Bernstein: All-Star Sunday? Hardly

By Dan Bernstein–

It was strange for the inveterate sports consumer yesterday, as we faced our first Sunday since the summer without NFL football. I kept checking my watch throughout the morning out of habit, counting down to a kickoff that wouldn’t be.

Like an amputee feeling phantom sensations from the missing limb, I floated through the day feeling like I should be turning the TV on – picking up the remote every once in a while, only to set it down unused.

Books, crosswords, third-grade science test prep and internet news updates from Cairo eventually gave way, however, to the NHL All-star game.


That had to have set some kind of unofficial record for the speed at which novelty wears off. I lasted all of a period before feeling like an idiot for bothering. Skilled players scrimmaged half-assedly through and endless parade of odd-man rushes and 21 goals. I didn’t know who half the players were, and they all seemed to be wearing the same uniform number. I think one of the goalies was talking on the air while playing.

Part of me knew the NFL’s Pro Bowl was on later, but I truly forgot to watch. I have not seen a down of that game since I was a little kid counting Bears, because it just makes you crave actual football even more. Millionaires convene in Hawaii to drink, then waltz around for a few hours in an apparent effort to squeeze in just a little more potential brain damage before the off-season.

Hockey, football and basketball are true team sports where defense and toughness win titles and define identities. Seeing great players engaged in a lesser version of the game is pointless and unfulfilling. Only baseball is able to retain any actual quality, and even MLB needed artifice to give fans a vested interest in the action or the outcome.

These affairs, I have realized, relate to me exactly as does cotton candy. Every once in a while (usually at a baseball game or local carnival), the freshly-spun cloud of sugar looks good. So I get it, indulging a whim, knowing I’ll end up handing it to the kids after a couple bites. Which always happens, because cotton candy is pointless, unfulfilling, and pretty much sucks.

The only difference is that the NHL and NBA All-Star games and the Pro Bowl don’t leave me with a blue tongue and my fingers stuck together. At least I don’t think they do.

There must be enough who disagree with me to keep these events going. The viewership must be high enough, the tickets and merchandise selling well enough, and the leagues’ data showing a net positive for marketing, exposure and brand-building, if not just profit.

You can have them.

All it took was one Sunday without our comically-overwrought Bears emotion to make me appreciate it.

bernstein 90x130 Bernstein: All Star Sunday? Hardly

Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999. He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM.
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  • Larry Horse's Arse

    MLB has the only All Star game worth watching.

    • pulseczar

      Oh, and I also think the whole WS home-team decision based on who wins the AS game is lame.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I agree with that…another Bud Light dumb@ss decision.

    • pulseczar

      I always find it hard to reward a player for doing well for one half of a season. If the alternative is playing the MLB All-Star game in a warm weather (or neutral warm-weather) stadium, then I’d be all for it.

      • pulseczar

        I meant warm weather at the end of the season.

  • Luol Dung

    Bulls had a statement win against Orlando Friday night. It’s pretty weird having the Bulls being the best team in town.

    • mike in davenport

      Weird? That was like all of the 90’s.

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  • Chris Brown

    Watch any Miami vs. OKC or Lakers vs. Celtics?

  • Ry

    Talk more hockey!!!
    Stop talking hockey!!!
    Now very slowly, start talking hockey again!!!
    Too much hockey talk, take it back!!!

  • Jay's Insulin Pump

    “That had to have set some kind of unofficial record for the speed at which novelty wears off.”

    A record previously held by the time I thought it would be a good idea to listen to old Murph podcasts. Let the record show…

    • Murph

      Hey, someone just said my name, just a reminder, I now do; birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, etc… You gotta see Murph(clap, clap, clap). You gotta see Murph(Clap, clap, clap). If you mention are ads, at Browns Chicken, I will bring Fred Hubner with me.

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I nominate you for Tool of the Week, for every week!

    • Larry Horse's Arse


  • Jaimie in Hoffman Estates

    Not looking forward to the morning commute the rest of the week.

    • GeorgeK

      Don’t worry Jaimie, we’ll be saved by the Gian Pile of Salt!

  • Bob Loblaw

    Let’s try that again. I SAID:



  • AnneS

    I did the same just with the Pro Bowl…I turned it on for a quarter and couldn’t stomach the fake football any more than that. I have never been interested in any all star game. I wish I wouldn’t have wasted that much time.
    I don’t care much for cotton candy either. It is all hot whipped sugar much like games like the Pro Bowl. I make and give out cotton candy for halloween though, the kids love it. :P

    • bigtime sucker

      fresh cotton candy, yum
      cotton candy between 10-20 mins old ok
      any cotton candy past 20 mins old, le’t s go find some churros instead or maybe a funnel cake

      • AnneS

        fresh cotton candy is good.

