Vulgar Opinions: All Star Weekend
I’ll get right to it: I love All Star Weekend. After 40-50 games of grind-it-out hockey and watered down interviews, the weekend is a welcome splash of personality to the season. I know people complain about how the game doesn’t matter and how the effort is lackluster at best (rah rah, back in my day players skated like there were snipers in the audience, get off my lawn), but those things are irrelevant. It’s a weekend that, unlike the others, isn’t about a spot in the standings, or skating balls to the wall. It’s about fun, it’s about personality, it’s about players ribbing each other as they screw up in the skills challenges.
I don’t see the problem with one weekend sequestered away from the difficulties of the season. I think that after weeks of practices and games and out for blood media, they deserve at least that much. There isn’t a lot of laughing you can do while you’re battling 14 other teams for a spot in the playoffs (only to again duke it out for somewhere between 4 and 28 more games in the playoffs). And I don’t see the problem in showcasing the skills that rampant interference and obstruction have all but eliminated. The shootout competitions are particular favorites because it’s amazing to see what these guys are capable of.
I can watch effort for eighty-two other games, but I don’t get to see the personalities on the ice. For one weekend, just one, that’s more important to me.