I've covered the event for a few years and began dressing it up like I do for the high school basketball games a few years ago to make it look more like a professional broadcast. I was on graphics this time, and this year's Inner City All-Star Classic was one of the few times I was happy not to be announcing. I had a cold that caused a sinus headache and fever over the weekend, so I vanished from existence the last couple days. I was fine enough to soldier on, but sinus headaches are a drag. Despite my health, I was able to interview Angel Robinson and Tamara Moore at Friday's practice, both of which are on my YouTube page.
I enjoy working the All-Star Classic, but now that the event has reached its 15th year, I think they should look at some things to make the game more interesting. Team alignment would be a big help; I'm not a fan of them randomly placing players on one team or another. There is a potential for mismatches, but more bothersome is the fact that the current team selection doesn't give the players much to play for except the MVP trophy. Based on my observations, the games resemble a scenario of finding a bunch of players and letting them play for 40 minutes. I always thought a geographic split would make things a little more interesting, not to mention bragging rights would be put on the line (anyone remember the preinterleague days of Major League Baseball?). The team names are fine, but how about an East Metro-West Metro type matchup?
The background music is a little annoying. I appreciate the idea of trying to create a street ball feel, but in an indoor facility, it's often loud enough to make communication difficult. I don't know how the players handle it, but one of our announcers this year wasn't pleased with it. One suggestion would be to save the music for the skills contests at halftime and maybe mic the DJ for some in-game commentary if they're worried about dead silence.
Again, these are suggestions. I like the All-Star Classic because it gives a lot of players who missed the cut for the Coaches Association All-Star game a chance to play in one. I think that reason alone should help its sustainability.
In any case, the class of 2008 made their final bow in high school. We'll see how they do in college.
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15