Is it time to do away with All-Star games?
All-Star games have been an important part of sports culture for a long time in this country. Each of the “big three” (NFL, MLB, and NBA) has All-Star games where the fans get to vote to see some of their favorite players from across their respective leagues on the same team at the same time.
In theory, the concept of All-Star games is great. I mean, what’s better than seeing Kobe and Chris Paul versus Wade and Dwight Howard? The idea of watching Drew Brees throw to Donald Driver while Von Miller and Ray Lewis try to get a sack is pretty appealing as well.
But the thing is—in most All-Star games, you rarely to never see players actually on defense. And to me, that begs the question: Why should we watch something that isn’t even the sport we love?
Admittedly, I did not watch this past Sunday’s NBA All-Star game—partially because I don’t have cable and partially because I’d rather watch the Oscars—but from the final score you can tell that it wasn’t a real basketball game.
Seriously, 152-149? That’ll never happen in a real game. Ever.
And yes, the games are somewhat nice to look at because you get highlight reels like this one…
…but again, this is not the sport that people love. This is schoolyard nonsense.
Believe me, I understand why players don’t want to play defense in All-Star games—especially in the NFL. People are routinely hurt when they get tackled so they don’t want to overly exert themselves. But let’s be real—the Pro Bowl is a farce.
The fact that this year the commentators were consistently insisting that the plays were just so great and the receivers were running such great routes, and making great football plays—it honestly made me want to throw up. Need more evidence that this game was a farce? Players were allowed to tweet during the game! That’s absolutely ridiculous.
Again, a score of 59-41 is almost never going to happen in the National Football League where a consistant slogan has been “defense wins championships.”
But here’s where I get confused and my argument probably has no merit: We watch this junk!
This past Sunday’s NBA All-Star game drew the second-highest ratings for the game since 2005—and that’s with the game going up against the Oscars. The Pro Bowl telecast on NBC drew 12.5 million viewers, and while that was an eight percent drop from the 2011 Pro Bowl, it was still watched by 1.5 million more people than the 2011 MLB All-Star game—a fact I find crazy since baseball is the only sport that actually plays an All-Star game that remotely resembles the sport fans routinely watch.
My point is this—if the players are so disinterested in playing the game people are actually used to watching, should they even play an All-Star game at all? The NBA already has skills competitions—why not just stick with those except with star players? The NFL would be wise to follow a similar model.
That way, certain players wouldn’t be embarrassed for not shooting at the end of the game like a Superstar should.
Myles Simmons is a Columbia College sophomore. Clearly, he’s not a big fan of All-Star games. He also thought Billy Crystal wasn’t funny at all hosting the Oscars on Sunday. Should’ve brought back that pothead James Franco.
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