Here’s the thing: no professional sports league has a good all-star game.
The Pro Bowl, in spite of showcasing the best players from America’s most popular sports league, flat out sucks. The NHL and NBA all-star games are track meets with flimsy defense and abnormally high scoring. The MLB’s “Summer Classic” failed to spur enthusiasm with its viciously stupid idea to give the winning league home field in the World Series. Also, as a big blow to the ‘participation trophy’ haters, every team gets to send a player to the MLB All-Star game. Adorable.
So none of the pro leagues in the U.S. have figured out a way to add drama, excitement, or anything else that would get fans of the sports to watch their all-star events. But perhaps the WNBA has a chance to break through.
For the most part, all-star teams are broken up by conference. East vs. West, AL vs. NL, and AFC vs. NFC. Football has experimented with honorary captains picking teams like they’re in the schoolyard, but there’s really nothing about millionaires playing tackle-ish football in Hawaii that harkens back to my days of playing two-hand touch during recess.
What if the WNBA brought some of the fanfare which comes from the very popular ranks of women’s college basketball and added some of that fervor into the mix? I’m talking about UConn vs. the world for the all-star team format, and I’m not the only one who agrees.
“Let’s do it! Let’s just change the setup now,” six-time all-star Maya Moore said. “That’d be fun. We should try that one year.”
Currently, five out of 10 starters in this year’s All-Star game spent their collegiate years in Storrs, and two more reserves went to UConn. That makes seven out of the 22 overall participants former Huskies.
Here is the UConn lineup if this idea could be applied for 2017:
They’d go up against a team that would look something like:
Elena Delle Done
That would be a hell of a game with a lot of fanfare. Would the UConn team have a chance?
“(Four starters) of the U.S. National team went to the University of Connecticut,” Diana Taurasi said. “I know where I’d put my money.”
Taurasi makes a very good point, that UConn team could probably win an Olympic gold medal too.