The concept is a beautiful one in theory. You take the best of the best, put them on two different teams (or in NASCAR's case the first crack at pit road), and then have the best battle the best to see who is--well, the best. Pretty easy, right?
Wrong! The NFL's event (the Pro Bowl) has gotten so bad that the league is thinking about cancelling it. In baseball it is almost easier to say who isn't an all-star since so many players bow out of the competition with some sort of 'injury.' The NBA doesn't even pretend to make their game a serious one.
One would think that the racing world would be immune from this sort of sandbagging. By and large they are; however, drivers have found another way to sandbag the event. When you win one of the four 20-lap segments you are guaranteed first crack at pit road prior to the last 10-lap segment. As a result, as the drivers won a segment they dropped to the back of the back and just cruised around till it was time for the last 10-laps.
That is exactly what this year's winner, Jimmie Johnson did. After cruising to an easy win in the first segment he hung well behind the rest of the pack for the neck 60-laps. When it came time for the final 10-laps he turned it on, easily taking the win.
It is the way that the race is designed, so can you really blame the guys for doing what they do. Yes, it would be nice to think that they would go full throttle all the time in order to put on a show for the fans, but when they can win without having to push it or take many (if any) chances... With a million dollars on the line can you blame them for taking it easy?
So essentially what we are left with is a race that is not real competitive, and overall--kind of boring. Just like every other professional all-star event.
Article by Travis Pulver