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All-Star Games Suck

Tyler Shugart

I have not been a fan in recent years of any all-star game in any sport.  Over the years they have all become increasingly boring, pointless, and not good examples of their respective sports.  

The Pro Bowl has been a joke for quite a while. Guys playing at half speed, not hitting, and simply going through the motions of being there and in the game.  For the most part I understand why. Football is a rough game and who wants to take the chance of getting hurt and losing millions of dollars in a game that doesn’t matter.  The best part of the whole Pro Bowl week is the skills challenge which can, at times, be entertaining.  

The NBA All-Star Game, much like the NBA in general, has zero defense and is all about chunking up shots from all over the court or trying to get that highlight real dunk.  It has become unwatchable.  The dunk contest and the three point shootout have, for quite a while, become the biggest fan draws during that event.  One could argue that even the once great dunk contest is even awful now with the biggest stars usually sitting it out.  

For many years the home run derby has been the highlight during all-star week.  For many years we have tuned in to watch sluggers like Griffey, McGwire, Sosa, Josh Hamilton, Vlad, and so many others seemingly send balls into orbit during the derby.  We all remember the shot Griffey hit in 1993 off the warehouse at Camden Yards, or the shots McGwire sent over the monster in Boston in 1999, the year after he broke the record.  Does anyone remember the all-star games from those years?

 The derby has seen some changes over the years moving from the ten out format to the time clock format, and from the top hitters in each round moving on the the head to head format.  Watching the derby earlier this week I came to the conclusion that I do like the timed format.  Seems like it makes it run smoother and gets done quicker. You can’t just stand and watch pitches go by anymore.  However, I do not like the head to head matchups.  In this format you could lose to your opponent 28-27 and everyone else in the round hit less homers than you and you would still be eliminated.  So I think they should stick with the timed format but go back to letting the tope hitters in each round advance.  

One thing that I really did like about the all-star game itself was the mic’d up players and the commentators having the ability to talk back and forth with the players while they were on the field or at the plate.  The conversation Joe Buck had with Freddie Freeman was television gold. Freddie was funny and I enjoyed hearing his thoughts while playing his position.  I though talking to and hearing from players added a lot to the broadcast and kept me interested man engaged with the game.  In a game that has no meaning it was fine to do that. It will not and should not happen though in a regular season game.  Heck the Astros would probably find a way to use it to cheat some more.  

The more access fans have to stuff like that makes the game better and more interesting. I don’t watch much golf. For me its too slow and my ADD won’t allow me to sit and pay attention to something like that for a long period of time. However I was enthralled by the recent rendition of “The Match.” Hearing what those guys were thinking while they were on the course was fantastic.  Baseball has to continue to find ways to keep fans engaged and entertained while watching a game. This was a step in the right direction Tuesday night.  

The game has a lot going for it right now.  Ohtani is a beast. A great young player who can do it all. He’s very marketable. Freddie Freeman is a treasure and his son was the talk of the week.  Baseball needs to continue to ride guys like this as long as possible and keep the fans engaged.  


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