Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Not All Ice Sports Are Created Equal

Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty)

Last night, I, along with several other Deadspin idiots, went to watch the Islanders and Golden Knights play a hockey game. It was my first time watching live hockey and I don’t know a whole lot about the sport, although I gathered from the booing that the house lights failing and play being delayed for 15 minutes was unusual. Without a stable reference, I sat there eating my overpriced chicken tenders and fries and analyzed the hockey as though it was figure skating, an ice sport I understand reasonably well. As my coworkers tried to ignore me and drink their $16 (!) light beers—my ancestors would roll over in their graves if I ever spent that much on a beer—I said stupid shit like, “Lots of two-footed skating” and “Where are the transitions?” and “Why aren’t they playing any songs from Moulin Rouge?” I think we all learned a lot.

I was alerted to the fact that Johnny Weir, former men’s figure skating national champion and NBC commentator, had recently applied his skating acumen to hockey in order to evaluate Sidney Crosby’s jump in a game a couple of days ago.

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Weir gave Crosby the highest possible GOE—grade of execution—under the current International Skating Union (ISU) rules.

Weir was especially grateful to the NHL for introducing him to the hotness of Crosby, which is a gratitude that I now share.

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Everyone was having a good time online until, as generally happens, an idiot showed up with a take no one asked for:

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Hockey and figure skating fans united to pile on sportswriter Ron Clements. More than one person pointed out that a lot of former figure skaters help NHL players with their skating skills.

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(Here’s a story about Pelletier’s hiring by the Oilers.)

Weir responded to Clements’s stupid tweet by pointing out the obvious—that figure skating and hockey are entirely different sports.

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A good point by Johnny Weir! Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, here is Kurt Browning, a four time world champion and the first figure skater to land a quadruple jump in competition, performing in hockey skates.

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About the author

Dvora Meyers

Dvora Meyers is a staff writer at Deadspin.