NBA – (Bleacher Report) – That’s right—the Dallas Mavericks center, who is averaging 10.5 points and 10.8 rebounds, came within 14,227 votes of knocking out San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard for a starting spot on the West squad. Pachulia also leapfrogged Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who has been one of the league’s brightest stars this season.
NHL – (ESPN) – John Scott, as it turns out, is still headed to the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.The NHL announced Tuesday it decided to allow Scott to captain the Pacific Division team even though he got traded out of the conference.
MLB – (Sports Illustrated) – If this year’s All-Star voting had ended on Monday, seven of the nine members of the American League’s starting lineup would be Royals…most of whom don’t deserve the support. Omar Infante, who has the lowest OPS+ this season among qualified players currently in the majors, is within 160,000 votes of Jose Altuve for the starting second base spot.
I’ve had enough.
Over the course of a year, we have seen the Fan Vote be nothing but trouble for the major sports in America.
Starting with MLB, you saw the no-life Kansas City Royals fan stuff the ballot and almost get their entire starting lineup into the All-Star game. I won’t spend too much time on that, since I already ranted on that here.
Sadly fan voting doesn’t cause shit to stir only in the MLB. Last week, NHL fans voted John Scott into the NHL All-Star Game. Yes, the John Scott that has been in 11 games this season, and the John Scott that has amassed 11 points in 8 career seasons in the league. Scott led in voting, and is the captain of one of the teams in the All-Star game. Scott can thank a Reedit campaign with the goal to troll the voting online.
And yesterday, the NBA announced who was in their midseason All-Star game.
With Kobe Bryant in his last season, he received the most votes in the NBA. Which I get, but if you have watched him play this year, he is in no means an All-Star. Along with Bryant, Zaza Pachulia received an absurd amount of votes. Like enough votes to almost receive a starting spot in the game, and some how more than Draymond Green. Has Zaza had a good season?
Yes. But simply doesn’t deserve this many votes.
So. With all of this shit. Should fans have 100% control of who is in the All-Star games?
No, but I’m willing to meet in the middle and say fans can have a portion of the voting.
Basically, you have to personally pick an attitude about All-Star games. You can either say that it is a celebrity gathering, it means nothing, and is just for the pure fact of the entertainment. In that case, it isn’t about whether they are “All-Star’s” or not, but more of a popularity contest. Which is fine, as long as it is identified as such. On the flip side, you can want to see the best play the best, and the game be competitive and even count for something.
Do you have your decision? Great!
If we all agreed on it being a popularity contest, this would solve a lot of problems. No one would be insulted and no one would be “snubbed.” The fans get to see who they want, and the league would likely enjoy the popularity of it.
But if you want the game to count, you don’t want a current Kobe Bryant coming out for your team. You want your team to win, you want the best players from each conference to play competitively for home field advantage (or whatever is at stake). The trolling or uneducated fan shouldn’t make this choice? The writers or other players should make this decision to make the game fair.
Basically, professional sports needs to make a decision. You can’t have both, it has proven not to be working. You need to pick if the game matters, or if the game is for entertainment purposes, making the voting a popularity contest.
The NBA has figured this out, with the game just being a massive highlight reel every year. The NHL is still trying to figure out their system, but reinstating John Scott as an All-Star is the step in the right direction as a less competitive, fan driven game. Mainly I’m talking about you, Major League Baseball. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t consider the game serious, but have the entire Royals team in the game.
Since the game dictates home field advantage in the World Series, it is important to have the best players in the game. But the league drives fan voting hard, turning it into a popularity contest. Hell, Omar Infante almost made it to Cincinnati, he is in no means close to an All-Star. Sorry Omar. I know you’re a tough guy after this…yikes.
Also this is a small and useless thing to get mad over, this is something that really grinds my gears. I for some reason get really heated about the misconception that someone is an “All-Star” because they were in the game, voted by their home town fans. I greatly dislike the media talking about who is deserving of the right to go to the game, when it is simply people voting about who they like and dislike.
When it all comes down to it, if you’re going to have a serious All-Star game that counts for something, you can’t have the fan voting. But if you are doing a fun spirited game, the fan voting is a great tool to drive engagement with fans and the league. It’s time for the four major sports leagues to clarify what their All-Star game is, and what the goal of it is.
After all of this, in the end, All-Star games are in fact completely overrated. Clearly the best part of All-Star weekends are the competitions like the MLB Home Run Derby, NBA Dunk Contest, and the NHL Skills Competition.
Do you like the “Fan Vote” in Sports? Am I in the minority here? I wanna know. Tweet me @ConnerGrant5 or @Sro_Sports and let’s talk.