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MLS All-Star Game: A Distraction at Best

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Earlier in the week, Pedro Morales bore the brunt of what many perceived to be a Major League Soccer snub in not being selected as a league all-star.

Meg Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Call it a fit of hubris if you will, but who really gives a damn?

What truly compelling reason would there be to watch a group of thrown-together MLS stars playing a mean-nothing match against European giants visiting the states on an off-season all expenses paid junket? Okay, I'll back up somewhat and admit that it's not a totally meaningless affair - as such all-star circuses do serve a league marketing purpose.

But let's not confuse what amounts to a demonstration event with meaningful competition. Yes, the folks that packed into Providence Park can say that they were there in person to see Bayern Munich play, but do they really think what they saw was even a near approximation to the Bayern side during the Bundesliga season?

It's a bit like going to Disneyland and later claiming to have actually climbed the hill to Neuschwanstein.

As a Canadian kid, I could hardly wait for the annual all-star game, where over the years the likes of Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Guy Lafleur and Tony Esposito would strut their stuff. But somewhere along the way, the games devolved into glorified practice sessions with 8-7 and 12-9 scorelines the norm. The spectacle became more important than the play itself.

Over in the NFL, the Pro Bowl is nothing short of laughable. Or it would be, were it not actually sad.  A Google search of "Pro Bowl waste of time" turns up 142,000 hits - coincidentally, that's roughly 142,000 more hits than you'll actually see in any Pro Bowl matchup. The NFL has struggled mightily in recent years to garner much interest in the event.

Is it just sour grapes because one of the best CAMs in Major League Soccer didn't get selected? Maybe, but I doubt it. I might have even watched the match had Morales played. But judging from the relatively weak interest throughout the media - this site included - I think I'd have found something more interesting to occupy my time with.

After all, what does it say about an all star game when the major talking point afterward is centered around who didn't shake hands with whom.

In the end, Morales got to rest up for a much more meaningful encounter on Sunday versus Sporting Kansas City. Now that I can live with.