With the NFL's Pro Bowl around the corner, now is an apt time for me to air my number one complaint about the NFL's, NBA's, and MLB's All Star Games and suggest the solution for each. I'm not aiming at novelty, just honesty.
The Pro Bowl (NFL):
Problem: The game is completely meaningless. All-Star games tend towards meaninglessness, but this one is at the pinnacle of the mountain of no-meaning. It's outside the confines of the regular season, probably by necessity. Many to players bail out. The new format makes it even worse by eliminating players from the Super Bowl teams from participating. And even those who do show up don't play hard. The thing is, I think that all of those problems are defensible. It's way too easy to get injured in a football game. Why should players and teams take that risk for a meaningless exhibition?
Solution: Eliminate the Pro Bowl. Since the game is bound to be meaningless, and bad football why not go the whole way and completely eliminate the risk of getting injured when it doesn't serve a greater purpose (like the preseason does).
NBA All-Star Game:
Problem: Fan vote completely determines All-Star game starters. If the fans were at least somewhat responsible, like baseball fans, then this might be ok. However, by voting McGrady and Iverson as starters I think that the fans forfeited their right to have 100% of the vote. They prevented two worthy players from having roster spots, and it's not uncommon for contracts to have bonuses kick in for making All-Star teams.
Solution: Give the fans 1/3 of the vote , the players and coaches 1/3 and the press 1/3. This would ensure that the fans still have a major say, but we can also be protected from fan stupidity.
MLB All-Star Game:
Problem: It's artificially meaningful. The All-Star game should not have a direct impact on the season or post-season of the sport. It's an exhibition. Important things, like determining which league will have home field advantage in the World Series is too important to determine via an exhibition.
Solution: Go back to the way it was before. The game was inherently meaningful enough as it was.