  • Gentleman RaRa

    Hockey meathead: Your gay Bernstine!

    Bernstein: What about my gay?

    • pulseczar

      Maybe the meathead believes Bernstein to be in possession of a gay bernstine and is thus referencing it?

  • bigtime sucker

    the honor of being chosen is way more important than the game itself

    • Jay's Insulin Pump

      Tell that to Yao Ming.

      • Jay's Insulin Pump

        My comment was in response to your first comment. He was voted to the all-star game, something he clearly does not deserve. That is all, carry on.

      • bigtime sucker

        tell what to yao, when has he been all pro?

    • bigtime sucker

      i do however find it humorous that we place a greater emphasis on all star selection than we do all pro selection. all pro is the ultimate best of the best, and we kind of go “heh” at it. i think it has to do with over load of post season awards, anyone else want to chime in?

  • bigtime sucker

    i like the allstar saturday stuff as well

    • bigtime sucker

      say what you want, if done RIGHT it can be quite entertaining, problem is the people who can do it RIGHT, aren’t interested.
      my idea of turning the 3 on 2, 2 on 1 drill and someone how making a contest out of it has fallen on deaf ears though.

  • bigtime sucker

    who else is having trouble getting excited for next sunday? i weirdly just don’t care, bernsy, good week to take a vacation, w.t.f are you going to talk about this week, bulls v clippers?

    • pulseczar

      I haven’t watched more than half of a non-Bears SB since the 90s. Most of those years I watched none of the SB.

    • Larry Horse's Arse

      I agree….not sure I will even bother to watch the SB.

      • Jay's Insulin Pump

        You guys are crazy. I’M NOT MISSING THE CHANCE TO SEE DANICA PATRICK IN A GODADDY TANK TOP. Lord knows they don’t post trash like that on the internet.

        Seriously though, last chance to watch football until the fall, and you’re just going to let this one go? I’m not that excited about it either, but it has the potential to be a good game.

        It’s a reason to have/attend a party and get your drink on, and you have to at least consider the historical factor.

      • bronzo

        I will watch the Super bowl no doubt. Don’t think i ever missed one. I got in a few sqare pools and actually drew some edecent numbers..

        I skipped the NHL-NFL all- satr games. watched the golf at Torrey Pines..beautiful course and it came down the 18th hole on Sunday with Mckelson in the hunt…

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  • Jake from da burbs

    I agree… with the general malaise of sports this weekend, it has left me this morning with an unfulfilled craving for sports.

    This leads me to a larger point. 2011 could be a year where our sports world turns completely upside down. The sports calendar works in such a way that the worst sports month of the year is usually February because after the Superbowl, there’s nothing interesting till March Madness, April is the start of the baseball season and NFL draft and off we go into NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs , MLB season and into the NFL season again.

    In 2011, we have a potential NFL lockout looming, NBA lockout looming which would be the first time ever two of the most popular sports in lockout in one calendar year. If so, fulfilling the sports crave this year might be toughest ever. It might be the toughest year in sports radio talk ever too considering that there might not be much to talk about other than labor talks of both of the leagues and really… how much of that can you really talk about…

    This will certainly be an interesting year and as a Chicago sports fan, the Bulls might offer the only glimmer of hope in this might-be dreary 2011 sports year.

    • bronzo

      I don’t know Jake …I have some pretty high hopes for the White Sox this year ( not sure if you are a Sox Fan). I think they make some noise this year.

      • Jake from da burbs

        I’m a Cub fan so my baseball season is basically hopeless. I think the WhiteSox will be good this year. I think they maybe even good enough to take the Central and be in the playoffs. I guess if everything breaks just right they may have a shot at the 2nd round of the playoffs but I just dont see them advancing on the Yankees or BoSox or taking out the Phillies… For the 2011 baseball season, its the Phillies, BoSox, Yankees and then everyone else. I can’t even put the Giants in this group even though they are the defending champs.

        For the WhiteSox, the season will depend a lot on Dunn’s impact, Peavy’s recovery and production, stabilization of the end of the bullpen, and the maturation of Beckham and Alexei Ramirez asAllStar caliber levels. WhiteSox are a really good team and with Kenny as GM, I’m sure they’ll pick up a piece by the break, we’ll see.

