Friday, August 13, 2010

Remembering The Skating Boom: Todd Eldredge


Ah, Todd Eldredge. The great ''straight'' hope. What is it that makes the USFSA pretend their main horse is hetero? It must be that if they lack any bit of nuance or artistry, they must be of the unfortunate sexual orientation for men's figure skating.


Oh yes, the boring people are just so marketable. In 2002, Todd was the National Champion. While Tim Goebel was throwing his medal in the trash (check that land fill), the USFSA was putting their bets on the wrong horse yet again. It seems they never learned with Todd.


If there is one thing about Todd, it is that he is reliable. I mean, predictable. You always knew he was going to wear some old drab costume in a dark color and skate to some generic movie soundtrack about a war. It was all part of his ''masculine'' look. One night, while lying his head on Richard's fat stomach, they came up with a way to be the USFSA's straight soldier.

"Todd, jut your arms to the side like a robot whenever the music gets suddenly louder!" It is masculine!


If there is one thing about me, it is that I will always be nice in person when first meeting someone no matter how much I want to open my mouth and say otherwise. While sitting at Liberty, these girls next to me were newer uber fans, who said that so-and-so skated very masculine, "just like Todd, Michael Weiss, Evan and Brian Boitano." Luckily, Pat Lipinski was next to me and also trying not to have go buy depends for the rest of the competition. It is okay, they were from Central PA. They clearly didn't know any better.

It is amazing that Todd ever had any difficulty beating Elvis Stojko. When your top competitor is scoring 5.9/5.4 and 5.9/5.5, it doesn't take much to seem artistic and win the tie-breaking mark. Yet, Todd always managed to fuck it up. Despite the fact that every program was the same, same jump layout, same generic music, same costume, same choreography (footwork up on the heel at the tempo change, arms out to the side for the first 90 seconds, long edge curves into jumps, forward spiral with his right arm leading the way at the 3 minute mark), Todd just never could seem to nail it. No matter what, Todd put his second triple axel near the end of the program, as though he had the Asian concentration and discipline of Kristi Yamaguchi or Michelle Kwan. Todd's programs may have said it was 'a walk on the wide side,' but it sure as hell never felt like it.

The American ladies ice queens had come and gone, yet Todd was still missing that second triple axel. Why, you ask? According to Margaret Thatcher, "Todd always needed to have the proper crescendo of disappointment." Todd was a solid all-around skater, so we were willing to feign that he was some artistic master. Mind you, Todd looked and acted like a 40 year-old his entire career. He always looked serious, stressed and one could see where the botox was needed. You just knew he'd miss that axel yet again and then go kick the boards. During Todd's big moment, the 1998 Olympics, it was a miracle that he didn't skate to the side of the rink and try to kick a hole in the boards just like every day in practice (thank you for confirming it, those who trained with him.)

Todd was allowed to veer from the norm once in his career, but the program was about as convincing as his marriage to the bimbo in that pink castle. It got a big giant, "oh honey, no!"

If there is one Todd move that beats all others, it is when he starts his slow section by putting his arms to the side and pivoting on his bent leg in a circle, as though he is conquering the world. Or at least, winning the political game of the USFSA.

Looking back on the Nagano era of men's figure skating, aside from Kulik's jumps, it truly was the worst of times.

There may be just one word to sum up Todd's skating and career: beige.

The midwestern women loved Todd. Though he had the sex appeal of a fifty-year old ''confirmed bachelor' accountant, they hoped and prayed he would marry their daughters. Just once, they hoped the National Champion would bat for their team. Just like the commentators said after each and every Todd long program at a Worlds or Olympics, "Maybe, next year!"

26 comments:

  1. ROFL at this post. Todd was always horrendously boring, and his marriage to that woman = obvious sham, merely confirmed when he divorced to run off to his true love, Richard Callahan's, side.

    The sad thing, though, is that I'm sure his marriage convinced some people. My mother thought it was "adorable" that he got together with his sea world tour guide and had a disgustingly pink wedding with her.

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  2. my favorite iconic todd moment was that awful back outside laybacky spin he used to do. Seriously...What...The...Fuck.

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  3. I believe Johnny did that one correctly. All of his spins were even the same! How about his upright spin where he crossed his legs and put his arms out to the side?!

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  4. Todd is straight. Ask Sasha Cohen.

