Can anyone save the all-star game?
Outside of the actual game itself, flawed as it is, all-star weekend's biggest problem is that it's completely and utterly forgettable.
My guess is only a small fraction of hockey fans can even remember where last year's game was. (Dallas.)
The score? Good luck. (12-9 for the Western Conference.)
And the only reason I remember who the MVP was was the fact THN ran a big photo of Danny Briere with his new Dodge Nitro.
There are all kinds of ideas out there at the moment for how to fix this silly thing, but whatever's eventually done, it absolutely has to be turned into a spectacle. Next to the Winter Classic, Sunday in Atlanta is must-miss TV.
So put it outdoors, fire up the tailgate party and get some sense of a party started in the host city. The Grey Cup up here in Canada may no longer be a marquee event, but it certainly knew how to take over Toronto a few months ago: Create some buzz, offer up a ton of free events and, for heaven's sake, spend some money promoting the thing.
Especially if it's hockey in Georgia.
The Winter Classic showed this league can put on a show if it really puts its mind to it and turns the game over to the hardcores, and what all-star weekend should be is a celebration for those fans. Bring in the all-time greats, have Don Cherry and Bobby Orr on hand, hold it in Minnesota or Montreal, and make attendance mandatory for those selected.
Of the last 10 all-star games, five have been in warm weather climates, a desperate attempt to invoke some interest in a few underdeveloped markets.
I don't have a problem with that — but I just can't see how what they've put together is going to do the job.
UPDATE Eric Duhatschek has a good look at all-star games from the past and what they've now become.
Labels: All-star game