On The Mark: Get off my lawn, and take your All Stars with you - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

On The Mark: Get off my lawn, and take your All Stars with you

On the Mark (Source: WOIO) On the Mark (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

I don’t mean to sound like a walk-up-hill-both-ways old man, but is there an All Star Game left that doesn’t stink? Well, maybe, but it’s not in basketball, baseball or football.
 
The NBA’s was Sunday, it featured the usual display of no defense whatsoever, and if the slackers on the Western Conference team hadn’t half-assed that first quarter (only 40 points? The nerve!) we could’ve been treated to a team finally cracking 200 points. It was the highest scoring All Star game ever and it was just awful to watch. If both teams are only trying on one side of the ball, how good do you think the game can actually be?
 
I’ll give the NBA credit though, at least they know the game shouldn’t mean anything, which is more than I can say for Major League Baseball. It has been several years and I still cannot believe they’ve hinged home field advantage in the World Series on the All Star Game. Take the most important event in your game and have part of it settled by an exhibition? I’d ask which idiot green-lighted this, but I already know which idiot. Bud Selig.

I’ve always felt Mayor McCheese could run a tighter ship than Selig, and this kind of stupidity is exactly why. Home field advantage is not based on which league champion wins more games, but rather who wins a July exhibition game between thrown together teams. Could they at least get rid of the rule that states each team gets represented? That way you’d know you really are getting the best of the best on the field! No? That’s too much to ask? Fine. I’ll just be over here bashing the Pro-Bowl.
 
The NFL’s brain trust decided the best way to fire up the fans for their game would be to have Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice pick the teams instead of making it AFC vs NFC. That is laughably stupid. “Your car’s engine is shot and the muffler is falling off? Rotate the tires!” How detached from the fans they must be to think that just changing how the teams are picked will make everybody happy. How does that even get out of a meeting room, let alone put into practice? The Pro-Bowl is the hardest game to fix, because you can’t have guys going max-effort without risking an injury, but good grief was the Irvin-Rice dynamic a stupid choice.
 
After games finishing with 17-12, 12-11 and 11-10, the NHL realized their All Star Game was in trouble (what gave it away?) and made changes. They blew up the old format and went with a four-team, three-on-three, single elimination tournament.

One team represented each of the league’s four divisions. Fans seemed to love it. THAT is some outside the box thinking, not deciding that Gretzky and Lemieux should pick the players. Imagine how awesome the NBA’s All Star Game could be if they found a way to get LeBron in a 1-on-1 match up, or part of a 3-on-3 game. That would be incredible, which is why I’m sure they’ll never do it. At the very least could they at least include Flea’s 30-point pod from the MTV Rock & Jock games? Fix the All Star Game! In the meantime, I’ll turn on MTV for basketball exhibitions, it’s not like they’re showing videos like they did in the good old days!
 
They don’t make All Star Games like they used to. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to walk home, and yes, it’s uphill, just like it was on the way here.

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