I watched NFL Live on ESPN yesterday, hoping to get a snippet of something to feel good about with the NFL labor situation. And there was a segment where--and I won't lie, I can't remember who the expert was they interviewed--it was mentioned that while it's been make-or-break for several weeks now, this coming week is truly make-or-break to get a deal done and salvage the entire 2011 season and pre-season and training camp. And if you look at the calendar, you understand this. Here are a couple more articles about the lockout, and as for me, I am going to stay optimistic, citing the fact that these money-grubbers won't want to lose any money:
NFL labor developments reminiscent of '06 talks - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
A lesson in the definition of "close" in contract negotiations: In March 2006, the NFL owners and players were in midst of a labor battle that now serves as a backdrop for the current collective bargaining agreement negotiations. At one point, the two sides couldn’t have been further apart. Negotiations on a CBA extension had broken off and then-NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw sat down with his team of advisors and gave a toast to the uncapped year. It was a sign that talks had gone nowhere and he’d given up. Shortly after the toast, Upshaw received a message from then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Within a couple of hours, the two sides were back at the table and an agreement was hammered out within a few days.
Retired N.F.L. Players File Complaint, Complicating Talks - NYTimes.com
Negotiations toward a labor deal that would end the N.F.L. lockout were confronted with a new hurdle Monday when the group of retired players involved in the antitrust lawsuit against the league — angered because they say their interests and representatives are being shut out by both sides in the talks — filed a separate complaint against players and owners.
NFL mediator enjoys a challenge in court, on ice - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The man in the middle of the bitter labor dispute between NFL owners and players is rarely happier these days than when he is carefully sliding a 40-pound rock down a 150-foot sheet of ice toward a painted target, with sweepers furiously brushing the path and steering the stone toward the middle. U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan was introduced to curling a few years ago, and can be found at one of two curling clubs in St. Paul three nights a week.
Maybe Boylan should take DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell curling. I don't know, I'm at a loss at this point and I think every writer out there is fishing for stories like this one. But hey, I've also heard Boylan's calm demeanor is key to getting this deal done.
The Daily Reflector
There is really no point asking Matt Dodge if he's still haunted by images of DeSean Jackson's improbable last-second punt return touchdown for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. With time expiring in a must-win game, Dodge — a rookie with the New York Giants and recent East Carolina graduate — was told by coach Tom Coughlin to punt the ball out of bounds after the Eagles had stormed back to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Instead, Dodge's line-drive punt bounced onto the turf between the hashmarks and was clumsily collected by Jackson, who then rambled through traffic and into the open for a touchdown that effectively derailed the Giants' season. Needless to say, Dodge made himself unforgettable to New York and Philadelphia fans that day, but the man with the big leg from Morehead City is not fazed.
Hey I'm glad he's over it. But that dude, unfortunately, will forever be etched in our sports memory.
Here is a current poll on Fox Sports on who the greatest Giant of all-time is. In my mind, there is no dispute that it's Lawrence Taylor. How about you?
Hope you all had a great 4th...now let's get a deal done so we can talk real football!