Today is a big day as football fans still have their fingers crossed that the owners and players will come to their senses and get a collective bargaining agreement done in time for the 2011 season to start on time.
Both sides are in court today, arguing their positions in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals as to why the NFL Lockout should or should not be lifted. One legal expert referred to today's hearing as "the last big legal battle."
In answer to which, I think, everyone can say 'hooray!'
The bigger news, though, is that the owners and players are talking again -- and there are positive signs that they are actually having fruitful discussions toward getting a deal in place.
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News writes that "Finally, there appears to be a sense of urgency" among owners and players.
There were three days of talks held this week, and one source summed them up this way speaking to Myers:
"It's the most important step since March 11," said one source. "It was the right owners and the right players. There were no outside lawyers. It's the first step, not the last step in the race. But the calendar is also a big issue - the days are clicking off."
CBS Sports columnist Mike Freeman also sounded an optimistic note:
It's not time to break out the party hats just yet. Or your team underwear. Or that stinky jersey you tossed into the back of the closet out of frustration from watching rich men and even richer men fighting over billions. But maybe, just maybe, you might want to put that champagne glass, and Fantasy scouting report, within arm's reach.
There is a still a great deal of work to do, and any progress could unravel any day, hour or minute, but it appears NFL owners and players have made significant headway in reaching a new labor agreement.
It's about time. Let's just hope there is enough time to get this done.