Did anyone watch the NHL All-Star Game or the NFL Pro Bowl yesterday? Yeah, me neither. I love watching hockey and football’s pretty high up on my list of favorite sports to watch but when it comes to All-Star Games, they’re just not as much of a must-watch event as some of the actual meaningful games.
I suspect I’m not alone on this because every year the ratings for the All-Star games come out and every year, most of them aren’t all that high. Football, hockey, basketball, baseball…every single sport that hosts an all-star game never seems very happy with it. In baseball, the winner of the Midseason Classic determines which league gets home field advantage in the World Series because apparently there isn’t enough incentive to compete otherwise.
In football, the NFL has moved up the Pro Bowl to the week in between the NFC and AFC championship games and the Super Bowl and tried moving the game to Miami instead of Honolulu last year. Presumably, the idea was to make the game more intriguing for the fans and players but the following year, the game was back in Honolulu. I guess even the fans and players of the teams that don’t play in the AFC East didn’t find the change of scenery intriguing enough.
In basketball, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson have been voted into the All-Star Game in years where they’d barely played at all, though at least the presence of Blake Griffin in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest should make for fun viewing.
As for hockey, this year the NHL ditched the conference vs. conference format every other league uses in all-star games and still let the fans vote in the All-Stars but then named two players, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom and Carolina’s Eric Staal, captains of their respective teams and had them take turns choosing players like an elementary school playground game. Strangely enough, the idea really seemed to go over well with the fans attending the game in Raleigh so maybe the NHL’s on to something.
So here’s my question for you, fellow Ithacans. What changes would YOU make to the All-Star Games or the Pro Bowl? Which league has the best all-star game right now? Who has the worst version? Feel free to chime in.