The Ifl To Change All-Star Voting?None posted by: by Eric Satterwhite on Tue Mar 17 2009
Many Team Owners Are Pushing To Change The All-Star Voting Process
Anytime there is an election where a large group of people involved in either the voting process or, of course the people being elected, have a gripe with the process. And as coincidence would have it, it tends to be the group of people that do not win that have the grip. When it comes the the IFL All-Star voting process, there is a slight conflict of interest. As it turns out, the Players are the ones nominating the players. Yeah, it's a little backwards, but the fine print says that players can't vote for people on their same team and you can only vote for people in the same conference as your team resides.
The primary gripe with this process is that many players play favorites or that a lot of people are nominated on reputation. Which is true in a lot of cases - It happens all the time in ANY voting process. As a player I have had the pleasure to sit in on a number of these voting sessions and they aren't very organized. In many cases, it comes down to, "That guy kicked my @$$" - Mark Him Down! To make matters worse, With the new league format of all of the teams playing on Saturday night, at about the same time, and no double headers - The likely hood that any of the players actually get to see many teams / players is going to come down to who they line up against on Saturday night.
Many owners have come to the conclusion that All-star voting should be based on stats. Okay...but there are a couple of inherent problems with this.
- Every team keeps different stats
- every team's stats guy is counting things differently
- Most Stat guys are there because they can get a free ticket to watch a football game
- Most of the positions on the field require information that is not typically tracked.
For the majority of the reasons listed, Team owners have suggested that the league adopt a unified way to keep track of the and have standards in place to do so. Great! That's lovely. And I'm sure that would work the way you would expect. For a QB, you need TDs, Total Yards, Interceptions, etc. And this would work out for the "skilled" positions. However, being one of the non-skilled players myself, I have a bit of a problem with this
Back To The Future
No one keeps stats on us. As far as the defensive line is concerned People care about tackles and sacks, and sacks tend to stand out more than tackles. But that is not all we do for a defense, and that is not how you should measure a player's worth to a team. Are the best 3 Linebackers the ones that have the most Tackles? or the most Sacks? In the case of a defensive lineman, what about pressures, or QB hurries, tackle for a loss; and the yards racked up from tackles for a loss. If the league were to use stats as the primary gauge, they would need a very specific set of criteria each player must meet to be eligible for the all-start nod. This is stuff that NO ONE at this level of football keeps track of nor wants to do. Can you imagine the amount of man-power it would take to watch everything that every position were doing on a weekly basis for every team. Especially when all of the gamers are at different locations. And if one were to use stats to determine All-Stars, I would think one would need to start. Otherwise, we are back to square one, which guy really kicked my @$$?
The Flip Side
Lets look at the Flip Side. Offensive Line. No one keeps stats on the offensive line, if they do, it's pancake blocks...and that's it. What about Missed blocks, blocks for a big gain, block for a touchdown, sacks allowed and on and on and on. Put that into perspective - 1 Center, 2 Guards, 2 Tackles, Possibly a TE who is more of a block than a receiver, and in this league, the fullback rarely sees the ball, so they are usually considered an extra blocker. If you are counting that is at least 5 and possibly 7 out of a possible 11 players who have not statistical records to use for this "All-Star" Voting. You're basically looking at QB's, Tailbacks and receivers.
Beggars Can't Be Choosers
I think the biggest problem is leaving the decisions up to the teams. Obviously everyone likes to think their entire roster is full of all-stars. Players have a hard time putting pride aside and making the right call. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of cases when Players are picked because they are hands down one of the best in the league. It is the year after that person is picked that the favoritism starts. For example in 2008, Brad Dement was elected to the 2008 All-Star team and he only played 2 or 3 games! How does that happen?
Either way, numbers don't tell the story. They never have and they never will. They certainly help point you in the right direction, however changing one method to satisfy one angry group will only create another angry group. No one method will ever be perfect nor will it ever make everyone happy. I for one think leaving it up to the players to nominate other players may not be the smartest move. Are the fans really that involved that they would be able to pick an all-star team? Are they just as biased as the players? What about from a team stand point; if Team 'A' beats Team 'B' does that mean Team 'A' should get more all-star selections than Team 'B'? I'm sure there are a lot of options other than these two extremes that the league is considering. Who has some ideas?