Not All Star … But All SHAM by Bob Ryan


Reading about the NHL All-Star Exhibition got me thinking….dangerous…I know…these All-Star games gotta go…we’re done with them….several points rush in about the All-Sham Games!

…originally designed by MLB to assist the players pension fund…come on….I think it’s actually a joke that a guy can work…play a game..5 years and get a pension….in addition .. with their current base salary at $500,000..if they can’t hire someone to manage their money after playing 5 years…or often way more….somethings wrong…so basically…the poor schmuk working hard to “get by” attends the game so that these millionaires can reap in even more money…give me a break…

…when these games began, it was a treat to see players outside your league or even the stars in the league because the media was basically newspaper or radio coverage ….not the case anymore with cable TV….we can see the stars almost every night on highlights, there is intra-league play so we may see them in person and the stations are loaded with all kinds of games….ur bound to see the stars at some time of the season..or next season

….these games aren’t really games…in many ways….1st…no player wants to play “real hard” because they might get injured and jeopardize their actual career (where they make their money—see above) the NFL, hard tackles are assumed to be only for “jerks”, blitzes are outlawed, pass defenders aren’t going to go head hunting per their usual efforts, the NBA guards people about as close as we stand next to someone who has a lethal infection…no one cares who wins (isn’t that why you play games—to win?) we all can see the difference in effort..2nd..the rules are changed to make it more enjoyable to watch because of point 1….so we’re really not watching true hockey, football, baseball is the closest but really…do we really need 3 different closers to complete the 9th or 3 different 3 on 3 hockey games and call them “all star” games?

…the battle between over the All-Sham games between entertainment vs importance teeters back and forth…should a MLB team get home advantage because a player from a different team helps them win a meaningless All-Sham game? How ridiculous…


It’s all a sham….abolish them….if the players need a 3 or 4 day break in the middle of the season…do it..does anyone watch..or really care about them anymore? Another thought if All-Sham is dumped… why leagues don’t schedule 2 or 3 back-back days off a couple times a season(two teams at a time) to keep their product fresh….Maybe there’d be less missed time due to injuries ..and save some bullpen pitchers arms !


You know that these leagues won’t abolish them because they make money…probably not on attendance but from the company that runs America (ESPN)—according to some…think about it…it they didn’t have those extraordinary payments to teams—would we have salaries like we do? Would other stations pay those mammoth sums in competition to “get the game on their station? Is attendance DUE to all the televised sports or has our population just increased so much that it’s basically the same percentage of people attending as 50-60 years ago? It is clear though the TV calls the shots for all the professional leagues and now for the “big time” colleges..all-star games are just another example of it


Possible changes…

…abolish the All-Sham games as they are now

…if the leagues feel like they MUST have some type of exhibition in mid-season (the NFL post season is really, really ludicrous) …make it an individual skill games…like HR derby in baseball…each sport could devise various contests to emphasize various skills of their sport..ya could use some of the college measurement drills as games, NBA could have all kinds of shooting –3pt, free throw, play a 1-2-3 shooting game….yada-yada

….any income from these games would go to charities….winning player chooses the charity..only actual expenses are paid to the participants….anyone who is offered to play and refuses…must donate to a charity a certain fee to be exempt from playing..I know it’s too idealistic but the All-Sham games gotta go.


We are in the midst of basketball…now we’ll all admit to a couple things..we don’t have a pro team in Missouri and our 3 D-I schools (Mizzou, SLU, MO-State) are really not much fun to watch…who’d be the most fun to watch…it doesn’t mean that any of these teams could beat the D-1 schools…it just means that the games would be more enjoyable to view…so try these out sometime…

  • Chaminade HS—Jayson Tatum is the best player in HS and he has some very talented teammates and they’re always playing good teams
  • Mineral Area CC-Men’s team—22-3—ranked #12 in national polls
  • Truman State –Men’s team….while only 16-5….they do play solid b-ball with a plethora of close games in the very strong GLVC-DII league

…..For those of you who can subdue you testosterone drive to see dunks, high jumping players, tug of wars in the post-area and plenty of jaw-jacking…try

  • U of Mizzou Womens team 18-4 #22 in D1 national polls—11-1 @ home
  • SLU Womens team 17-5—are 2 games behind A-10 leader


College football draws unbelievable size crowds….basketball is played indoors …much smaller facilities…listed below are the attendance leaders for men’s college basketball last year…the blue-blood teams are in blue…

..couple surprises…at least to me…Creigton is #6,BYU #9..and Illinois #15….wow….I would have never guessed those 3 as being in the top 15! I don’t know the average cost of a ticket at these schools but if ur drawing 20000+ people….ur definitely an asset to the athletic program of your school..I did notice that most of these schools are in cold-winter climates… there aren’t ANY..not one…california team in the top 10 despite the millions of folks living out there…maybe too much else to do….maybe too many pro teams…or maybe not enough winning by the California teams?  


                              G   total att                avg att               

  1. Syracuse 18 429,378                23,854
  2. Kentucky 19 447,874                23,572
  3. Louisville 19 406,338                21,386
  4. North Car 15 293,723                19,582
  5. Wisconsin 16 276,464                17,279
  6. Creighton 17 289,808                17,048
  7. Kansas 16 262,127                16,383
  8. Indiana 19 309,477                16,288
  9. BYU 16 258,002                 16,125
  10. Nebraska 16 249,101                15,569
  11. Arkansas 19 294,860               15,519
  12. N Car St. 20 308,726                15,436
  13. Tennessee 16 241,025 15,064
  14. Mich St. 16 236,752                 14,797
  15. Illinois 16 234,435                 14,652

Where’s Duke?

