May 18, 2011
Mediation is over once again, so we go back into a period of downtime in Lockout Watch: 2011. We can now spend the next month debating what delicious food was consumed at the important people lunch summit in Minneapolis.
Who picked up the check? … SOMEONE GET THEM SOME WATER. The two sides worked long and hard, with grueling, endless mediation sessions dragging through weeks upon weeks. Oh. Wait. Judge Arthur Boylan ended mediation after two days. Two. Days. So here we are again, left waiting and waiting, likely until the June 3 8th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing, which will probably result in an appeal win by the NFL after two of three judges ruled for the permanent stay on Monday. Well, we could get a ruling from Judge David Doty on damages awarded to the players in the TV case, but that’ll end up back in the 8th Circuit Court anyway.
After two days of mediation in Minneapolis, we have almost no idea about how much progress was made. We know that the league complied with Boylan’s request and came up with an “offer” – an offer that consisted of a couple pages of bulleted points. Retired player and plaintiff Carl Eller believes progress has been made, as does NFL lawyer Jeff Pash, while NFLPA President Kevin Mawae disagreed during a radio interview with our guy Adam Schein. Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel also came through with a report saying the outline was a positive step, although we’re nowhere close to a deal. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s Mike Silver cautions everyone not to overreact to the stay ruling.
Said Pash, according to Albert Breer: “The only way we’re going to get this accomplished is by face-by-face dialogue and really digging into these issues and I think we had a good step in that direction today and I hope it continues. I’m confident it’s going to continue and we’ll be back early next month to continue this process. The chief judge is doing an excellent job in terms of pushing the parties to think about their positions and think about the broader issues that are at stake here.”
Yes, instead of continuing this apparent momentum, the two sides won’t meet again until another two-day session starting June 7, which will be in the dead period between the 8th Circuit hearing and a decision on the appeal. That decision will likely come in late June or early July. For another nice overview of where everything stands, check out Andrew Brandt’s take at the National Football Post.
Really, the only development Tuesday was that Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith, and Boylan ate lunch together. Where did they go? Did they wait long to get a table? Did they split the check evenly? These are obviously the important questions of the lockout.
Or did they simply discuss how crazy they are making us here at the Fantasy Guru Daily? We can only hope the busboys refused to clear plates and chanted “We want football.”
- Rookie Falcon WR Julio Jones has made a lot of headlines this off-season, from the Falcons trading a ton of picks to move up to get him, to him running a surprising 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine on a broken foot. The good news today is that Jones has been cleared to run on his surgically repaired foot, and he’s already been meeting with Matt Ryan.
- The Boston Herald spoke with Patriot HC Bill Belichick, who, among other things, indicated that the coaching staff will be forced to scale down the playbook on both sides of the ball because of the lack of an off-season.
- San Francisco fans can rest easy, because QB Alex Smith says he will likely return to the 49ers! Of course, that could involve returning to hold the job for a year before it’s passed to Colin Kaepernick.