Congratulations sports fans, we have all proven to be completely irresponsible and not worthy of having a vote in deciding who goes to all-star games.
Sure, we could blame the leagues for giving us this chance to ruin their showcase events, but nobody in charge of the NHL, NBA, or MLB expected us to act like children. The latest example of this ongoing tragedy is NHL fans deciding that John Scott should be an all-star. For some unknown reason, there was a movement to get Scott into an event meant for the best of the best, and a way for NHL fans to celebrate the game and attract more fans. Scott is the opposite of an elite player – he has 11 points in 285 career games over eight seasons, including one point in eleven games this year – and has been placed on waivers multiple times. Just in case you think that was an error I’ll mention it again, one point in 11 games. A player with more fights, 38, than points in his career is probably not worthy of being an all-star, unless the NHL added MMA to the skills competition and nobody has told me yet. This situation has gotten so out of control, there are rumors the NHL and Coyotes worked together to trade Scott to Montreal, where he will be playing in the AHL and most likely prevented from playing in the all-star game.
This is a problem that has spread to other sports as well. In the NBA this season, Kobe Bryant is leading voting despite having the worst season of his career, and is nowhere near one of the top players in the league. Bryant may be leading the Lakers in points per game, but his advanced stats paint a picture of a man already retired. He has the sixth worst +/- in the NBA at -8.1, and a net rating of -14.1 which is the fourth worst in the NBA for players with a minimum of 24 minutes per game. And for those who watch him shoot, it’s no surprise that he has the fourth worst true shooting percentage for players with a minimum 24 minutes per game. If the fans want to see a legend play, I can accept it as long as the player still contributes, as does Jaromir Jagr for the Florida Panthers, but Bryant should not even be playing for the Lakers let alone stealing a spot that should be going to a player who’s performance is deserving.
When one player gets into an all-star game based on bad fan voting, I can look the other way, but when fans try to vote the entire Kansas City Royals starting line-up into the game, it’s a sign that fan voting has gone too far. The Royals did eventually win the world series, but there is not a single argument that can be presented to even make me acknowledge the idea that Omar Infante was a better player than José Altuve, or that it took until the second last week for AL MVP Josh Donaldson to take the lead at his position. One fan base almost ruined the entire game just because they got excited that their team wasn’t an embarrassment anymore.
The biggest and final error with all-star games is the rule that every team should have a representative to make all fans happy. Sorry to say this, but I hope that person got fired and this can be fixed so that the all-star game is actually the best players in the league and not the best players on every team. If you’re team isn’t good enough to have one of the best players in the sport, too bad for you! Maybe you should cheer for a good team, or just accept that your team is not good. In the NHL (sorry, Leafs fans), Leo Komarov is not deserving of being called an all-star. The same goes for Brandon Saad of the Blue Jackets. Last year’s MLB All-Star game features elite talent such as Brock Holt for Boston.
Fan voting has ruined the chance for these games to be a true showcase of the best each sport has to offer. But if you all really want to watch Patrick Kane skate circles around John Scott after he fumbles a beautiful pass from Taylor Hall, that’s your choice, I hope you all regret it in a few weeks.