Every major American sports league holds an All-Star game, celebrating the standout performers in their respective leagues. While the NBA, MLB, and NHL use their game to provide a near midseason break, the NFL celebrates after the entire season is played.
The idea of showcasing the best performers in a league is a great one. Regional fans get an opportunity to see the depth and quality of their sport, watching players they may never seen before. Unfortunately, the performances do not always match the talent.
The best part about All-Star games are the selections of the teams and the heavy debates of the snubs. The worst part of the game usually is the game itself. Despite the level of talent, the risk of injury understandably prevents maximum effort.
The Pro Bowl and the MLB All Star game still resemble a watered-down version of the actual sport, while the NBA and NHL games become entertaining offensive displays but devolve quickly in to pick up games.
There really is no real solution to improving the products, nor should there be. Changing the structure of the game or how teams are selected are novelties but yield little entertainment value over time.
Making the game the decider of homefield advantage for the sports’ championship is a step too far. Those decisions are best served by the contending teams playing in actual meaningful games.
These games are a showcase of talent, which still provide a great number of reasons to watch the games. Seeing home team heroes play amongst the league’s best or watching great players play with other greats or even their rivals is entertaining.
Many people complain about the quality of these games, me included at times. But maybe our perspectives should change. Accept the game as simply as its intended. A showcase giving recognition to the sports’ top performers. There’s entertainment value in that.