With the NBA All-Star game taking place last weekend, many NBA fans were able to see the top athletes in their sport come together and play on one court in a exhibition game. It sounds all good and fun, but general managers and some die-hard fans fear that their star player could get injured in a meaningless game in the middle of a busy schedule. Then the issue of getting the players to take the All-Star game seriously, rather than playing passively in a game without anything on the line is a whole other issue.
In the recent 2012 NFL Pro Bowl Game, the disinterest of playing was very apparent. To solve this issue of disinterest in these games, Major League Baseball gave the winning league of its All-Star game home field advantage in the World Series. Should professional sport leagues make their All-Star game count for something to make players play their best and give the fans a good show?
The nature of sports is that injuries are bound to happen, whether you play passively or not. In the 1950 MLB All-Star game, Red Sox’s star player Ted Williams made an amazing running catch but slammed into the wall, elbow first, causing a fracture in his elbow. Williams missed 65 games that season.
The risks of injuries will remain whether there is something on the line or not. Either scrap the All-Star as a whole and just give players time off mid season to heal up, or put something on the line so stars can play and make it the big time show the fans want to see. The idea of scrapping the All-Star game is unlikely as professional sports leagues find all-star weekends as a way of promoting the game; and the most appealing of all reasons: extra revenue. No one wants to see a player getting injured, but instead of seeing an All-Star game played with no passion, most fans would rather see nothing.