King of the all-star games

Who does a better marketing job showcasing its players better than the NBA? Think about it: David Stern and company puts on a three-night event with no competition from other networks and multiple networks televise the event. What other sport can do this?

As big as the NFL is, for some reason they just do not get what makes all-star weekend great. Major League Baseball seems to get it, but for some reason doesn’t want to make the commitment that the NBA does. What exactly am I talking about? Not only showcasing the league's elite talent, but also the youth with the rookie verses sophomore game, or the skills competition that ends with the re-energized dunk contest. And why is it that the NBA can create a buzz with its celebrity game? I know MLB has its softball game, but I do not want to see MC Hammer and some former players. The NBA had Justin Beiber! Though I don’t get all the hype for him, I see the marketing move to get him.

The NFL’s problem is they are not committed to showcase its players like the NBA. Why not have a semi-strong man competition matching defensive and offensive linemen? I don’t want to see how far a quarterback can throw a ball; that is the equivalent of watching the home run derby. It's cool for five minutes but that is it. Or what if you had receivers try to catch the most acrobatically, organizing it the same way you do with the dunk contest. Just a thought.

The key to this is not to put all the focus on the game (I’m looking at you, baseball). Nobody cares about the game. NOBODY! Adding emphasis on the game by rewarding the winner with this or that is insane. Baseball needs to use the mid-summer classic to showcase its talent and try to continue to separate from the PED era. Also I would love to see a skills competition such as throw out, in which outfielders must throw balls to home plate (I keep thinking of those Fred McGriff instructional videos, where the outfielder makes the throw into the trash can). Something like that. We need to get away from the “chicks dig the long ball” stereotype. Also, why does MLB not have the equivalent of rookies verses sophomores game?

As it stands now, the NBA is the king of the all-star venues right now. How great was the dunk contest? Or how cool was the hardwood floor? The game itself had great storylines and plays, such as Kobe pulling a “Kobe” (ball hog). How cool was it for all four Celtics to play at the same time? The others leagues cannot come close to the story lines created from this game.

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