Written in the stars

Reading Time: 2 minutes The All-Star games: Serious competition or relaxed joke?

Reading Time: 2 minutes
There’s something about seeing Kobe Bryant and Lebron James on the same court, playing against each other. We only get to see that once a year during the All-Star game. False. We saw that game when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Miami Heat on Feb. 10. And the game meant something.

What about seeing Carmelo Anthony lobbing an alley-oop to Amare Stoudemire on the fast break? False yet again. We can see that any night of the week when the New York Knicks play on the court.

Yet fans from all over the nation flock to the All-Star game to see their favorite players “NBA Jam” on the court for no particular reason. This is not referring to the Slam Dunk contest of course because technically, that is for personal, individual achievements. But the game itself seems to be a mockery of the sport, with lack of defense on both ends so that the Cirque du Soleil can take center stage on the court.

Yet fans shelve out their money to see this entertainment. Because, that’s what it is, sports entertainment. The World Wrestling Entertainment call themselves sports entertainment. Good job NBA. You are now in the same category as The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Competition is what keeps sports going. The Pro Bowl in the NFL is a joke in itself. Taking place a week before the Super Bowl every year, the Pro Bowl is where the stars of the losing teams get to lick their wounds in Hawaii before they sit back on their couch to watch the winning teams play for something meaningful in the Super Bowl. And the losing team in the Pro Bowl have it worst because, technically, they lost twice.

I don’t mean to be biased towards baseball, but the MLB has figured out the All-Star game. It actually means something every year. The winning League gets home field advantage in the World Series, which has turned out to play in the winning team’s favor. Since the rule change in 2003, the winning league in the All-Star game have gone on to be the winning league in the World Series, 7-3, including last year when the National League team gave a spanking to the American League team, and then the San Francisco Giants (NL) swept the Detroit Tigers (AL) in the World Series.

It is all fun and games until somebody gets hurt and maybe that’s why these All-Star games are treated as if they were exhibition games. But in the long run, it loses its competitiveness which is the main reason sports exist: for the competitiveness.

Alex Rivera is the Sports Editor for the UVU Review. You can contact him at [email protected] or through his Twitter account @HashtagginAlex