Why Play The All-Star Games

We all love superstars right. We can’t wait to see them on a fast break, a deep route, or a short handed breakaway. The pure joy of greatness displaying greatness is what sports are all about. Its nothing like a a fan’s expectation being met by the best athletes of the world.

When you think superstars, all-star usually follows in a sentence. We choose and pick who we want to start or even participate in an All-Star or Pro Bowl game. But are we choosing wisely? 

When I think back when I was a kid, I remember watching a Pro Bowl and seeing Marshall Faulk running through the defense breaking tackles as a rookie or watching Sean Taylor blow up a punter. What about when you couldn’t go to the rim in a All-Star game without Patrick Ewing or Moses Malone contesting a shot trying to block it. I also remember Jeremy Roenick trying to split between two defensemen to get a goal. They didn’t cross check but they played to win and played hard. 

Now, when this illustrious event for the best athletes in the world is staged for a memorable contest, you have fans barely watching. It’s understandable that players don’t want to get injured and risk any revenue. Yet still, there is an obligation that players must stand by. This is a game for the fans which they voted in the players of their choice. We want a show, not a three point contest in an All-Star game. 

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

So I ask again, did we vote in the wrong players? I understand that their lively-hood is on the line but why vote them in if they don’t play or perform like an all-star that particular day. Aren’t their lively-hoods on the line during the third game of the NBA season, the 22nd game of the hockey season or even the 14th game of a 1-13 football season? They still play hard and those games merely have any significance to the season. Yes, it can be because they are getting paid but again, it’s for the fans!!

So I dare ask again, did we vote in the wrong players? Let’s just imagine that 80 percent of the All-Star recipients are reserve players trying to make a name for themselves on a grand stage, you don’t think they would go hard? Imagine a player who is not only playing for a contract, but a contract to stay on a roster, you don’t think they would play defense on a two-on-one break in a hockey contest.                                                                              

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It’s becoming as if the player are being selfish. Some may say “Well they have nothing to prove and the game doesn’t mean anything,” yet still, the All-Star or Pro Bowl nods make their resume look good for Canton, Ohio, Springfield, Massachusetts and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. So if you are going to participate, then participate. Should the powers that be make adjustments for the NBA and NHL All-Star games like the NFL tried to do with the Pro Bowl (move away from conferences playing each other. Didn’t work)?

At least play hard or compete rather than not tackling or not contesting a fast break. Yes we love the dunks, or spectacular hatrick goals but to see a windmill dunk on a big man or on anybody for that matter would be nice. I want to see Antonio Brown go up against Patrick Peterson on an island arm jostling on a deep pass. We just want competition!

I might sound like a ungrateful fan but if they say the game is for the fans but you give a piss-poor performance, then call them ungrateful after getting the All-Star or Pro Bowl nod. We don’t only pay to attend these games but we also have invested our time into watching the poor performances. So maybe it’s our faults as fans for voting in the same players even though they are deserving. The only thing left to do is not attend the games and don’t watch on television, that might force the league to make changes to accommodate the fans which is what the games are suppose to be all about. Enjoy this year’s Pro Bowl, NHL All-Star and NBA All-Star Games.  Feel free to leave a comment!

Raphael Haynes

Atlanta, GA

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