floor would be the Abliazin.

Also, we really need to start naming deductions. “She hits the Jaeger, but will get a Raisman.” “The judges will deduct for Chelle Stack on those back handsprings.”

In the junior event, One-Direction-haired little cherub Giarnni Regini-Moran continued being New Tom Daley and is really forcing us to have to try to remember how to spell his first name by nearly Bilesing the field to win the all-around.

2. The Classic roster of secrets

Fitting its name, the announcement of the Secret Classic roster was shrouded in mystery yesterday when shortly after its release, both Bailie Key and Norah Flatley were quietly removed from the list. Conspiracy. Government denies knowledge. The truth is out there. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 27, 2016

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Things Are Happening – May 20, 2016

1. Bye Rachelle

Stiletto #2 has dropped. In the wake of 700 accusations of intense terribleness, Rachelle Thompson is leaving Penn State as everyone finally seems to have realized that the situation was, you know, not OK and that there was no coming back from “toxic environment of abuse.”

Or, sorry, I mean she’s leaving to “devote more time to my family and focus on personal goals.” Yep. Mmmhmm. That’s the reason. She wanted to devote more time to her family, you guys. The timing is a coincidence.

But……just Rachelle?

Most of the issues seemed to revolve around Rachelle’s behavior in particular, but it’s clear Penn State/the Thompsons are trying to jettison Rachelle overboard in the hope that Jeff can pick up speed and pilot the ship to safety while everyone forgets about it because some action was taken, which…no. This isn’t the banking industry. TOPICAL.

If Rachelle’s behavior warranted leaving the position, then how does Jeff’s not? It took two to tango. We’re supposed to think he was completely unaware of his wife/associate head coach’s words and behavior? Sure.

And how exactly would this dynamic work going forward? “Hi, team, you forced my wife to resign. This will definitely be a positive coaching environment.”

2. The Elise Ray Era?

Stiletto Sensible work shoe #3 belongs to Joanne Bowers, who is leaving Washington because she was working all the way across the country from her husband and that seems like that would suck. But, what? You’re leaving a coaching job for normal human reasons that don’t involve a shred of scandal? What are we supposed to do with that? You couldn’t have given us a little “toxic environment” or “mysterious administrative leave”? Joanne, I’m so disappointed in you. Pull it together. Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 20, 2016

Things Are Happening – May 13, 2016

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1. Liu Tingting is a thing

Charitably, in our time of devastating gymnastics need with only piddling little world cup events to keep us warm, the Chinese Nationals have arrived to save the day. Get ready to have sudden and arbitrary opinions about the Chinese gymnasts again.

For reference, all the cool kids are super into Liu Tingting right now, in case you want to seem popular. She’s like the snap-bracelets-in-1989 of Chinese gymnastics. Everyone’s wearing at least three of her. The even cooler kids were really into Luo Huan for a second, but her existence hasn’t gone great in the last few competitions, so she’s like SO a month again. Off the face of the earth! Now they’ve moved on to Lu Yufei and Zhu Xiaofang.

But, in real results that don’t have anything to do with coolness rankings, Shang Chunsong won both the TF and the AA final, obvi. She remains China’s best and sole medal-competitive AAer. I mostly hesitate to have any expectations for Shang in the AA because her vault continues to be something that wouldn’t make the lineup of a top-30 NCAA team, but with Iordache undergoing an Edward Scissorhands amount of hand surgeries (see below), the Olympic AA field is starting to look quite shallow and weak. I still expect a Russian to pull it together somehow for bronze, but if it comes down to a fight with Steingruber, Black, Downie, etc, then Shang can win AA bronze in Rio.

In more noteworthy developments, Mao Yi is a real thing now. She made the Worlds team last year, but she was sort of in the “you’re also here” part of the team with Chen Siyi, at least in my mind. The DTY she’s showing right now, however, has far superior distance and chest position to the other options, who are still a little two-inches-from-the-table/show-me-on-the-doll-where-the-mat-touched-you, just like at 2015 worlds. Even more significantly, Mao proved here that her floor is not just usable but necessary in a TF scenario.

It’s appropriate to lose yourself in that quad spin, and while routines that rely on spins for difficulty make me more than nervous, it’s not just about the spin because of the tumbling combos, and China desperately needs this “arm wave and an uncomfortable smile” of a routine.

I’m all for the 3.5+front pike trend. It’s much less objectionable than the 3/1+front tucks, which are also still here in force and are among the reasons China gets stuck down in the 8.0-8.3 execution range instead of 8.5-8.7, with the under-rotating and the coming in horizontally. I’m still not sold on the idea that the CV makes those passes worth it since they’re such deduction traps, but the connections do guard against downgraded twists.

Another future Olympian, power specialist Wang Yan, continues to be not Cheng Fei at all, disappointing everyone. WHY AREN’T YOU CHENG FEI??? Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 13, 2016

Things Are Happening – May 6, 2016

Upwards of several things occur each week that aren’t significant enough to warrant a full post, because meh (they’re not critical news like GIFs of beam boob-stabbing or making fun of Trautwig’s every word), but they still happen. And I might suddenly have strong opinions about them starting now, so here we go…

1. SHOCK! DOCTOR Rene Lyst will not be returning to Arizona State next season.

The first stiletto of the offseason has dropped. I know you have to pick your jaw up off the floor about this astonishing and unexpected development. After ASU put DOCTOR Rene on the side of the road in a ditch “administrative leave” with only a couple meets left in the season, there was a really huge chance she would be welcomed back with open arms for 2017. Risa Perez 7, Rene Lyst 0.

Now that the saga is finally over and Rene is hanging up her Ghost of the Moulin Rouge meet dresses, it’s time to start compulsively whispering JEN KESLER and ELISE RAY into an old stovepipe to see if that does anything. You never know.

Based on team quality and reputation (these days), the ASU job would be a step down for most of the current D1 head coaches, but also MONEY PLEASE, so not necessarily.

Most teams in this position, however, will try to go with the fresh-faced, up-and-coming assistant coach/lower-tier head coach who might be planning to stick around for a while to build a program into something we remember to pay attention to. That’s what Arizona just did with Tabitha and is 99% why I want ASU to look at Elise Ray. We need Tabitha and Elise going head-to-head as NCAA head coaches.

2. Meanwhile at Penn State… Continue reading Things Are Happening – May 6, 2016