All Star Mania – The Best of The Best, With Some Worst Thrown In

“It’s all about the All Stars.”

It’s the sort of proclamation you’d expect to hear from Fox Sports baseball announcers Jack Buck or Tim McCarver during their coverage of the MLB All Star game. Each year around this same time in early July, baseball mania reaches a fever pitch, as the best baseball players – arguably, in the world – come together for two days to entertain fans with 450 ft. home runs, 100 mph fastballs and two dream teams comprised of the brightest young stars of the future playing alongside the biggest names of the past 20 years.

The All Star baseball stage is a unique one in all of professional sports, if for no other reason than it’s the only venue which gets to enjoy the sports spotlight in the absence of any other competing sports events. With basketball and hockey seasons mothballed for the summer, and football still several weeks shy of training camp, All Star baseball is the only professional game in town for sports enthusiasts in early July. Even Major League Baseball itself shuts down for almost a full week to acknowledge and shine a light on its own event. Thus for this brief period each year, it truly is all about the All Stars. But that’s not where I heard that statement.

Little Leagues, Big Expectations

If you’ve ever coached Little League baseball, as I have for many years, you’d be familiar with the annual process of “drafting” teams. Before the beginning of each season a group of presumably well-intentioned volunteer coaches – aka parents – meet at their local recreation hall after work and pick team rosters from a general list of enrolled players. I have found that it can be a stressful experience since I’ve usually entered this meeting with a few personal goals in mind: 1) I need to draft my kid’s best friend, 2) I need to make sure I remember to draft my own kid, 3) I need to draft a kid whose dad is known to help out, 4) I need to avoid drafting the rambunctious kid, 5) I need to avoid drafting the kid whose parents are jerks, and 6) It would be nice to draft at least one kid capable of throwing a few strikes. The game is less painful when we keep walks-per-inning under 10.

Fortunately, my own personal experience with “draft night” hasn’t been all that bad. I’ve seen the occasional disagreement over the selection of players (e.g., “Mrs. Smith asked me to pick Johnny, so we can car pool together.” Oh, are you sure it has nothing to do with Johnny being 5’11” and throwing 72 mph fastballs?). But for the most part the meetings were uneventful and just terribly long.

But I remember one specific draft night, which was attended and coordinated by one of our town’s Little League Committee members. At the end of the three-hour meeting, as we were exiting the conference room and still joking about who had picked whom, this committee member leaned over to me and whispered, “These regular season drafts don’t mean anything anyway. It’s all about the All Stars.” Bingo.

The Boys of Summer

As big as the MLB All Star extravaganza is, the Little League All Star season creates a mania that’s, quite literally, in a league all its own. The media attention and commercialism surrounding the Little League All Stars is unrivaled in youth sports. The Little League website even termed it, “one of the summer’s most popular sporting events.” And they may be justified in stoking the publicity with that claim. After all, Little League and ESPN are in the 6th year of an 8-year contract that will televise 66 games on either ESPN or ABC in August. Those are pretty big stakes, especially for a bunch of 11-and-12-year-old kids playing America’s pastime.

So it’s no wonder that in small towns and hamlets all across America, the mania begins in earnest several months earlier when some of the more overzealous “coaches” – dads – are already entertaining visions of ESPN grandeur even before the first child has been assigned to a roster for the regular season; a roster, by the way, that’s filled predominantly with kids who will never even think about their town’s All Star teams, let alone play on one.

If any of your town’s youth sports organizations are managed by a mentality that believes “it’s all about the All Stars,” or that equivalent thinking, then it’s time to advocate a change in that group’s leadership. To say “it’s all about the All Stars” is to say it’s all about a few kids, and not all of the kids. And this flies in the face of what the experts and prevailing wisdom on youth sports suggest, which is that below age 14, it should be all about inclusion and fun.

Two All Star Games – One Blowout, One Blowup

This year’s MLB All Star game was played in Kansas City on July 10th. That game ended in a blowout with the National League winning 8 to 0. Ironically, on that very same day, another All Star game was played in Columbus, Georgia between two Little League teams vying to advance in the tournament. That game ended with parents arguing, then starting a fistfight, and then two dads being arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. I guess to them, it was truly “all about the All Stars.” A little too much so.