        I guess for me, the Bulls would be the only team I could root for wholeheartedly…

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        I totally agree with bronzo.
        I think/hope the Sox will carry us with great baseball all Spring and Summer and into the Fall and playoffs/World Series.

  • pulseczar

    I was at Buffalo Wild Wings (Shorewood) and they insisted on keeping the volume of the Fox broadcast of the Pro Bowl blasted like anyone in attendance actually cared about it. I could barely hear the people across the table. The hockey AS game just ended when we got there and that was blasted too.

    Just make the Pro Bowl teams be an honorary award. They can still get a trip to Hawai’i and the PB bonus.

    I did feel silly being the only guy there with my chest painted in NFC colors. It was even worse when the N and C guys couldn’t show up and I had to walk around shirtless with an F painted on my chest. Well, my face was painted too so nobody really knew who I was. Yeah.

  • Denver Deadite

    The only time I’ve gotten any interest in an All-Star game in recent years was when the NLL ASG was played here a couple of years ago, because I was there seeing it in person. At least then I had a good time.

    But on TV? Not really interested in the least.

    Listening to Barry and Hub in for M&H from Friday morning… do people really call in at 5am to gripe about Cutler and the Bears? Are the lives of some so unfulfilled?

    • AnneS

      Sadly, I heard that Friday morning too. Get over it people.

  • bigtime sucker

    OF COURSE, being down in the dumps over last weeks bears game is part of the reason i am malaise, i love the steelers, i have heritage there so typically i would be abit excited. the black eyed pees get old quick so that doesn’t interest me. and i have 3 kids 5 and under who will make my watching the game miserable, if SOMEBODY ELSE throws a party, i will probably go, BUT the EVENT FEELING that used to allow me to watch NOMATTER WHAT, is gone


    I don’t know about you, but the only All-Star Game I plan on watching, even for bits & pieces, is the NBA All-Star Game February 20th that TNT will have from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Even though the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, NC was filled with Blackhawks and there were a couple of Bears in the NFL Pro Bowl out in Honolulu yesterday, neither game were on my sports radar yesterday.

    As for the Bulls, they continue to runaway and hide from a miserable NBA Central Division with 2 more wins over the weekend vs. the Magic & Pacers respectively. How ’bout this? Jim O’Brien was ejected from Saturday’s latest loss vs. the Bulls after 2 late technicals. Yesterday, O’Brien was fired as head coach of the Pacers and replaced by some guy named Frank Vogel for the rest of the season. It’s one thing to get ejected from a game, but to get fired the next day as well. Talk about keep on walking…

  • dave

    the giant pile of salt will save us

    • Lot

      You stay away from my wife!

      • Larry Horse's Arse

        So, she just HAD to turn around and look, huh???

  • meesohawnee

    I cant figure out why i have visions of Jeff Spicoli while reading that blog. Hilarious Dan!!

  • mas as hell fan...

    Because of all the 2nd half winning the Bears did this season I really never felt their season to be in danger until last Sunday. They were 8-2 after the bye until last week and because of that I never felt nervous about the season until last Sunday. Now the season is over and we feel the void that we usually feel inOct. with the team. I was looking down at my watch as well yesterday thinking I needed to be watching a meaningful football game. The 2010-11 Bears took me all the way to Pro Bowl weekend, who the hell would have thought that with this team? They gave me a meaningful game to watch all the way up to this point, I check the calender and it is the last day of Jan. Wow, spring training is just two weeks away and the Bulls are 33-14 over half way through their regular season. Thank you Bears!

  • Chet's Deflated Ego

    Danny Boy,
    Your blog has been BORING of late.


    How dominating have the Bulls been in the NBA Central Division? With their win over the hapless Pacers Saturday night, they are now 11-0 vs. Indiana, Milwaukee, Detroit & Cleveland combined. They could be the first team in league history to sweep their divisional foes if they win their last 5 games within their really bad division.

    Speaking of Cleveland, I wonder if head coach Byron Scott is starting to have second thoughts about leaving ESPNEWS…The Cavaliers have lost 20 in a row, and likely will lose their 21st in a row vs. the Heat in Miami tonight. Bet the rent LeBron James is getting a kick out of seeing his former team struggle and become really bad at basketball.

    • bigtime sucker

      HIS ego may be regretting, his wallet isn’t though


    Okay, take four, and then I am finished for today.

    Yes. bigtime sucker, I too am lukewarm towards the big game between Green Bay and Pittsburgh.

    I, also, watched the slow hockey this weekend. I did not approve of three doors down as the mid-ice band.
    I feel better not trying to be lewd, don’t you?

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