Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Solution to Fan Voting: Electoral College!

Eureka, a brainstorm! A fantastic idea if I may be so inclined to say. In the real world, thousands of voters don't like it, thousands more don't trust it, and some struggle to understand it, but let's bring the electoral college to fan voting! To sum, let's review some of the recent tragedies of fan voting:

* Yi Jianlian (3rd-leading vote-getter among East forwards in the 2009 NBA All-Star game fan vote). Early returns made this a mildly disturbing development, with LeBron James and Kevin Garnett enjoying a decent margin over the 3rd-place Yi, but now this is getting dangerously ridiculous. The latest returns have Yi trailing Garnett by less than 200,000 votes...and, apparently, gaining. To make matters worse, superstud Chris Bosh is being lapped. This is already a travesty, and though I can't think of an adequate-enough word to describe the scenario should Yi overtake KG, I'll be sure to consult my thesaurus by time the NBA announces the final results. We've begrudgingly accepted the 2-billion-strong China voting bloc when it came to a skilled, performing, popular player like Yao Ming. But Yi? C'mon people, we have to draw the line somewhere.

* Rudy Fernandez (final participant in 2009 dunk contest). Naturally this is all conjecture and prognosis, but Rudy couldn't have been a worse pick out of the three possible finalists (over Joe Alexander and Russell Westbrook). 'Brook for his size has been dunking on people with amazing regularity ever since college, and somehow you trust that he is just a silly enough character to come up with an imaginative dunk or two. Alexander's resume includes a college dunk contest where he imitated the Vince Carter arm-in-the-cookie-jar with ease. Let me reiterate: he was in college at the time. Neither was any match for the all-of-Spain voting bloc. Rudy? Well, he's known for converting alley-oops with regularity...and boring stylistic monotony. If he does a single dunk that isn't worthy of a bathroom break I'll be duly surprised.

* Montreal Quebecians (4 starters from a 4th-place team). Even after adjusting for the automated-vote fraud issue, the Canadians still managed to place 4 starters in the game, whereas conference-leading Boston and San Jose have a combined none? Admittedly, I follow hockey from afar, and mostly only to see how low the Islanders have sunk and how the playoffs are going, but I don't think I need an NHL PH'D to see something is incredibly amiss.

So how do we fix these homeristic injustices? Enter the electoral college and weighted voting. No matter if all 2 billion Chinese voted for Sun Yue (only a minor tragic downgrade from the selection of Yi Jianlian), the 500 electoral votes he'd secure would be no match for Timmy Fundamental's 10,000 electoral votes from the rest of Earth's territories.

Seriously, I haven't worked out the math on the populations and percentages, but this needs to be instituted like yesterday. 10 pts and 6 boards for a losing team does not challenge 16/9 for a best-29-game-start-in-league-history contender -- and certainly doesn't belong in the same sentence as "all-star".

Disclaimer: no Chinese, Spanish, or Quebeckians were insulted at any time during this post.

  • Incidentally, the dunk contest goes thru natural peaks and valleys. I don't know why people keep expecting it to live up to the greats year-in year-out. Just watch some clips of the best dunks, and you'll invariably hear Magic Johnson, Kenny Smith, or another announcer proclaiming "the dunk contest is back!" I don't know why people are surprised that it goes away time and again. There's but so much magic and originality the same people can create in a half-second of air-time. Vince Carter (2000), Jason Richardson (2003), Dwight Howard (2008); don't expect so much year after year. It's unlikely if not impossible to keep up such a high standard. You need fresh talent, progress in athleticism, and, well, just time. I'll be very surprised if it lives up to the hype this year, or any time before, say, LeBron's exodus from Cleveland (sorry Cavs fans, I'm just messing with ya, please put down the bat). Which means that, in the unlikely event that it does meet the hype, I'll enjoy it a lot more than you Earthlings will. But if it doesn't...woe be unto you.
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