By: Dallas J. Short
The NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL all have all-star games and they all need work. The concept of seeing the best of the best teamed up sounds like an amazing concept, but it falls flat. You have athletes not giving their all, games get boring, it does not live up to the hype and the fanboy excitement is quickly lost. The NHL is going to change it up a bit for their 2016 All-Star game, which takes place January in Nashville.
Their 60-minute, five-on-five game will now be three 20-minute, three-on-three tournaments based on NHL division. Each division will be made up of nine or ten skaters and two or three goaltenders. The two Eastern Conference divisions (Atlantic, Metropolitan) and Western Conference divisions (Pacific, Central) will face off and then the winning division from each side will play a final game to determine an All-Star Game champion. They are increasing the payout for the winners too. It definitely sounds like it has the potential to be more fun and exciting for the players and the fans. I guess we will see how the new NHL All-Star Game format works out, but regardless, at least they did away with the fantasy player draft run by a group of individual team captains, which was an absolutely ridiculous idea.
No idea’s original, right? I would like to see the NBA pick up on this format. Could it be Steph Curry, DeMarcus Cousins and T.J. Warren vs Jimmy Butler (replacing an injured Derrick Rose) Andre Drummond and LeBron James in the final? It would probably be more competitive than a 163-158 game.
MLB-wise, I pay attention to the Home Run Derby and that’s about it during their All-Star break. Numbers wise and size of the field, it might be a bit harder to come up with ideas. There are some changes that need to be made, the sooner the better. I’d say limit fan and internet voting. Having a player from every team seems like the equivalent of receiving a participation trophy, make sure that more of the best players in the league are represented, not such a kumbaya gathering. I say this a Phillies fan knowing it would possibly eliminate us from being involved. The prize needs to change too, if a player knows his team isn’t making it to the World Series, he is not really going to care about home field advantage. Home field advantage should be off the basis of the final two team’s regular season records.
The NFL Pro Bowl has to be the most boring out of all the All-Star events. It seems like a player can call out of the game with an excuse as simple as cramps. There isn’t heart in the match-up. Defense is almost non-existent. Locations of the game need to switch-up more and the faux-competition cannot be as fluff.
I’m sure the fixes for All-Star games aren’t that easy, otherwise they would have been made. I think it does come down to one key point and that is to pay the players more. Yes, you can argue athletes are overpaid, but leagues are even more overpaid and they need to make showing up and playing at a high level for these All-Star events more enticing for their athletes. The players play for money, they put their bodies, their future and their family’s future on the line for games that matter, they should be better compensated for an All-Star game which doesn’t. A bigger paycheck should get their attention.
Do you watch/like All-Star Games? What do you think about the NHL’s new format? What changes would you like to see the other leagues make?
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