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  5. What is wrong with Todd's masculine look? He didn't dress up in sequins because that wasn't him. He was just a dorky regular guy.

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  6. Huh?? What's this mean? "While Tim Goebel was throwing his medal in the trash (check that land fill)"

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  7. He always put the second triple axel during the big crescendo of the music, even if it was very late in the program. Musically, it was always a good idea, but maybe not for his consistency. He had a very nice triple axel though, when he hit it. The quad, however, was a disaster for him, and he should have never been doing it.

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  8. His programs all were very similar, but I LOVED some of his music. He's not a flamboyant guy, so what's wrong with masculine programs to powerful music? I liked it.

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  9. This is one of the best, most hilarious posts that you've ever written - a classic. I'd quote the lines that made me cackle with glee, but then my comment would be ridiculously long. Thank you for ending the week on such a high note!

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  10. "It must be that they lack all and any bit of nuance or artistry that they must be of the unfortunate sexual orientation for men's figure skating."

    gold

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  11. Great post. Todd reminds me of Evan in many ways, especially the way to present them both. Even in the way Todd/Evan was the "big brother" to the tiny, charming and way more talented Tara/Mirai.

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  12. I always thought Todd was gay. Then I met him at an autograph thing a few years back. He couldn't keep his eyes off my boobs (I'm just a B cup). I left confused but oddly flattered.

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    1. Male figure skaters are just as strong and as athletic
      as any other athlete. BUT: they need to have
      small builds and lesser height than the 6'5" linemen
      of the sport of football. So WHAT? That in and of itself does not make them "gay".
      How many of you hee-men can lift and toss 100 lb.
      women and not kill them? IN all the pictures of Todd after he met and courted and married Megan, he is
      beaming...so is she. There are and have been "pink"
      weddings ever since there have been weddings.
      She was very outgoing and liked to be on camera etc.
      Perhaps two "celebrities" didn't work...or she wanted
      to have her own career away from Todd...or perhaps
      SHE flirted a bit too much with some of those guys
      she was constantly around.....
      You know nada...you just chose to be as ugly as
      you can here.
      Sad...for you.

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  13. AJ doesnt actually think he is gay. Just fucked up and confused from being forced to sleep with Callaghan like all of his other male students.

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  14. "...while lying his head on Richard's fat stomach..." HAHAHA.

    I have to stifle my laugh to keep the puke from coming out.

    Looking back now at all those videos, Todd strikes me as the skater you'd get if Paul Wylie and Nancy Kerrigan had a broken-condom baby.

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  15. I totally believe Todd is straight and if any of the Callaghan stuff is true, maybe he's just confused. I get no gay vibes from Todd whatsoever. He's just a guy who happens to skate.

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  16. The line about Timmy was serious...he was not pleased about the Nationals experience or losing to Todd and his medal is most def MIA.

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  17. It has been since he got off the podium.

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  18. And the Russians, Kurt Browning, etc have all proven that you can be masculine and artistic without being a completely repetitive one-note snooze.

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  19. I liked Todd's skating. Yeah, all his programs were pretty similar, but I enjoyed them. Just nice clean, solid programs. Loved his scratch spins. I agree with/anon above that picked some pretty good music. Aunt Joyce, no mention of his 1996 World Title and winning free skate nailing BOTH triple axels? ; ) Yeah, I understand he doesn't float everyone's boat, but at least he was pretty consistent and not falling all over the place, especially in the latter part of his career.

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  20. So you're saying he landed both triple axels....as have 109,098,890 top men several times a year in their careers. I posted the video.

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  21. Boy someone is obviously very jealous of Todd,
    he is not gay, so what if he has the same program at least he's not wild and immature. He went to a lot of trouble to shake my hand after a show and he is a very nice guy and as far as him kicking the boards, if you were very serious about your skating it would make you mad if you screwed up.

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  22. I think most of the comments in this thread are disgusting. Todd is a very talented skater, and a gentleman all the way. I don't give a pin about quads, and have enjoyed most of the music he has skated through through all the years. I do wish he and kurt had Olympic medals, but I am grateful both of them have had long careers.

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  23. Todd is getting married again and he just became a father to a son. Yes, the baby looks just like him.

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  24. Todd used to date my children's skating coach and yes, the coach was a woman. Todd is married again to a woman and has a baby. The baby looks just like Todd. He is not gay at all.Lin

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