NHL All-Star Weekend: Skills Get Top Billing
Face it, the only All-Star game that's worth a damn is baseball's.
A Chicago editor dreamed it up in 1933, it caught on, and for some reason, every other pro sport in North American then felt it needed one, too, in order to validate itself.
Unfortunately, baseball's a rare exception where any semblance of a real game can be played.
Look no further than Sunday's glorified shinny exhibition as further proof:
When a hockey highlight clip sounds like a frog orgy in Albania, it's time to look elsewhere for an All-Star weekend to exist.
And that's where the NHL excels. It's skills competition has enough flash, variety, and showmanship to steal center stage.
While all this was pleasing the fans, the NHL was also busy doing what it could to excite the techsters:
Maybe it's just the new century. This stuff -- while cheesy in its first incarnation -- used to be roundly criticized. The difference, of course, is the new wave of analytics is being embraced by high-end fans and analysts, while the sperm puck was just an attempt at appealing to the great unwashed:
Apparently, the un-hockeyed masses these days are left with settling for Miss Canada. For them, the sport will remain a novelty. Kind of like the All-Star game is to the real fans.