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All-Star shame?

4 times a year the 4 major North American sports put on an All-Star game, and 4 times a year sports reporters and broadcasters trip over themselves to be the loudest and most adamant with their disdain for all All-Star games.

“All-Star games are a waste of time!” we are told, and “All-Star games are nothing like a regular season game”. Not to mention the good old standby “There isn’t enough competitiveness in All-Star games!”

To these comments and this general sentiment I say:

 

 

REALLY?!?!?!?!

Oh no!  You mean to tell me that All-Star games are different than a normal game?  Not the same as a regular-season contest?  Dare I say they could even be described as special or unusual?

Isn’t that the point?

 

 

Why do these All-Star games get panned time and time again?  Can we not take them for what they are?  For what they are intended to be?  The very best of the best in a particular sport putting on an exhibition of skill….or, you know, showing off.  Somewhere along the line this has become insulting to those that cover sports.

For example, the NHL All-Star game, we are told, doesn’t have enough hitting, doesn’t have enough intensity, and the teams have almost no defensive game plan at all.  This is seen as a bad thing.  I guess the only thing we can do is have the All-Star coaches pick their own teams.  They can add as many checkers, defensive defencemen, and big hitters as they want. Furthermore, we can pause the regular season league schedule for two or three weeks so the two all-star teams can hold mini-training camps so that the respective coaching staffs can drill their defensive systems into the players so they are all on the same page.  Heaven forbid one of them be out of position briefly and give up a scoring chance!  

Ironically, many of these reporters that cry about the lack of competitiveness in NHL All-Star games also bemoan the lack of entertaining hockey in the regular season and that the entertainment value has been coached out of the game with coaches implementing rigid defensive systems choking out any offensive opportunities or creativity.

Yes, we aren’t going to see a lot of intensity in an All-Star game, because quite frankly, there really is no reason to “hate” the opposing team.  There isn’t a sense of team, or “us against them” because these players are flown in for 2 or 3 days.  Its just not going to happen.

What we do quite often see, however, is the top players in the game showing off some incredible skills that we more often than not wouldn’t be able to see too much of in a regular season game.  We get to see fantasy line combinations, best on best, one-upsmanship, and an out-of-this-world exhibition of skill unequaled in any other situation.

Let’s enjoy All-Star games for what they are and not saddle them with unreasonable expectations and compare them to regular season games, because, well..they’re not regular season games… and that’s a good thing!

 

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