In an interview with SB Nation writers, NFL Players Association lead negotiator DeMaurice Smith and linebacker Takeo Spikes said that they don't anticipate a deal being done any time soon and he is unsure as to whether or not any regular season NFL games will be missed.
"To be honest with you, the people who can answer that are the owners, or the decision makers, who will allow us to play," Spikes said. "We want to play. The message from us, going back to players, is we truly don't know. As of right now when that deal was presented on the table, it looks like it's gonna be a long time. We're telling all the guys to prepare as you're ready to report on time, but just know that with the numbers that's been put out there, it's not gonna happen any time soon."
That seems like an extremely pessimistic stand point compared to Commissioner Roger Goodell's answer to a similar question in his interview with SB Nation. He was asked if there was a set date in which the season would be in jeopardy if the lockout doesn't come to an end at that point.
"We do not have a firm date," Goodell said. "We have been focused on negotiations and trying to get resolution to this. Obviously the uncertainty of not having an agreement – we’re in the midst of constructing our 2011 playing schedule. We have to try to obviously plan for flexibility on that. We are planning on a full season. We are preparing for a full season. And we certainly hope to be playing a full season."
The two sides are obviously on opposite sides of every issue. I'm sure that if Goodell said he liked surf, Smith would say he liked turf more. One says black the other says white, you get the idea.
Even though neither side came out and said the lockout is definitely going to cut into the regular season, it's concerning that neither side said they didn't think that it wouldn't either. The longer talk like this, from either side continues, the more they're convincing me, and many other football fans, that they aren't as dedicated to getting a deal done as they claim they are and that my September may not be nearly as fun as it usually is.