Power Ranking Each Pro League's All-Star Game
There are four major professional sports in the United States. And there are four very different All-Star games.
With the Pro Bowl scheduled to kick off this afternoon, we take a look at the All-Star games for the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. Which sport has the best game? Which sport has the worst?
Let's take a look at ranking the All-Star Games in every major sport from worst-to-first.
4. NFL (Pro Bowl)
The NFL may be America's favorite sport, but the Pro Bowl is perhaps the worst All-Star Game in professional athletics.
While the format of the game resembles an actual 60-minute football game, the on-field product does not. Last year's edition was an absolute disgrace and a disservice to the sport.
The defensive line rarely rushed the passer, and players who knew they weren't getting the ball, well, acted like it.
But still, it's the NFL. Therefore, people will watch today's Pro Bowl.
The league has suggested that changes to the game are on the horizon. And fans of the sport can only hope that's the case.
3. NHL (All-Star)
Professional hockey may not be as big in the States as it is in Canada, but the NHL All-Star Game provides good television for all hockey fans.
The game closely resembles an actual hockey game, and the draft-selection format provides for some interesting dynamics. Instead of separating teams by region or conference, two captains pick the All-Star teams.
Between the skills competitions and the recess-style draft, the NHL gives their fans an exciting All-Star weekend.
With a shortened NHL season in 2013, there will be no All-Star Game. But with a new CBA in place, the game will return with much anticipation next season.
2. NBA (All-Star)
In the middle of basketball season, the NBA All-Star Game gives sports fans an eventful weekend featuring the game's biggest stars.
Basketball, more than other major sports, allows players to showcase their abilities in a one-on-one setting. And no logical sports fan will complain about seeing LeBron James against Kevin Durant, whether it's in the NBA Finals or the All-Star Game.
Perhaps even better than the game played on Sunday night is the three-point shootout, dunk contest and skills challenge that same weekend.
As far as an all-weekend schedule, the NBA may have the best All-Star Game. You get everything you want.
But still, there is only one sport in which the outcome of the All-Star game has a direct effect on regular season play ... which brings us to No. 1 on the list.
1. MLB (All-Star)
The Midsummer Classic is the best All-Star Game in professional sports. And how could one suggest any different?
For better or worse, the winner of the MLB All-Star Game decides whether the NL or AL will have home-field advantage in the World Series. Last year, retired Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa coached the NL squad to victory, clinching home-field advantage for the San Francisco Giants.
A manager who wasn't actually a manager had his fingerprints on the World Series. Sound weird? It is.
But nonetheless, the home-run derby serves as the perfect appetizer for the game. The game's biggest sluggers are served pitches right down the middle, the ball just begging to be smacked out of the park.
It's the perfect thing for television, and any sports fan who enjoys watching the "big play" in a particular sport.