Whether it is the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB or any other major league sports league or association, they all have an event where the best players in the league compete in one game. Many people look forward to these games because none of the scrubs are involved, and secondly, they like to watch how their favorite player, plays along with other great players in the league. Also, when looking back at retired athletes, some are remembered for how many years they were an all-star. For example, MJ was a 14 time all-star.
Back in the day, all-star games used to be very exciting. There were many rivalries in all leagues, be it the National League vs American League in baseball, or North America vs the World in Hockey. Or the East vs West in the NBA or even the NFC vs the AFC in Football, either way, you got to see players who are usually division rivals play together to defeat players from the other conference, or in the NHL's case, hemisphere.
Today, all-star games are becoming a joke, and everyone is starting to catch on, it's all about the money. Well if the quality of the games get any lower, fans will stop attending these fun games. Here is the main problem: The Fans
Call me crazy but i think certain fans are ruining with some of the greatest traditions in sports. Today with the technology we have with texting, and the internet fans are allowed to vote in any player they want to participate in these games. That means if all of the Nashville Predator fans all decide to vote for Wade Belak, he would have a chance of making the all-star team. That is complete BS because he has 0 points this season but because of the fan voting. So when we compare Gordie Howe's 23 all-star appearances, his name will be up with Wade Belak the 0 point wonder who got voted in by fans.
In the most recent all-star drama, Yao Ming is set to be the starting Center for the West in the NBA all-star game coming up in a few months. The problem is Yao, once again is out for the entire season with leg issues, this time the ankle. Yao though, got voted in thanks to the large Chineese population, that is more than three times larger then the US. To make it even easier for them, they only have one player to vote for!
Because of Yao's all-star voting, Commissioner David Stern will have to select a player he thinks deserves the chance to play in the all-star game. Also, in this day and age, there is way to much talent, to get spoiled over by fan voting.
The next reason i think the all-star games have been subpar in the last few years is because of the players.
I understand it's fun to watch the players be themselves and show some character after MOST of them are somewhat serious during the regular season. Still, i think these players should still give it their 100% during these games for the fans. Too many tricks and jokes are incorporated into these games and they become a joke after the 1st quarter or period.
In the NFL Pro Bowl yesterday, the game was the biggest mock i have ever seen. Even Peyton Manning was making careless mistakes out there. Also in all of these big games, the rules are fixed. For example there was no blitzing allowed which puts the defense at a total disadvantage. They shouldn't have Pro Bowl defenseman if they just stand there and let the offense score. By the end of the 1st half it was 42-7 NFC. That's just not fun to watch.
One of my best All-Star/ Pro Bowl moments was when Sean Taylor jacked up punter Brian Moorman. Sean was a great NFL player and he rests in peace today. Here is the clip of him showing some effort and pride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neGsutVPOXw Moorman was ok.
As for the NHL all-star game, it is always high scoring but at least it's close. They eliminate some of the rules to allow a quicker paced game. Still even with less defense 21 goals should not be scored, especially four in the first five minutes, that's just lame.
In the future, i would like to see all-star games voted by the players, coaches, and commish, since they really do know the best. They should not be able to vote for anyone on their team to make it fair. Also i did love the new NHL fantasy format, because it is fun for the players, and something new. Finally though, in the future i want to see an all-star game where the players start to care again and make these events memorable, and not a waste of money.