The lesson for us all here should speak for itself. No, the majority of us are not so overzealous and unrestrained that we end up punching out the opponent’s parents at a Little League All Star game. But even the most restrained of us is probably dangerously close to losing perspective as we try and enjoy our child’s participation in youth sports. So just remember, even when you’re watching the Little League World series on ABC this August, youth sports should never be “all about the All Stars.”

Flash Games Are Ruling The Market

Gradually with time and technology, the days of video games at arcades are not only fading but also almost facing extinction. And taking over the rule is none other than the most sought after and established free online flash and shockwave games! In fact, online games are being perceived as the future of the interactive entertainment industry.

If you talk to an owner of a game arcade these days, he will tell you that the business is not as lucrative as it used to be. The glamorous flashy image of the game arcades are being largely outcast by the more easily accessible and much cheaper free online games based on flash and shockwave.

The bright and colorful game arcades boasting of beautiful display of flash games in different colors and shapes, outshining each other in their visual appeal, are losing their place and giving way to the online game mania extensively because people are living a hectic and tight schedule. They prefer entertainment at home, especially if it means wider options of games, flexibility of schedule and the expenses reduced to merely Internet and electricity bill.

The prospects of excitement and entertainment offered by game parlors or game arcades cannot be denied. Those who have experienced it can only cherish the fun of collecting money as children to play a game at the arcade or enjoying a game at the arcade as a couple while out on a date. The flash games are enchanting and unfailingly hypnotize as if, into trying them out or at least watch other players play them. They bring alive a superficial impression of any location or environment or situation so vividly that it inspires awe and holds you hooked on.

However, the flash games at game parlors or arcades have their own limitations. First and foremost, you cannot enjoy one or more games incessantly at the very instance of will. Then you cannot switch between games, play game after game for hours together and no money constraint to worry about or no waiting for your turn or no saturation of pocket money after the end of the day.

Can you imagine yourself playing at a game arcade right away after getting out of bed in your night pyjamas? Can you think of playing as well as, in between attending to household chores at a game parlor? Of course not! But you can do all that and more with an Internet connection at home, connecting you to a free online games website!

The flash games are as effective on a personal computer’s monitor as it is at a game parlor. The online games also bring you under an impression of being at a huge Hollywood show or a grand casino in Las Vegas. What’s more, you can try out many games one by one without any charge or waiting. You can download your favorite games or play them online, as per your own discretion and comfort. Besides, you get to play more variety of games than a regular game arcade can offer.

In fact, the flash and shockwave based games available online are so intriguing and enthralling that people feel hooked on to their computers and end up staying indoors the whole day. Some people enjoy these games so much that they end up being addicts, as you can find them glued up with their personal computers during odd hours as well.

Play Stunt Mania Dirt Bike Games Online

Kids have a lot of fun when playing no matter the kind of sport or game they are engaging in. In the recent past, computer games became and are still part of games many kids love to play. Dirt bike games online are very popular when it comes to computer games. There’s a wide array of bike sporting activities one can choose and fully enjoy.

Stunt mania is a dirt bike online game that allows you to exercise your creativity and field ideas by performing several stunts that you understand and excel in without losing track. The game, which is quite popular, is played under several progressive levels. This means that you manage to go through the first level you earn points that will enable you to proceed to the next level which is tough than the first one. The game can be played up to ten levels depending on the ability of the player to pull stunts that will be worth the points that will see him or her to the next level.

One can pull several stunts with employing unique styles in order to earn points and beat the rest. When playing stunt mania one needs to carefully examine the chances of pulling a stunt without making a mistake which may cost him or her some quality points. Furthermore, when playing it online you need to follow the instructions keenly and being timely so as to pull the stunt in the right time. Using the arrows you make steps to different directions. In order to make a step forward, you need to use the arrow pointing upwards. To move backwards use the down arrow key, in order for you to tilt the bike, you can use the left or the right arrow keys.

When playing, you will also need to turn your bike to the direction that you want. The space bar will allow you to do that. The stunts are very vital in stunt mania dirt bike games online hence in order to perform them well, use the numbers 1 to 7 on the keyboard. If you are not yet ready to pull a stunt or is not sure, you can always pause using the P key and resume afterwards.