I wrote this at this time last year, and I’ll probably even put it back in next year.
Like the title says, I don’t like the NHL All-Star game. I dislike the nonchalant approach, the smiles and friendliness among those who normally dislike each other and three days from now will be trying to send their new-found buddies through the glass face-first. I hate the football scores. I dislike the smug looks on the players as they play pond hockey. I’m annoyed with the announcers going overboard in explaining how great everyone is. I’m not crazy about the fancy little skating and shooting contests. So I don’t watch it. It’s my right.
Remember the 1970 baseball All-Star game when Pete Rose bowled over catcher Ray Fosse at home plate? Rose was playing to win. It was part of his soul. The Rocket, Ted Lindsay, John Ferguson Sr. and Doug Harvey had similar spirits, and this is what I like. Not this kissy-face shit we see now.
Years ago, the all-star team played the previous year’s Stanley Cup champs. Everyone had something to prove. The champs wanted everyone to see they were still champs. The all-stars wanted another go-round at the champs. It was serious hockey. Players thumped and walloped. Goalies stood on their heads. Fans got a real treat, and their money’s worth.
Now, there’s so many players, the league doesn’t want to have just 20 all-stars. And teams don’t want anyone to get hurt. So we get to see a love-in now instead. If I want to see a love-in, I’ll rent Pamela and Tommy’s honeymoon video.