• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Tailing the Komets

All-star mania?

I have to admit that as I was working on the story about next season's UHL All-Star Game coming to Fort Wayne, I felt pretty much next to nothing personally, and I've been thinking about it ever since. I guess I'm apathetic (there's a pun there if you think hard enough. OK, don't).

When I was a kid, (long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away) I watched all the all-star games. They were special, they were magical. There was a pretty good chance  you'd get to see something you'd never seen before or ever would again, such as Bo Jackson running up the wall after making a catch, a great Mario Lemieux pass or maybe even a Cub being named MVP (that was the only chance something like that could happen). Remember when NBA players seemed to have competitions to see who could get the snazziest pass?

I wondered if the American League would ever beat the National League, if anyone could slow down Bobby Orr even with that much talent on the ice or if Gretzky would make some goaltender cry. Then there was the chance to see Bird, Jordan and Barkley on the same team against Magic, not to mention Magic coming out of retirement for one last game. That was cool!

I really enjoyed the 1994 IHL All-Star Game when it was here because it was part of something bigger, Fort Wayne's Bicentennial celebration along with the CBA All-Star Game and the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The hockey game was the kickoff to the year.

So why do I feel so blase about all-star games today? I realized that I haven't watched any all-star game in over two years. I think the last one was the North America vs. the World format the NHL used, and I only watched that for a period because it was pre-empted by college basketball. That was different. Now it's brand McDonald's-KMart-7/11 vs. Wendy's-Target-Circle K.

I can't for the life of me right now tell you which team Guy Dupuis played for last month or even who the sponsors were last year. Does everything have to be corporate, even a game that is supposedly just for the fans? Can't you just feel the adrenalin to bid on the (insert corporation here) jersey at the auction? Oh, boy! Just try holding me back.

Yes, I understand the need to cut costs. Sigh.

I think the major leagues have recognized this general attitude and that's why we have skills challenges, home run contests and slam dunk contests now. The games, though still the cornerstone, are just part of a bigger extravaganza. You can have a good time even if the game is boring.

Unless it's a bonus in their contracts, I think the players are bored with it as well, and I don't blame them. To the players, it's another chance to get yelled at by the fans,
another chance to get hurt in a game they aren't getting paid for. It's
not as much fun for them any more, either. I understand perfectly when some of them say they'd rather stay home and rest, though ``spend more time with my family,'' is now officially the No. 1 cliche in sports, passing ``they just wanted it more than we did.'' Uh, huh, right, then why are you on the golf course all the time?

So that's where I'm at on the UHL All-Star Game. Eh. No juice whatsoever.

Maybe it's just too far away. I'm open-minded, and the UHL has 10 months to convince me this is something special and I'll give them every bit of that opportunity. It's just hard for them to come up with something that doesn't cost a bajillion dollars, but I know they want to come up with something special, too.

What I would love to see is a game against the Central Hockey League stars, or the East Coast Hockey League stars. Former IHL Commissioner Tom Berry almost had the deal worked out a couple of years ago with the help of UHL Commissioner Richard Brosal. There  was talk of two games, one in Fort Wayne and one in Indianapolis. Now that really would have been cool.

Here's an idea: Drop all the corporate crap (please, Lord), have the east vs. the west, with a winner take all bonus. Have all the players wear traditional, old-school uniforms, home and road, so there's more color. Try out some potential new rules as well, like limiting the area for the goaltender.

There has to be a way to make the game even the tiniest bit competitive and entertaining, doesn't there? Or maybe I'll just skip it to spend time on the golf course with the family. Unfortunately, I don't play golf or have a family. I better get busy this summer.

Any ideas? On the all-star game, that is.

Posted in: Komets


Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:00pm

All-Star game in the Fort....hope it isn't like the last one here when I left after the first period because it was so boring.

I agree with everyone else, if they don't find some way to put some life into it, like playing another league, maybe on back to back nights in a home and away in the other leagues arena and ours, what is the point. A skills competition before the game would be very nice. How about the league's media guys against the all-stars? What a game that would be, huh?

I all ready posted this response earlier on the "breaking news" blog topic.

The CHL or ECHL in an All-star game would be the best idea. I think the other leagues fans and players probably feeling the same as ours about the All-Star game. Why not try this? I think it would bring alot of interest. Be nice to compare leagues and to see other talent.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:00pm

Blake the problem with minor league all star games is that there is little to no outside activities to go along with it. I have been to two baseball allstar games and they include all kinds of fan friendly events that draw people to the game and area. The NBA and NHL also do similar things. I am not sure what the NFL does but they are in Hawaii and really do not need much else to attract folks. Of course what they do in and around the Superbowl is amazing. Like others have mentioned, you need a skills competition, fan interactive activities, autograph sessions etc for an All Star game to attract the buzz that you would want. Just the game by itself on a weeknight isn't going to do much to get the juices pumped.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:12pm

Oh, I'm sure there'd be plenty of hitting in a media vs. players game. I volunteer Justin to be the team captain and play 40 minutes. I'll be the back-up goaltender.

The problem is financial. The host teams pays for pretty much everything, which means they need the crowd to pay for it, and skills competitions don't draw the crowds. Home team is responsible for travel money, hotels, meals, uniforms, etc. That adds up in a hurry.

What about making it a game for charity?

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:15pm

I doubt there will be inter-league all-star games due to the cost involved. Plus the ECHL would lose to the more experienced guys in the UHL and that would destroy their mythic "superiority' so they wouldn;t risk playing.

