This week, the NFL released the pre-season and regular season schedules for the 2011 season, perhaps in hopes of having one, perhaps merely to satisfy the NFL fans and the media. In any case, it was interesting to see if these schedules become a reality, should the lockout will be resolved by August. At this time though, the situation is looking bleak.
The NFL team owners and the dissolved NFLPA consulted with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan in his Minneapolis courtroom for four days. Some players, including Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and their head of the dissolved NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, sat with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league attorneys. Unfortunately, a new group of NFL players supposedly dissatisfied with the progress of the talks may be creating a rift during these discussions. To compound things further, Judge Arthur Boylan has postponed the current mediation talks until May 16 due to other matters on his judicial calendar. Meanwhile, in other legal matters, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson may be making a decision on the players requests to lift the lockout. Additionally, U.S. District Judge David Doty has scheduled a hearing on May 12 concerning the players damages in the negotiation of $4 billion in TV contracts. Lastly, the NFL and the players are waiting upon the National Relations Labor Board on their decision concerning the legality of the work stoppage and the process whereby the NFLPA decertified. All in all, it may take about a month before the NFL, the players and their fans before they see any more progress.
In the meantime, while the federal courts ponder these decisions and sqander valuable taxpayer dollars, most fans have gone to viewing and supporting other sports. Philadelphia fans have the Philadelphia Flyers facing the Buffalo Sabres in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Philadelphia Phillies in their upcoming series against the San Diego Padres, and the Philadelphia Union scoring with their recent acquisition of Carlos Ruiz and the veteran Sebastian Le Toux. Until the resolution of this work stoppage, Philadelphia fans have more sports currently on their plate to enjoy.