Why do we have All-Star Games?

By joelb | January 31st, 2016

First sanctioned all star game in the major sportsAll-Star games have been around for a long time.  The first instance of a sanctioned All-Star Game was by Major League Baseball in 1933.  The rest of the leagues followed soon after with all star games of their own. I have never been a huge fan of the all star games so that brings up the question to me why do you need All-Star Games?    I know that it somehow ties to money but there really is no long term pay off for all star games.   It also brings or is supposed to bring excitement to the fans in getting to see the best players all in one place.   The theory is great and maybe when these games first started it provided the opportunity for people to see players that they might not other wise see.

The all-star games that are played today really bear no likeness to the to the games as they are played in the regular season of each sport.  They are glorified scrimmages that increase the potential that a start player will get hurt in a meaningless game.  Baseball is trying to give meaning to their All=Star Game by giving the winning league home field advantage in the World Series.  How crazy is that.  Hey team with the best record.  Guess what – You have the best record but your All-Stars lost the game so all that work and you do not get home field advantage because of a game that you had no control over.  Really it is a crazy notion to base something important on a game that has no true meaning to the season.

The one sport that really seem to get it right is the NHL.  Over the years they have learned that the all star games really do not mean a whole lot and the games should be used as a fun thing for the fans and a good time to experiment with new and unique formats.  Sometimes they may find something that actually works and look at implement it in the regular season.  It took them a while to figure this out but unlike many of the other sports they did.  It is hard to say if their experimentation has helped to make the sport any more popular.    The All Star competition that they do in the NHL is actually more exciting than the actual all star games.

The NBA has caught on to this to an extent.  Their skills competitions are more exciting than the actual game as well.  What they have not done is change the all star games to accommodate the way the game is played and try out new things. They still pretend that they are actually playing an NBA basketball game.  It really does not resemble anything like a regular season game and over all it is just not that exciting.

Baseball calls it the Mid Summer Classic.  I don’t know how classic it is but it is a game that I skip every year.  They need to stop deciding the home field advantage from the winner of this game.  It is a big prize but may hurt the team that has the best record over the course of the season.

The NFL has it the most wrong of all of the major sports.  This year 47 players declined to play in the game after being selected for it.  There are 43 spots on each leagues roster.  That is a crazy statistic that basically half the roster for each league that was voted in declined to play in the game.  I do not blame any of the player for declining to play in this game.  Why would you risk injury in a game that means nothing.  This is where the NFL could learn something from the other leagues.  The skills competition is interesting and some of the players that decline to go now.  Would probably take the invitation and participate.

The ratings for all star games have steadily declined over the years.  The games just need to be changed.  Let me know in the comments what you would do to make the all star games more interesting.  Or maybe you like them the way they are.  If so why?????

Topics: MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL | 1 Comment »

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