Ranking the Four Major Sports All-Star Games and Weekends
Each year we are graced with the opportunity to watch an All-Star event in each of the four major sports in the United States. Here's how I would rank them against each other.
4) NFL Pro Bowl
I'll admit, I'm not a huge fan of the Pro Bowl. Better yet, before it was moved to the week before the Super Bowl I rarely ever tuned in. Even now that it is a week before, players still only give minimal effort (as they should), the Super Bowl players don't appear (as they shouldn't), and there is not as much going on to make the event a worthwhile trip just to specifically see it. If the game was made as a true part of the Super Bowl week, it would have more appeal.
With how violent the game is, it's understandable how the game isn't as big of a deal as the other three major sports in the country. After giving 16 grueling weeks of playing, it's hard to expect players to really give it their all. On top of that, with all the added rules, the game is essentially stripped down.
3) NHL All-Star Weekend
I'm very tempted to put this at number two but there are a few areas in which the NHL All-Star Game does suffer. It doesn't have nearly the amount of exposure that it should, and it hasn't actually occurred since 2012. The 2013 contest was cancelled following the NHL Lockout, and the 2014 event was also called off due to the Olympics. The positives include a fantastic NHL Skills event that takes place during the weekend, and how progressive the league is with using the fantasy roster selection method that was instituted in 2011.
The game itself is usually entertaining, with more goals than normal. The NHL will have the opportunity to increase interest in their All-Star event again in 2015.
2) NBA All-Star Weekend
If there is one event that pushes the NBA above the NHL, it's the Slam Dunk Contest. The event is not what it used to be, but the contest always proves to be fun to watch. I love that the NBA has always billed their event as a fun event. The team's don't take the entire game seriously until the fourth quarter. That alone has led us to more dunks, more three point attempts, and more of Shaq's craziness back a few years ago.
The NBA All-Star weekend involves a Rookie/Sophomore game, Slam Dunk Contest, and the game itself. The weekend would make for a worthwhile trip, and provides hours of entertainment for those watching at home.
1) MLB All-Star Weekend
It's the middle of the summer, no other main sports are going on, and baseball is ruling the country. The best professional sports All-Star weekend goes to Major League Baseball. The weekend features the Futures Game, Legends/Celebrity Game, Home Run Derby, and the All-Star Game. The game has a long standing history between the American League and National League that reminds us all about our nations pastime. The game becomes serious with home field advantage up for grabs in the World Series, but never loses its grasp for fun either.
Overall, the weekend gives the opportunity for fans to see the future, the fun, the home runs, and the stars. Between all the major sports, it's the only one that provides everything. The knocks against the game include the pace of baseball in general (with attention spans decreasing), and the fact that a lot of the main stars are done playing half-way through.
Still, there is something magical about the MLB All-Star Game. The game 100% defines summer and history. That alone makes it the best All-Star Game weekend in my opinion.
How do you rank them?