Why The All-Star Game Sucks

Valerie Everett, Flickr

I know stretches like these for hockey fans are rough. There's no solace in switiching to basketball for a few days. There's not football. College basketball is even unwatchable to those who like basketball. We could actually go spend time with real people, but what's the point of that? There will be a temptation to switch over on Sunday afternoon to check out the All-Star game. You probably won't be able to help yourself.

You'll be sorry you did.

The NHL All-Star game and the NBA All-star game have been in a competition for years now to see which one can less resemble an actual game of the sport these guys are representing. The NBA version has turned into a I'll-let-you-dunk-if-you-let-me-dunk Globetrotter routine while Charles Barkley gets less and less sober in the booth. You can kind of tell that those guys were out way too late the night before, and probably can't wait to try and better that after the game.

The NHL version is no better. Same problems. But no game is more rooted in emotion and passion than hockey. So watching a game without either makes for as entertaining an exercise as watching people jog in the park (though I know some do enjoy that. Pervs). You would be better off just watching the masses skate around the Millenium Park rink.

I get it. Both are showcases for offensive flair and skill and a platform for the best players in the world to do what only they can. But those things don't mean anything if no one is actually trying to stop them. A 360 dunk only works when five guys are trying to prevent you from scoring at all. Same with some between the legs pass to a wide open winger to score a goal. Only impressive when people are being paid to stop you from doing exactly that and you do it anyway. It's like the home run derby in baseball. I'm not impressed that the best hitters in the world can hit batting practice balls that are souped up to be golf balls a long way. Do it off a 92-MPH cutter.

Take the break, see some friends who don't like hockey. Catch a movie. Something, anything. Because when it all starts again on Tuesday, it gets even more tense, and you probably won't see those people again unitl May.

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