The downfall of professional sports: all-star games
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Holding an all-star game in any professional sport seems like a great concept: the opportunity to see the best of the best players square off at their crafts. Although theoretically it should result in fierce competition, in reality these games are among the most boring and disappointing athletic events you ever could watch.
The recent NFL Pro Bowl is a good example. The game could have been mistaken for flag football. Nobody hit anyone. On the offensive side, quarterbacks were just throwing the ball into the air without any sort of care as to who came down with the ball. The NFL All-Star Game did not demonstrate any real talent or competition at all, and was honestly a waste of time to watch.
The NHL All-Star Game wasn’t much better. The league made an attempt to “spice things up,” with four different teams (one from each division) playing 3 vs. 3 hockey, and the two best teams facing off in the championship. This idea seemed like a great opportunity to let the players open up and “show off,” but sadly, this is not what happened. The players seemed lackadaisical, carelessly shooting at the net with very lazy set ups, while the goalies sometimes seemed to make no attempt at all to even stop the puck.
The MLB All-Star Game was the only game where you knew you were going to see the best of the best go at it. Until recently, the rules in the MLB dictated that the winning league would have home field advantage in Game 1 of the World Series. The importance of that advantage always made the players play their hearts out. Sadly, the rules have changed. Now, the team with the better record at the end of the season will have the home field advantage going into the World Series, removing that important motivation to play hard. Hopefully the MLB All-Star Game does not turn into a snooze fest like the other major sports.
The last of the big all-star games – the NBA – took place this Sunday. Team Lebron squared off against Team Giannis. I liked the idea of a pick-up style game that the NBA used. The NBA All-Star Game usually is known for its lack of defense anyway, so it makes sense to emphasize offense in an attempt to entertain the fans.
Despite these flaws, I actually do not want them to cancel professional all-star games. I just wish the leagues could find a format that actually brings the best out of every elite, amazing player who participates.