It seems like anytime an all-star game approaches, no matter what the sport, there are always people talking about how to make the game more interesting or how to make the game as exciting as it once was.
The truth is, there is nothing anyone can do to makes these games more exciting. All-Star games in any sport are nothing but a glorified, overly drawn out exhibition game.
All-Star games used to be exciting many years ago because sports coverage was very regionalized. Fans could usually only watch games of their local team. To follow the other teams in the league, you either had to read the newspaper or wait till the end of the news broadcast for a sports anchor to scroll scores across the screen.
The All-star game used to be one of the few opportunities a fan would have to see some of the game’s best players. Let’s say you were a fan of a National League team in the 80s. Your only chance to see American League stars such as Don Mattingly or Roger Clemens play was during the All-Star Game. This isn’t the case anymore.
Now watching any team play in any sport is fairly easy. All you need to do now is have an internet connection or purchase a package from your television provider. With features such as MLB.TV or NFL Sunday Ticket, fans can watch games from anywhere in the country.
When you take away the allure of watching star players that fans rarely get to see, then all-star games turn into a snooze fest. The Pro Bowl is anti-climactic because its at the end of the season, no one plays defense in the NBA All-Star Game, the MLB All-Star game takes four hours to play and Americans don’t care about meaningful hockey games, let alone an all-star game.
Even the other events surrounding all-star games have lost their luster. The Home Run Derby is three hours of batting practice and the Slam Dunk contest is boring because every dunk has already been done.
Now because of this, it seems like every professional sport is coming up with crazy ways to make the All-Star game more exciting. Every league has tried something drastic to make the game more interesting, such as having the all-star game decide home field advantage in the World Series, putting the Pro Bowl before the Super Bowl instead of after it, or doing a friggin’ fantasy draft.
The truth is none of these ideas can make the game any more interesting because when it comes down to it, all-star games are still meaningless. We need to just accept these games for what they are and stop trying to mess with them.
When it comes down to it, fans of the sports are going to watch the game, while those who are just casual fans probably will not. I watched the baseball all-star game last night, not because it decided home field advantage in the World Series but because I’m a fan of baseball…Also, there is really not much else on TV on a Tuesday night in July.
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