Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All-Star Game Comments

So, I started to write comments about Chris's (OK, is it Chris' or Chris's? I never understood that rule) article about All-Star Games, and I just started coming up with too much. I'm an all-star game fan. I will even watch all-star games of leagues I don't normally watch (NBA, MLB). My favorite is obviously the NHL, but for some reason, I can never seem to watch the Pro Bowl (I'll get there in a minute).

First, there is the point of all-star games. I think it's a combination of a lot of things that Chris mentioned. It is a celebration of the games' best players along with those who are having exceptional seasons. So I have no problem with superstars (such as Shaq) playing even though they have not played much this season. I'd rather see the NBA All-Star Game with Shaq, Kobe, and Nash (It would have been much better with Nash this year) than some guys who I've never heard of who are having good years. Since there will be some there anyway, it still has the benefit of showing new talent. Another really cool aspect of the game is seeing players who don't normally get to play together playing together. (Which is a pet peeve of mine when Coaches in the NHL game play players from the same team together the whole game). I'll never forget that Teemu Selanne became a Duck the first time because the GM saw how well he and Paul Kariya played together in the All-Star Game.

Second, voting. I think Fans should control the voting for the most part. This game is for them after all. But there should always be commisioner's picks to allow for glaring omissions. Or to celebrate certain players. Mike Modano couldn't play this year because he was injured, but he is absolutely the biggest star in Dallas where the game was played this year. Bettman did the smart thing (I never thought I'd write that sentence) and gave him an official position that allowed him to be involved in the festivities (I was gonna write weekend until I remembered that Bettman really is an idiot and scheduled it during the week).

Third, the other events. Here is my list
In: Home Run Derby (MLB), Skills Competition (NHL), Old-Timer Game (NHL), Young Stars Game (NHL) - barely, Slam Dunk Contest (NBA) - More on this in a moment, Rookie-Sophmore Game (NBA)

Out: The game where they have WNBA players (NBA), umm.. I don't really have any other suggestions.

New: Something for the other players in the MLB. It would be cool to see an accuracy contest for pitchers or something like that. Something for NFL players. Kinda like the Quarterback's challenge they used to do (do they still do that?), Horse (NBA) - Bill Simmons has been advocating this for years. I think it's Genius.

Changes to the Dunk Contest (NBA). The dunk Contest used to be amazing. Now, it loses fun because you see someone (I won't name any names Nate Robinson) fail the same dunk over and over and over until they make it and it's not exciting anymore. From now on, Anyone there can participate and they don't have to announce. Here's the thing, you have Two shots each round. The first round can take however long they need - since we won't know who's next until they check in and say their next. In order to get participation, put up a million to the winner. Make it a real contest.

Finally, quality. I think this is where the NFL suffers the most. No one wants to risk an injury and so players are playing at half-speed it seems. This is what makes this game unwatchable to me and unfortunately, I can't imagine what they could do to improve it. I can live with lack of defense (NHL, NBA, and even to a point MLB) because the games still appear to be exhibition games. The speed of the game (or lack there of in Baseball's case) is still there and the skill is still there. That's what I like about All-Star Games.


Anonymous said...

First, the rule is if it ends in "s" then just add an apostrophe.

Second, i have conflicts with myself about the All Star games. I generally lean to the idea that the games are rewards for a player enjoying an "All Star" season and not just popularity contests. Even though the games mean very little except for maybe the MLB All Star game now, I think that the game should be played to be won, so that to me means putting the players with the best chance of doing that on the field of competition. But then that brings up the question, does the player who has a proven record over several years have a better chance of succeeding or the player who is having a career year???? Hmmmm, just as debatable as Chris' politics, but much more enjoyable!


rus said...

The only All-Star game I watch any part of is MLB. Although is anyone uncomfortable watching the homerun contest after complaining about steriods?
I can't watch the NBA festivities because I can't listen to rap and hip-hop all weekend. It's like a great big rap convention. I don't care about the slam dunk because the guys who would be great like Kobe won't ever do it. The only dunkers are spares and rookies. The 3-point competion is really good. It's amazing to me that they can hit that many shots.

The ProBowl is only good for making my wife happy. It makes me look good to say, yeah, it's the last game of the year, but I would rather hang out with you. I need at least one of those games a year.

I have never watched the NHL All-Star game. If it hadn't been in Dallas, I probably wouldn't have even known it was being played.

rus said...

I can't believe none of you (including me, I guess) brought up the foolishness that is Major League Baseball for putting home field advantage in the World Series on the line. I know they're trying to bring back a bit of competitiveness to it, but the days of animosity between the leagues is over. It is stupid to put something as important as home field advantage on the line. Just accept the All-Star game for what it is: an exhibition where the players play more grab ass than the game itself and the bigger stars leave early for their private jets.

By the way, about the NFL, I heard a stat today that said 1 in 17 players end up being selected for the Pro-Bowl between those original ones selected and the replacements for those who get a hang nail or sprained ear lobe. Talk about a farce.

Chris said...

Correction for Sam: the rule is add 's, regardless if the name ends in s. Adding only an apostrophe would mean there was more than one of me, and the world can't take that.

heather said...

"Adding only an apostrophe would mean there was more than one of me, and the world can't take that"

Don't I know