Justin Cohn
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:25pm

Oh, I'm so game with a media vs. all-stars. We're talking on xbox, right? ... How about good beat writers vs. bad ones. We'll let the fans decide the teams.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:27pm

ECHL Sissy Boys!!!! Find a group of sponsors who could put up some cash and I bet the fans would pack the right arena to see UHL vs. ECHL or CHL. Lay down the challenge to the other league to see who is better, and lets get it on. Make it a showcase for each league in a city in the UHL and a city in the ECHL or CHL. It would bring lots of interest. I would bet it would even bring a tv audience from a regional sports network as well.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:31pm

Blake shoots....wait.....maybe that was supposed to be a pass....he's hit into the boards again, by Jim Duhart, as Duhart throws kisses into the Fort Wayne crowd. Flint's trainer goes out again to check on Blake, or maybe that was Flint's stickboy? Derek Berkebile actually called Blake for diving on that play! What an All-Star game this is!!!

Just joking of course.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:36pm

I would rather see Blake and Justin in a steel cage match. The jeep girls can distract our favorite UHL ref while the Zamboni driver slips Blake the folding chair..............

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:38pm

Shoot, what about the Jeep girls distracting me?

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:39pm

You know what we could sell that would bring in folks to the all star game? How about the first annual "Ladies of the Blogs" calendar? Guys?..........

ok....I am getting myself in BIIIIGGGGGG trouble LOL

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:41pm

Wow, what a crap shoot that would be.

How about a "Twister" calendar for the gals.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:42pm

LOL I vote we get Twister on an episode of Dancing With The Stars!!

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:51pm

As long as I don't have to pose in any calendar. I don't think that would help. I'd be glad to volunteer Tony though. Don't worry, Tony, no need to thank me.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:53pm

Blake, remember we want people to come to the game. Not look for the first flight to Gilligans Island!!

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:55pm

What about the home team "Komets" versus the All-Stars. I know it would appear to be a lop-sided game, but wouldn't it be fun to see our home team go out and beat the best in the league. It would kind of be like one of our playoff games against K-zoo or Muskegon. It would bring in a good home crowd.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 6:58pm

I'd buy that. Or how about the Komets vs. Frenchy with the other goaltender swapping sides? Just imagine how much trash Frenchy would be talking to P.C. if he stopped him then? It would never end!

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 7:01pm

They used to do something like that in the NHL I believe. I believe they had the Stanley cup winner play an all star team. If I am not mistaken it was back when they actually played 2 all star games each year.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 7:02pm

It would all most guarantee that the players would try and it would have the intensity that fans would be looking for. The home crowd could actually get behind the right team for a change. I hate rooting for a team with Duhart on it or guys like him. I think it would put a different twist on the game, and would sure sell lots of tickets. Less people to put up and fly in, or bus.

Tony E
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 7:03pm

here we go. some interesting history found here

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 7:05pm

Good night guys. Talk to you tomorrow.

Hit Somebody!!!
Thu, 03/02/2006 - 7:06pm

I'd definitely stay the whole game, and I bet the other towns in the league would have something to look forward to in the future. It wouldn't be boring. I bet there would be old-fashioned hackey played out there with defense, hitting, scoring, even fighting!!!

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 8:00pm

Like everyone else it seems, i would love to see a skills competition brought back. Having someone down there interviewing the guys while they're competing. it'd let the fans feel more a part of it and add to the trash talking. because that's the best part of any game IMO.

but hey if the players don't want to spend time away from family then get a mascot competition going on. have the East mascots taking on the West in stupid skills comps before the game and during intermissions. Hey, they could have the mascot skills comp during the intermissions and a mascot football game before hand. Because face it...what's greater than watching 2 mascots beating the crap out of each other? seeing 14 of them doing it.

If the Komets want a successful game then they definately have to find a way to revitalize the competition and competitiveness for both the players and the fans.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 8:26pm

Explain to me the value of having an All-Star game? If you asked the players I am sure they say it is a nice complement, but a real pain in the behind. I am not sure how this helps them any and they will not play all out for fear of injury. I think all minor leagues would do themselves a favor and not have all-star games. They are over rated, usually a lost of revenue for any team hosting, and not that all exciting to see. I am sure the players would rather see a mandatory "X" amount of days off where they good heal and get away from the game for a bit before the second season began. I am sure the K's organization looks at this as an honor to be host but lets face it we where picked because we lead the league in attendance and the UHL is hoping for a big crowd of around 8,000 plus. Do not get me wrong I am sure the Fort Wayne faithful will support this event, but I just feel it is a waste of time for the players and not that all great. We are all here trying to think of ways to make this event more exciting and fan friendly. The money is not there to do any of that other than to put on an event at the least amount of cost to the host city.

Thu, 03/02/2006 - 9:28pm

This is totally random, but that's how me and Nanci do things around here. :-)

Check out the NEW Komets Booster Club website: http://www.kometsboosterclub.com

And don't forget to fill out the join form while you're there! Go Komets!

Fri, 03/03/2006 - 8:05am

Make the All Star game ten minute periods.In between periods have the skills competition.You could do hardest shot and accuracy in one intermission.Then the next intermission do the goalies and the speed comp. Give a bonus to the winners of all competitions including the winners of the game. Get everything done in one night,pack the Coliseum(Jungle)lol.

Fri, 03/03/2006 - 9:00am

AMEN to dropping the idiotic sponsorships like Team Mountain Dew and Team Aquafina. The LAST THING minor hockey needs to do is look like any European team, even for 1 meaningless game. I realize the sponsorships help pay the bills, but to me, it degrades the game.

I know it probably won't ever happen again, but a skills competition would be nice. Why not before the all-star game? I'm like most of the others who have posted in here, the last time the UHL all-star game was in Fort Wayne, it was rather boring to watch.

Fri, 03/03/2006 - 5:22pm

I agree, drop the sponsorship thing ( and the tacky looking jerseys that go with it) and let the players where there own teams jerseys (one team where there "home" and the other team wear their "road" jereys). That would save a lot of $$ and certainily make things more colorful!!