Friday, January 27, 2012

Ranking the All Star Games

With two pro sports All Star games occurring this coming weekend (NFL and NFL), I thought it would be appropriate to rank the 4 major sports league's all star festivities.

1) NHL All Star Weekend
The best part about the NHL all star game is the fantasy draft that occurred on Thursday. It has a playground style feel to it, with two team captains alternating picks. It is always interesting to see which player will be picked last (I regret to say that this year's was Logan Couture of our beloved Sharks) and which player will be picked first. One gripe I have with this format is that captains tend to pick their teammates first, which takes the prestige out of the first pick. However, it is still the most intriguing format for an all-star game.

Furthermore, the NHL skills challenge is also interesting. How fast is Zdeno Chara going to shoot this year? Find out in the hardest shot competition. What crazy stunt will be pulled off in the breakaway challenge in the absence of Alexander Ovechkin? The skills competitions are fun to watch and I look forward to them in the next couple of days.

2) NBA All-Star Game
I hate to place this second seeing as the basketball is my least favorite sport, but, more than any other, the NBA is a star-driven league and the all-star game is where the stars play. Unlike the NHL, the NBA has more than enough household names to fill up two rosters. More than the all-star game itself though, I enjoy watching the slam dunk competition, although that has slowly declined in quality, as well as the Rookies vs. Sophomores game and the Skills Challenge. The downside to the NBA game is the fan voting, which almost never rewards breakout stars and, last year at least, had Yao Ming as the starting center even though he didn't play a game all season.

3) MLB All Star Game
The MLB all star game is the only one that has an actual implication, and that is why it is placed in front of the Pro Bowl. Another reason is because it comes on a day where there are no other professional games being played, so you kinda have to watch it or starve from lack of sports for a day. I like how the roster selection is not done entirely by fans, because that is something that completely messes up the NBA game.

The game itself is not that fun to watch, mainly because baseball is not that much of a team sport, so you cannot really see how these stars play together, which is something that makes the other games interesting. Another negative is that not all members of the roster actually play the game and many pitchers (which constitutes almost all of the Giants' representation), don't get to pitch so I don't get to watch our local stars.

4) NFL Pro Bowl
The NFL has had problems with the Pro Bowl. They have no idea when to schedule it. They used to have it the week after the Super Bowl, but nobody watched it because the season was over. Then they moved it to the week before the Super Bowl, but now players from the Super Bowl teams do not play. Many other players also drop out of the game due to fear of injury. Football by nature is a violent sport so it's hard to have an exhibition game where no one gets hurt.

The NFL has tried to eliminate injuries in the Pro bowl by adding rules such as no blitzing the quarterback and allowing intentional grounding. However, this makes the game boring for the fan because the players aren't playing their hardest. Part of the fun of football is the violence, and we don't get that in the Pro Bowl. I mean, it's always fun to watch the best football players play together and I'm still going to watch the game, but with so many players dropping out and the overall lack of effort in the game, the game is the least intriguing all star game out there.

So there you have it, the NHL has the best all star festivities. Of course, I'm probably not gonna watch the game, I watched the draft and that was enough. That's what makes the NHL all star weekend fun. The games I probably will watch are the MLB and NFL games this year because those are my favorite sports.

Which All-Star Game do you like the best?

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