We decided to step away from the usual debate this week due to a rather unique topic that entered the fray last week involved hockey and its fantasy-like all star draft process. Before I even read the arguments by our two debaters today, I must admit that while I am not an avid hockey follower, this idea definitely caught my attention. The main reason for that was the fact that I live in the fantasy world generation and I am an avid fantasy sports players. It was, however, up to two of our biggest hockey fans at TSD to convince me that this new fantasy-like approach to electing All-Star players is in fact a good idea.
Optimist Prime seems to express some confusion at the whole process, and quite frankly, I agree with him on that point. I read up on how this would all unfold and I am still a little confused myself. The NHL, for its part, does still say that some kinks still need to be worked out. No duh! That’s like saying some “kinks” need to be worked out between the relationship of Brad Childress and his Viking players. But this playground-like All-Star game aspect of, say, Team Crosby against Team Ovechkin, is not winning over Optimist Prime, who has quite impressive credentials as an NHL fan. Maybe the NHL needs to hire Optimist Prime to be a part of its public relations department to generate more fan interest in the league as a whole.
Meanwhile, Bleacher Fan happens to like this new format. While giving kudos to the new NHL format, the format of the NFL is completely thrown under the bus, which will not get Bleacher Fan on any NFL advisory boards anytime soon. The point is made that while the fans will deservedly still have a say in who plays in the actual game itself, the players will in fact have a large say in which teams each player plays for. In essence, the NHL has essentially giving control of the game to the players, and the hope is that it will create some excitement and some buzz for a sport that is sometimes lacking both.
After doing a little more research on this and reading both of these debates, I tend to lean more to the side of the new format and have awarded the victory to Bleacher Fan.
Let’s face it. The game needs a spark. Does the average sports fan even know that hockey even has an All-Star game? I’m a huge sports fan and I couldn’t tell you a whole lot about hockey admittedly, but I do know that hockey has put on an annual Winter Classic the past couple of seasons where a game has been played outdoors. That’s a really cool concept, and to me has been the signature event of the NHL regular season. Hockey needs some spunk added to its All-Star event and I think this is worth a shot.
Bleacher Fan brings up a point about how much water cooler talk this could bring about amongst hockey fans. I agree. It would be like playing backyard football as kids. Okay, I pick you… and you… and you… and you. The captains of each team are coordinating their team to beat the other team. There’s a lot of gamesmanship and a lot of strategy involved and I think it brings a new level of excitement amongst the players. That is sure to carry over to the level of play on the ice.
What does the NHL have to lose here? It’s like the NHL All-Star Game is must see TV anyway!