As if the nation didn't have enough severe weather lately, the storm cloud looming over the NFL is starting to hail golf ball sized chunks of evidence that says the season is going to be shortened this year. At a press conference in Indianapolis, when asked if the NFL had a date by which a deal had to get done before the season was shortened, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell responded,
We don't have a date, but obviously that time is coming. We're getting close enough now where those would have to be considerations ... We obviously would prefer to get a negotiated agreement so that we don't have to make those decisions.
Unfortunately for everybody involved, a negotiated agreement in the near future is about as likely as "Friday" by Rebecca Black getting over 150 million hits on YouTube...wait...bad example. Regardless, a shortened season was almost a foregone conclusion the second that the disagreement hit the courtrooms of the U.S. judicial system. The latest timetable for a ruling the eighth circuit court of appeals was in mid-July and if the owners win that ruling, then more appeals would be expected from the players.
Sticking to his talking points, Goodell says that the only way for the NFL to move forward will by sitting down at the table with the players.
This is going to be resolved through negotiations. And the ownership knows that and the ownership believes that. And it's imperative on all of us to get back to negotiating to figure out ways in which we can compromise our positions so we can reach an agreement that's fair for everybody.
Well...duh. The truth is that neither side is overly anxious to get back to the negotiating table at this point because both sides have a lot at stake when it comes to the court's ruling. Whoever the eighth circuit rules for is going to gain the leverage needed to tip the negotiating scales in their favor.
And until then, the fans will continue to get pelted by golf ball sized hail (quickly becoming grapefruit sized).
Better take cover.