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All-Star selections came out this week and there was a generally large amount of whining about it.
Fans, media and players all speculated on who should and should not be included in the final team. It was a topic of discussion all over the place.
Players were upset that their teammates didn't make the cut in favor of three-quarters of the Penguins roster. Media members debated the merits of various entrants over others because how do you include Ales Hemsky(notes) and not, I dunno, John Tavers?
Fans complained about the omg-best-player from their favoritest team in the whole world not making it since Jimmy Howard(notes) is sooooo much better than Cam Ward(notes) and you can tell by looking at the win totals.
But the thing is, we all say, "Let's not get worked up about the All-Star game, guys. It's a joke! Who cares?"
Answer: Everyone. Everyone cares, for some odd reason, whether or not they will admit it.
(Coming Up: The greatest All-Star game team names, the spin-o-rama shootout debate and your Pearls of BizNasty.)
Maybe it's affirmation that our favorite players really are the best on the planet. Could be because we like to look down our noses at players we think are undeserving (certainly that's why CBC runs polls to that effect).
Of course, an already supremely pointless game is rendered even more inane by rules mandating inclusion for every team. That's why Patrik Elias(notes) is going. Know who should go from the Devils? No one. But they didn't even have a rookie worthy of throwing into the mix for the Skills Competition, so whatever, the guy with 30 points gets to go. You have to have one player from every team, no way around it.
The league, like all other major sports whose All-Star game people have even a modicum of interest in, mandated that players from all teams be included so that no fanbase would not have some reason to root for a team. But no casual sports enthusiast watches this thing anyway. Least of all Devils fans. If they're smart, they don't even watch Devils games this season. Was anyone going to miss Elias or Brodeur or Kovalchuk or anyone else? Of course not.
The rules to the NHL's All-Star Game have changed more times than should be legally allowed anyway. East vs. West. North America vs. The World. East vs. West again. Now Random Collection of Players A vs. Random Collection of Players B. So change the rules again if you want. They already found a workaround for getting someone from the Panthers, Coyotes and Sabres without actually sticking Timmy Connolly or, heaven forbid, Keith Yandle(notes) into an actual All-Star game.
It is, I suppose, in the league's interest to pretend this means anything more than, perhaps, a contract bonus for some players. But for it, or you, or the players, or the press to pretend it's sacred is silly. Whining about it is even worse.
Look at the bright side: You're probably gonna see Crosby feeding it to Ovechkin. You might even see the Sedins play against each other. And if your favorite player isn't in the game, he definitely won't get hurt and miss games that actually matter.
In the end, that's the most important part, and all you should be rooting for.
Much like the NHL All-Star Game, another spin-o-rama this week gave us all an excellent opportunity to spin their tires in the tedious "Is this legal/fair/showoff-ish?" debate everyone loves to engage in.