It’s Time For Fan Votes to be Removed from All-Star Games

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

 

All-Star: [awl-stahr] – adjective 1. consisting of athletes chosen as the best at their positions from all teams in a league or region  2. consisting entirely of star performers.

Key words I see above?

Chosen.

Best.

Entirely.

None of those words can really apply to the way that All-Star teams in the four major professional sports leagues in the United States are chosen.

Key words and phrases I see missing from above?

Most popular.

Most famous.

Past Accomplishments.

Those are all things the definitely apply to the way All-Star teams in the four major professional sports leagues in the United States.

The reason? Because all four leagues let the fans have a major voice in how the players for the All-Star teams are “chosen”.  The MLB, NBA, NHL All-Star teams and the NFL Pro Bowl all have fan voting as at least a part of how the rosters are selected.

When fans vote–and have an unlimited number of times they can vote online or at arenas and stadiums–what you end up with are skewed and ridiculous results.

You get players voted in who have been benched by their coaches or who have been injured for the better part of a season. You get players voted in based on their past accomplishments regardless of how many other players are having better seasons. You get players who happen to be lucky enough to play in markets with millions more people than other players, and who benefit from the sheer numbers.

In short, you get a travesty, and more of a “fan favorites” team rather than an All-Star team.

Well, it’s time to end the madness.

After all, when’s the last time that a casual movie-goer got to vote on the Academy Awards, or that a serial music downloader had any influence in who won a Grammy Award?

Fan voting should just simply be removed from the equation in any All-Star team selection process. The lack of knowledge that the majority of these so-called fans who are voting actually have about the players and who deserves to be named an All-Star boggles the mind, and the fact that “Average Joe” who doesn’t know the difference in a defensive tackle and a defensive back has such a large part in deciding these rosters is why the rosters and games are such a joke.

This is one place where the voice of the fans needs to be silent, because there’s just too much at stake.

No I’m not talking about the joke-like exhibition games that are played.

I’m talking about the hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in incentives that players are cheated out of because they don’t play for a major market’s team or don’t have the most recognizable jersey.

I’m talking about players who find themselves missing out on the incredible experience of an All-Star game simply because someone else has more commercial appeal.

I’m talking about the inflated credentials that some players end up with that can vastly influence other awards and recognition.

Let’s leave it in the hands of the experts; the players, the coaches, the beat writers who cover these teams on a daily basis. Those are the voices that should be the deciding factors in the All-Star process.

Yes, the debates over who was snubbed and who was not really deserving of the honor are fun, and make for great water cooler talk. And those debates will always happen. The human element will never be removed, and there will always be a debate on the rosters.

But let’s make it a legitimate debate, not an argument based on what city’s fans were able to utilize high-speed internet more to their advantage.

The games are about the fans, but the recognition of being an All-Star is about the players and the hard work they’ve put in. Those who have accomplished the most, and played the best should be selected. As long as fans have a say, that will never happen.

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Michael Collins is a Rant Sports NFL and MLB Network Manager, and Atlanta sports columnist. Follow him @GaSportsCraze on Twitter and here on Facebook

 


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