Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IFBB Pro judging and the fans

The 2012 IFBB Mr. Olympia is a little more than a week in the past and in that time I've read lots of posts on forums on various sites by fans. It's pretty much the same stuff that I see after every contest -- "the judges are stupid" "the IFBB is corrupt" "Branch Warren should not have been in the top 10" "judges should be held accountable" "you have to knock out the champ" "MuscleTech" and so on...

To be honest, I'm tired of it. Most of the guys complaining are young kids who have only seen pictures of pros on the internet and have never been to a live pro show and yet they know more than IFBB judges, promoters, and other officials. And somehow these internet warriors all have the inside scoops on how MuscleTech or Gaspari pay off all the judges and promoters.

As I was sitting at the Mr. Olympia I overheard a couple guys talking loudly behind me. The jist of their conversation was that Kai Greene was is in good shape and would make a better spokesperson for the sport because he had a hard life and grew up in foster homes. I had to think, "Really?" It didn't matter that Kai faded big time on stage during the finals and Phil Heath didn't. Kai should win because of... how he grew up?

It seems after every show guys are complaining about the judging like it's a common fact that all IFBB judges are worthless and always have been. Guys say the placings are never right. The young internet judges are always right because they've looked at all the photos frm several sites. I come back from the show and start thinking they saw a different show than I just did.

I've been to more than 20 pro shows and, no, I don't agree with all the placings at every show, but I tend to see that a judge could see it differently than I did. From those 20-some shows there are only two decisions that I really questioned the final winner. One was the 2010 Arnold Classic. Phil Heath was ahead in the judging and it seemed everyone in the crowd knew he was going to win because Kai was a little off. By the end of the finals, Kai came out on top and Phil was second. It was bewildering, but Kai did look better in the finals so I can concede a win for Kai. No big deal really.

The 2007 Mr. Olympia is another story, That is the one and only show I still question the final results. Lots of people did. Jay was off and didn't deserve that win over Victor Martinez, but that is the one and only show that I really didn't agree with the results. The other shows were all pretty close and I can understand the other decisions -- even if I didn't agree with them.

Social media and the internet in general have allowed people to share ideas, opinions, and concerns about their topic of choice, but it's opened up a world of misinformation and silly conspiracy theories into pro bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is hard to judge because it's all subjective anyway. Adding extra bogus parameters and suggestions from guys that have never attended a pro show is not helpful.