Apr 7, 2011
Normally, we like to take a quick sweep around the league for any useful bit of news, but we were glued to Twitter again yesterday as the preliminary hearing of the Brady v. NFL case was heard before Judge Susan Nelson. As such, today’s edition of the Fantasy Guru Daily will be a collection of links about the hearing, and a discussion of what it could mean for football in 2011.
Nelson said her ruling on whether to issue an injunction to lift the lockout would take “a couple of weeks.” This is no surprise, as very few expected Nelson to rule immediately (in legalese, “from the bench”). Should Nelson rule in favor of the players, she would issue an injunction to lift the NFL’s lockout, deeming it unlawful as the NFLPA had decertified prior to the lockout. Now, we are no lawyers, but all reports from the courtroom suggest that Nelson grilled NFL counsel David Boies, even going so far as to say the players had the “right” to decertify. If this is the case, it indicates that Nelson is leaning to siding with the players, which could entail an immediate injunction to stop the lockout, allowing teams to make moves even as the NFL appeals. Nelson could also “stay” the injunction pending the NFL’s appeal, which would keep the lockout in place. In either case, all the NFL’s leverage would lie with the result of an inevitable appeal.
Should Nelson side with the owners (which would surprise us, at this point), the players would also be forced to appeal. Whichever side ultimately loses will be absolutely crushed leverage-wise, and could be forced to make major concessions in the way of a new CBA. The two sides could also settle out of trial, which Nelson strongly recommended (Nelson would preside over mediation hearings). As of now, the NFLPA said it is ready to settle, while the owners are still hanging on the semantics between “settlement” and “collective bargaining.” Obviously, “collective bargaining” entails the NFLPA reforming as a union, which means any antitrust lawsuit (such as the one in Brady v. NFL) would be unlawful, and therefore dropped. If the NFL continues to hold that hardline stance, the only way these sides get back to mediated hearings is if Nelson forces them to, which she has power to do if she so decides.
Long story short, this ain’t over, and it could change any day. When Nelson rules (could be next week, could be three weeks from now), we’ll have a very good idea of where this might head.
This week in comedy…
Noted Jesus nut Ben Roethlisberger refuses to live with his fiancée before marriage. Take a deep breath, then try to absorb that statement.
- Joe Dolan