— Hockey Newbies.
— Media members who feel they have no choice but to go along with it since it’s a media event and a big deal to the league.
— People who just haven’t seen/paid attention to enough NHL All Star Games to understand the pointlessness of it all.
— People who don’t like all the shoving and, well, real hockey playing that goes on in real games.
OK, I’m being a little unfair here. There are serious, educated hockey fans who get way, way into it. At least I assume there are. I can’t speak for them and I intend no criticism of their taste in sports viewing. But I would like to describe the NHL All Star Game with an analogy (or maybe it’s a metaphor. Whatever.):
Imagine that all the best opera singers in the land have been gathered together for a grand, celebration concert. Here’s a chance for you, the humble opera buff, to see and hear all the greatest voices in one incredible evening.
The evening arrives. The orchestra kicks it off with a flourish. The curtain rises and the first group of singers comes out. You’re thrilled to see them, all decked out in their finest costumes, and you join in with the cheering throng. It’s a genuine Dream Team – some of these great talents have never sung duets or chorus numbers with each other. Then the singing commences, and you recognize their much-loved voices. But after a few arias, you realize that no one is pushing for the high notes that you cherish so in a real opera. As they go on, it becomes apparent that there is no plot or character development; it isn’t a work of actual drama the way a real opera is. Whatever real work is going on is not done in the service of a plot or a character; it’s just singers trying to show off.
By the end of the evening, you’ve had a chance to cheer for all of your operatic heroes, yet you’ve been left curiously unsatisfied, hungry for the kind of music and drama that led you to attend this concert in the first place. You gaze at the hard-core patrons lingering down front and see the post-coital-esque fulfillment etched on their faces… and you realize that they may be intense fans of the big opera stars, but they’ve missed the 800-pound gorilla in the room – that this concert promised you the donut and merely delivered the hole.
I think that’s enough metaphors for one post.
So will I be watching? …Yeah, I expect so. Probably not the whole thing, but I’ll certainly check in. So why am I watching at all after the preceding screed? Well, all I can say is that I am a big hockey fan, and I have to spend a whole week on starvation rations, with no NHL action other than this game on the schedule. But if you hear screaming coming from my apartment during the game, please call the cops; it won’t be me blowing a gasket over the game (FYI, for more on my feelings about the NHL All Star Game, scroll down to my post from 11/29/10).