NFL and the NFLPA Lockout Countdown: Lockout Day+76, or The Lockout in Limbo Again and Again

We are nearing the three-month mark as the lockout of the NFL has gone on without much resolution, other than the appearances of concern from both sides to the public at large. Aside from the private workouts scheduled by the leaders of the respective teams, not much has actually progressed.  Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback held a private workouts with tight end Brent Celek, backup quarterback (for now) Kevin Kolb among others, but it was less than notable in the overall scheme of the work stoppage. With multiple legal cases held in a stalemate, the clock still ticks — although within three weeks or less, the National Labor Relations Board should make their decision soon on the legality of the dissolution of the NFLPA.  With this decision, it will directly impact all the other legal decisions down the road until the lockout is lifted permanently (somewhat until the the next collective bargaining agreement has ended).

In light of this, the NFL Coaches Association has sided with the players by filing a brief this past Wednesday to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.  This might certainly help the players’ chances of lifting the lockout, but with the sluggishness of the legal system, it will still take at least three weeks or so before significant progress will begin.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged the frustration of the fans and the uncertainty of an upcoming season.  But this is more pandering to the NFL fanbase since in reality, it is out of his hands for the time being as the judges read over briefs and decide on other cases on their dockets.  Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis, on the other hand, said that crime would increase “if we don’t have a season.”  He said that “[t]here’s too many people that live through us.”  Both statements are a bit of a hyperbole, and the second statement is most definitely hubris on part of Ray Lewis.  His intention may have been to bring a sense of urgency, but like Roger Goodell and the team owners, for now, the cogs in the legal system are turning on their own, and they can’t rush it nor impact it directly per se.

With the baseball season in full swing now and the Stanley Cup finals coming into view, there are more sports for fans to watch now, more than ever.  With the popularity of internet streaming, TiVo, and other services, most fans today are no longer restricted to sitting by the radio or analog television sets like the good old days.  So Ray Lewis is somewhat wrong in that regard as the even the most loyal of the NFL fanbase can turn elsewhere.  In a couple more weeks or so, the National Labor Relations Board will make their decision, and the legal system should gradually go into full swing as these cases are resolved.

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