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New York Giants Notes: Friday Hodgepodge Edition

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Greetings fellow Giants fans. It sure is hard to believe we are past the midpoint of June and still do not have a labor agreement in place. But word keeps leaking out about meetings and more meetings and private meetings, and the sense of urgency has led to forced optimism....

Ongoing NFL lockout talks spark optimism -
....both sides appear to have substantive proposals that they're willing to compromise on. That seems clear after two days of talks this week that included lawyers for both sides at an undisclosed location in Maryland, following previous meetings near Chicago and New York. Next week's meeting is expected to lay out a framework for an agreement that could lead to a CBA and the league returning to work for the first time since the lockout began March 12.

I'm trying to visualize the collective fists that will punch the air in glee when this finally happens, and I hope we get to see it in real time very soon.

Locked-out fringe players find ways to get by - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
There are a lot of players like Lorenzen who are nowhere near being millionaires. They get invited to training camps and sign "futures" contracts for the league minimum, which are honored only if they make the regular season active roster.

No, this isn't Jared Lorenzen, the "Hefty Lefty," it's Tyler Lorenzen, a Saints practice squad player. And it's a great article that chronicles how difficult it is not only to live on the NFL fringe like this, but also how the lockout is affecting said fringe.

Tom Coughlin visits Yankees game, talks about NFL lockout, Plaxico Burress |
On not being able to coach: "I don't know if it's unhappy, but I don't feel fulfilled. I don't feel like we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. I keep looking around me to make sure there's no one getting ahead."I'm not going to show you Coughlin's quote on Burress, because he's said it all before. But I thought this quote was interesting, because you can just see him keeping tabs on what Andy Reid is doing down the Turnpike.

Steve Spagnuolo turning Rams defense into one of NFL's best - Kerry J. Byrne -
Fast forward to today, and Spagnuolo's Rams are quickly following the same statistical blueprint that his Giants first drew up in 2007: they're building a contender around one of the most dominating defensive fronts in the game. The improvements from 2009, Spagnuolo's first year in St. Louis, to 2010 were nothing short of amazing.

I think the jury is still out on whether or not Perry Fewell can return the Giants' defense to Spags' form, but reading this just makes me shake my head when I think about how awful Bill Sheridan was.

Buffalo Sports Hall names 12 new members - Sports - The Buffalo News
Ruben Brown was "almost speechless," rare for one of the most talkative Buffalo Bills of all time. Baseball's Don Colpoys was surprised. And Jim Burt, the former New York Giants nose tackle, kept finding reminders of the years he spent growing up in Buffalo and Orchard Park. The three were part of the eight-member Class of 2011 introduced Wednesday at HSBC Arena.

Raise your hand if you just remembered that vicious hit Burt placed on Joe Montana during the 49-3 whooping in the 1986 divisional playoff game.

And hey, if you care at all about what Tiki Barber has to say, you can catch Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday, as Barber discusses his un-retirement in depth for the first time since announcing it. As for me, I really don't care what he has to say, but I thought I should let you all know.

Meanwhile, I'm on vacation next week, so either Ed or Mike Fiammetta will fill in for me on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And I sure do hope that by the time I return on June 27, that there will be good news on the labor front and real football to talk about. Have a great weekend everyone!