All-Star games stink!

By Roger Grossman
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — All-star games stink.

I didn’t want to lead you on as to where I was going today.

They stink, and it’s time for them to disappear from the sports landscape.

The most recent debacle of an all-star offering was the NBA All-Star Game, which just happened to be down the road in Indianapolis.

For the record, Indianapolis did a terrific job of hosting all of the events involved in the three-day-long extravaganza. Indy knows how to throw a good party and it did not disappoint with this one.

What we are talking about is the game itself. The NBA All-Star Game stunk.

The final score was 211-186. Who won the game is completely irrelevant. Frankly the whole game was irrelevant. No one cared to guard anyone. No one cared to do anything but shoot. The East was 42-97 from 3- point range. You read that right—one team took 97 shots from 3-point range in 48 minutes of alleged basketball.

No one who watched it enjoyed it.

The NBA’s commissioner tried to laugh about the approach taken by all involved, which resembled that of a matador evading a bull.

The NFL Pro Bowl is equally appalling.

No one is going to hit anyone. No one is going to block anyone. No one is going to do anything to put their own health or the health of anyone else playing in the game in any sort of physical risk, and we all understand that, right? There would be nothing worse than tearing your ACL and missing the next season because of it.

Hockey is the same way.

The players are so concerned about their own safety and the safety of the others around them that there is no checking, no rushes up the ice, nothing happens that makes hockey … hockey!

The only all-star contest that in any way, shape or form resembles the sport it’s supposed to represent is baseball.

In the baseball all-star game, pitchers pitch, batters bat, fielders catch and throw and it looks like a baseball game. And people still watch it.

No one watches the other sports’ all-star offerings, and the commissioners of those leagues know it.

Why? How did we get here?

It’s a business decision. Players want to be nominated to their sport’s all-star game, but they don’t want to put any effort into playing in the game itself. You can badmouth that if you want, but it’s not going to change. We’re never going back.

The commissioners have been trying to come up with incentives that add meaning to the games and add drama for the fans and motivation for the players to give their best effort. Baseball crossed this bridge by giving home field advantage to the winner of its all-star game.

What was predicted is what happened: a guy who was only on the all-star roster because each team has to have a representative in the game and isn’t going to be anywhere near a playoff game had a major impact on who won the World Series.

Nice try, but no thanks.

The players don’t want to play, and fans have shown that they are not watching and are not going to watch.

Here’s my solution: stop pretending and put an end to all-star games.

They should replace them with skills competitions. Baseball would still have home run derby, basketball would still have a 3-point shooting contest, hockey would have a skills night and football could have a punt-pass-and-kick competition.

Preparation time would be minimal, so the number of days needed to host it would be cut in half, and players would still get a break — which is really what they all want in the first place.

Each sport would then choose an “all-pro” team. That team would be voted on by the players themselves and the winners would be announced at a made-for-tv event after the team championship has been decided.

That would also be where we learn who the MVP is, who the coach of the year is, and all the other winners of all the other awards would be announced.

It’s the elephant in the room, but I am not afraid to point it out … All-Star games stink!