By: Jordan Cope, Assistant Sports Editor
Professional All-Star Games in the United States provide an opportunity for coaches and players to rest, fans to enjoy festivities and the best players to team up and showcase their talent.
Lately, however, modern day All-Star games all contain problems that need to be fixed.
The most absurd All-Star Game in professional sports is the National Basketball Association All-Star Game which contains a lack of defense and a lack of effort. In last year’s NBA All-Star Game, the Western Conference All-Stars beat the Eastern Conference All-Stars 163-158.
What is crazier than the score itself, was the field goal percentage of each team. In the game, the Western Conference shot 48.9 percent from the field while the Eastern Conference shot an astounding 50 percent from the field.
In last year’s regular season, the Golden State Warriors led the league in field goal percentage with a 47 percent average, 2.4 percentage points lower than the two teams combined average from the All-Star Game.
The fact that this game contained so little defense that the teams were able to score a combined 321 points and shoot a combined 49.4 percent from the field is an absolute joke.
Another All-Star Game that clearly has problems is Major League Baseball.
While the MLB has a format in place to keep the game competitive unlike other All-Star Games (winning league receives home field advantage in the World Series) something has to be done about fans selecting who gets to play in the game.
Last year, a total of eight Kansas City Royals players were voted by the fans to be starters for the American League. Fortunately, MLB stepped in and countered a total of 60 to 65 million votes to cut back on the amount of Royals starters in the game. The MLB has yet to announce what its plans are regarding fan voting for the All-Star Game this year but it is obvious based on last year’s results that the fans are not smart enough to select who should be starting in the game anymore.
Along with problems in the NBA and MLB All-Star games, there remain issues with the newly structured National Football League Pro Bowl, which recently underwent a format change to try to regain fan interest.
Recently the NFL went from fans voting the best players from each conference to former Hall of Famer’s picking players from any conference to build a fantasy team in essence.
While the league took power away from fans voting, they did nothing to address the lack of effort that is displayed by the players who participate in the game. Granted, the league does not want to see hard hits and injuries in a meaningless game, however, like the NBA All-Star game there is not defense and no effort whatsoever on the part of the players.
Finally, the National Hockey League All-Star Game, maybe the worst of all professional sport All-Star Games. Like the NFL Pro Bowl, the NHL All-Star Game underwent a format change from the best players representing each conference to team captains picking the best players from each conference to be on their team.
While the format is okay, the games do not contain action that hockey fans like to see and turn in to high scoring affairs with no defense or effort on the end of either team. If there is any All-Star Game across professional sports worth saving, it is the MLB All-Star Game. With the right restrictions in place for selecting All-Star representatives, the league has a system in place in which each team will compete to obtain potential home field advantage in the World Series.
Aside from the MLB All-Star Game, every other All-Star Game contains a lack of effort and at the end of the day is not interesting to many fans, which is why major changes need to take place if the other three major sports in the country are going to continue to have All-Star festivities.