  1. Duke 16 149,024                9,314

Where’s our Hometown Boys?

  1. Missouri 17 137,086              8,064
  2. St Louis U 18 126,576   7,032


Odds & ends section….

…why is it a news story when Sheldon Richardson is arrested for speeding? Is that really important to our lives….other than staying off the streets at 2am?

…in the NBA where the players actually “run the league”…does anyone doubt that Mr. LaBroom James was behind the scenes in the sweeping out of head coach David Blatt (30-11 for the season in 1st place) and the welcoming of James’ best little bud…Tyronn Lue

…speaking of the NBA…the current top five teams …San Antonio (how long can those guys play…reminds me of Butch Cassidy being chased by the officials…how long can these guys keep playing?), Okl City, Cleveland, Golden State, Toronto are very talented but how many sports fans from the Lou could name5 players from any one team?….not many probably…I know that I can’t probably name more than 1 or 2 from some of those teams…..the NBA left the Lou just about 50 years ago…ya C time cures all….we just forget about em’…oh yeah…who were those guys that LA loaned to us for 20 years?

…another sweet move by the D-backs as they procure Jean Segura (with Tyler Wagner – who?) from the Brewers for pricy Aaron-over-the-Hill , Chase Anderson (SP) and a prospect Isan Diaz (SS in the same mold as Segura…for the Brewers it was a monopoly move of “move your piece back 3 spaces and wait 2 years for results” while Arizona adds speed, lightens their payroll and now has INF depth to possibly move additional pieces (the players are now like chess pieces) when needed

….unheralded , generally dependable, not not stunning SP Doug Fister was signed by Houston for a 1-year deal….$7mil…still seems like a lot to me but I’m in the real world not the baseball world… he’s the type of player that Houston likes to have….squeeze out all you can in a hurry, then Kleenex him…he had arm issues most of last year with a flexor strain in his elbow ….sounds like Tommy John Surgery to me very soon… Houston got him on the cheap…. meaning that it’s only one year deal not 4-5-6 year deals as other starters of about the same ilk signed this year

….Tim Lincecum is still knocking on doors looking for a home….SF has filled their starting rotation so Lincecum is on the road seeking a team ….Lincecum is far from the dominant player that he was 3-5 years ago…his “heater” has slowed to the high 80’s..….but wouldn’t ya think that a struggling team (Mil? Philly? Seattle? would follow the Fister format above for Lincecum?

….Shaq was heard saying recently that he’d recommend his son to go to LSU to play basketball because…here’s the kicker….”they take care of you real well down there”…surprise…surprise…one would have to think that most big-time basketball schools are finding ways to provide…yet hide…”ways to take care of their players”

…. Recently I was looking through ratings for roto-baseball… the catchers category…Yadi wasn’t listed in the top 15 !! …sure he has value defensively but sometimes I think our objectivity gets blindsided by our affection and loyalty to a good player who’s been here a long time and is on the downside of his career or maybe these “experts” don’t appreciate Mr. Molina as we do in the Lou

….just saw a list of some “big name” NFL players who are bankrupt….the top 3 names given in the article were–Terrell Owens, Ray Rice…maybe he can get into a new type of MME fighting…fighting in an elevator to make some money?, Lawrence Taylor—anyone surprised by those names?

…hang on…March Madness & NHL playoffs are off on the far horizon



  1. Jim Pleimann says:

    In my opinion, when the crowds stop showing up in the host cites for all-star games, they will stop. But not until them.
    I am not sure how long it will last and maybe I was one of a small few but the NHL all-star game Sunday was quite enjoyable. The goalies stood on their ears, the pace of play was great and for a one million dollar payoff to only the winning team, the boys played pretty hard (wouldn’t you?). The NHL had to be thrilled how well the new format turned out – at least for one day anyway. I am not saying I totally agree with the players splitting a million, but it added to the desire to play the game and that is after all, what they were there for.
    After reading this I realize there is not much positive going on the sports world. Is there any positives?????

  2. Coach – awesome lunchtime read! I stay up to date with all sports but definitely somethings I hadn’t caught (Fister deal was interesting and I enjoyed seeing the attendance stats, my Hoosiers do know how to pack “the real” Assembly Hall)
    I think people care about the Richardson speeding not because of speeding but because of:
    – 12 year old child in the car, along with others
    – 143 miles per hour while evading police
    – smelled of burnt marijuana
    – loaded hand gun under his seat

    One thing that has struck a cord with me in the past has been the players that have come out of Mizzou in recent years (Aldon Smith, DGB, Sheldon Richardson, now Mauk) – I know you have to take it with the grain of salt, but has there been a bigger name program with their bigger name players in bigger trouble? I can’t think of one… I can remember how horrified I was of getting a detention in HS just to be late to practice… I guess that’s why they called Pinkel a player’s coach

    Appreciate your insights and look forward to the next!

  3. I agree whole-heartedly with you about the All Star games. I enjoyed them as a boy, when the players were selected by other players. I have never been a fan of all-stars being selected by the general public, especially with on-line voting where anyone can vote up to 25 times! What a sham! And to further add to the joke, now this sham is affecting the World Series. I’m with you on this one, Bob, dump the all-star games and initiate game-skills events.
    BTW, I knew that “Little Debbie” Lincecum would fade fast. His mechanics were all wrong and he is built too frail for the long haul, throwing the way that he does.

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