All-Star or One Star?

Fans of all kinds of sports look forward to the All Star season
Fans of all kinds of sports look forward to the All Star season
Courtesy of Google Images

As we hit the halfway point of many professional sports’ year, the season of all-star games begins. Within just a month of each other, the National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA) all host their fans’ favorite athletes to play against each other in arguably the most anticipated games of the year.

Over the last weekend of January, the Los Angeles Kings hosted countless NHL stars for two days of spectacular hockey at the STAPLES Center in LA. Fans from across the country came to watch globally-known players such as Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin play under the same roof. Every year, spectators enjoy tuning into the skills competition held on Saturday, as well as the annual all-star game the following day.

“It’s a more exciting version of the game because it’s 3 on 3 and the players are actually trying … They get a whole weekend; an event rather than [just a game],” history teacher and Pittsburgh Penguins fan Beau Obetts said.

Although the NHL’s weekend of hockey is a huge success across the country, not all professional sports have the same result. The NFL’s Pro Bowl, held in Orlando, Florida this year, was not as big a success as the league prepared for. Many fans don’t even consider watching the game because of its disregarded reputation.

“The Pro Bowl is a fun competition and it doesn’t matter for anything. Football is a dangerous sport, so there’s no point in risking [players’] health because the game doesn’t have any effect on their statistics,” sophomore and Washington Redskins fan Cate Barrett said.

The lack of significant players who accept invitations to the Pro Bowl has lead to talk in the NFL of potentially discontinuing it. With the Super Bowl in the near future as well as the depleting number of viewings, it may make perfect sense to stop hosting this laid-back weekend of football every year.

“They should not continue the Pro Bowl because so many of the best players are declining. It’s not really getting [the NFL] a lot of money and not a ton of fans watch it,” Barrett said.

Less than a month ago, the NBA hosted their own annual all-star game. Over President’s Day weekend, the NBA’s Western conference defeated the Eastern conference at the Smoothie King Center in downtown New Orleans. It is only once a year over this thrilling weekend that basketball fans have the opportunity to see stars from across the globe compete against each other in one house.

Similarly to the NFL’s unsuccessful Pro Bowl, the NBA also suffers low numbers during their annual weekend. Although tireless hours go into preparation for this iconic event, fans are continually not as interested in tuning into the game as the league would hope.

The NBA all-star game is less watched because the season is so long, and the players don’t want to waste their energy on a pickup basketball game,” freshman basketball player Chris Rita said.

Although this annual game has lost the considerable anticipation it once received in the past, it still has the potential to be a widely-viewed event. Rather than discontinuing all-star games, there are numerous ways sports leagues can improve them so that fans are more invested in watching.

“To increase viewership, there has to be greater implications worth playing for than simply bragging rights,” Rita said.

Despite the negative connotation that frequently surrounds these professional games, there is a possibility for them to be some of the most anticipated events of the year. Tuning in will help them potentially reach the level of success the NHL’s all-star game already has. Because of the immense amount of time put into planning and the number of talented stars partaking in them, these games will surely not disappoint.

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