Major talent for minor amounts of people watching

Becoming a professional athlete is a difficult feat for anyone to accomplish, but being recognized as one of the best in the league is even harder.
The four major professional sports in the U.S. are football, basketball, hockey, and baseball, and they all have all-star games to recognize the players that have stood out above the rest during the first half of the season. While it is honor for an athlete to be named an all-star in their respective sports, these games don’t gain the type of viewership that is expected.

This is odd because what sports fan wouldn’t want to see the best in the game go at it to highlight their uncanny ability and extraordinary talent.
The National Football League (NFL) has always had trouble gaining the same number of viewers for their all-star game that is referred to as the Pro Bowl.

About 10 years ago, it used to be a whole weekend that consisted of skills challenges for players to show off their throwing ability, hands, speed, and/or strength. After many years of not having those skills challenges, the NFL attempted to bring that back this year which was rather lackluster.
As for the game itself, there are so many rules put in to limit the chance of players getting injured in this exhibition game that it is pretty much a game of two-hand touch.

This year, the Pro Bowl went back to its normal AFC vs NFC format, which puts players from each conference against each other for bragging rights. Prior to returning to the old format, the last four Pro Bowls consisted of two NFL hall of famers drafting their own teams, sort of like a real life fantasy football. There isn’t much that can be done to make this less difficult to watch than it already is.

At least the Super Bowl takes place the week after the Pro Bowl which is something to look forward to.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) play their seasons around the same time and even have similar formats by having an all-star weekend.  Both leagues have a celebrity pick-up game that occurs on a Friday, skills competitions on Saturday, followed by the actual all-star game on Sunday.

Unlike the NBA all-star game where the eastern and western conference play against each other, the NHL does a 3-on-3 tournament with the best players from its four conferences as opposed to its usual 5-on-5 game.
The highlight of NHL all-star weekend is the actual game while the slam dunk contest in the NBA is the event that usually steals for the simple fact that the average cannot dunk a basketball on a 10-foot hoop.

While the dunk contest has been tedious the last 10-15 years, but last year’s showdown between non-all-star players Zach Lavine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic was one that will go down in the history books with Lavine defeating Gordon by one point in an overtime round.
Despite not having a whole all-star weekend, Major League Baseball (MLB) does it a little differently. The day before the all-star game, there is a home run derby which like the dunk contest, was rejuvenated, but through rule changes.

Instead of having 10 outs, the batter has five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible and get extra time for hitting balls at certain distances.
As for the all-star game itself, it was worth watching because the winning conference, the American League or National League, would gain home-field advantage in the World Series. This upcoming baseball season the league will get rid of that, making the game more of an exhibition like its fellow competitors.

Out of the four major sports, NBA all-star weekend is probably the best to watch because it is the most entertaining. The weekend as a whole is entertaining.
The first night has the celebrity game where actors, comedians, former NBA and WNBA players play, and many more. That game is followed by the U.S. vs the world game which consists of likely future all-stars playing against each other representing the U.S. or an international country.

The skills competition follows the next day which is entertaining in it of itself with the dunk contest as the main event, but the event right before the dunk contest that may highlight the skills competion even more than the dunk contest is the three point contest. Especially considering that the game is becoming more of a 3 point happy shooting league.
And the best of the worst is the Pro Bowl. The NFL already has an enormous amount of issues and simply put, the Pro Bowl can be added to that list of problems that it needs to attempt to resolve.

Players that get the achievement of being named to an all-star team worked hard to get there and deserve to be honored for that.
With nothing at stake in these all-star games, it doesn’t give fans a reason to watch these games other than to see the greatest pickup game of the year.