The Locked Out Lockout Dailies: Behind the Scenes at the Secret NFL Negotiations (Pt. 1)

If you read one thing about the NFL lockout situation...it should probably be something else. But, if you have read other things about the lockout, and you think the dramatics and tension involved with the inability to find a way to share $9 billion to play a game is overblown to the point of silliness, then this may be what you are looking for.

Disclaimer: As I prance through a world made difficult in ways that are alien to me I turn to humor to get me through without going crazy—or maybe I should say evil crazy. So, as the lockout has gone on I am beginning to see it all as the motions of insanity. I am going to repackage that vision in the Locked Out Lockout Dailies.

I plan on posting these sporadically until football returns. None of the events I will describe—unless a disturbing fact of a reality unknown to me—happened anywhere but in my head. The people described will typically not be done so in a favorable light. To them, or to anyone who may take objection to that, I will say, "Get over it." It is the only way this 450 pound blogger can deal with the frustrations of his shell of a life while wearing his lucky bathrobe and afraid to come out of his mother's basement. Let the games begin....

As you may have heard some of the NFL owners and members of the NFLPA gathered secretly last week for negotiations. This is the behind the scenes details:

Miles above the earth Jerry Jones scans the internet and suddenly can't enjoy the plush leather of his recliner seat. "The NFL is not in any of these headlines!" Jones yells to no one in particular and throws his laptop against a pile of other broken laptops.

Far below Jones, Roger Goodell has his hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel of his Cadillac Escalade, which idles motionless in traffic. He repeats the words coming out of his surround sound system, "I am a powerful person. Living of my own free will. Others follow my lead. I will assert my command. People will respect me."

Unaware of each other, DeMaurice Smith is two cars behind and engrossed in conversation. "I don't even know who you are anymore," Smith announces.

The words, "I am what you have always wanted to be," flow out in a deliberate southern drawl by the recipient of Smith's statement .

"How long do you really think we can carry on this charade?" Smith replies.

"As long and as far as you can carry us. Which won't be far if you don't get past some of this traffic. Pull into the carpool lane and step on it!"

"It won't be saving much time if we get a ticket, will it?"

"You are such a sissy. Just do it!" And with that Smith accelerates into the carpool lane.

Back in the gated skies the pilot tells Mr. Jones to prepare for descent. "Alright, time to get my game face on," Jones tells himself. "Commencing operation Lone Cowboy Stealth Arrival." Jones pulls out a wig, prosthetic nose, eye-glasses and a fake beer belly. He begins to put on the costume that will leave him unrecognizable to his mother or even his money.

Goodell is still stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. That leaves him with a dangerous amount of time to think. This invariably leads to self-doubt. He tries in earnest to focus on his self help mantra, "I am a powerful ma...oh who am I kidding? Everyone thinks I am a puppet! The fans hate me. The owners use me, and the players want to kick my ass. It's not fair. I don't even want to be commissioner anymore!"

Smith is now cruising, but not speeding, a full mile ahead of Goodell. "Look, when we get there just let me do the talking." Smith says.

"Hahaha! That's not going to work. They want to talk to you. We need to let them know that that is no longer an option. There is no you anymore. There is us."

"I just don't know if they are going to take you seriously." Just then Smith sees red and blue lights flashing in his rear view mirror. "Oh great! Now we are really going to be late. Does anything you ever suggest do anything but fail?" Smith pulls over to the side, rolls down his window and greets the officer. "What seems to be the problem officer? I don't think I was speeding."

"Sir, you realize you were driving in the carpool lane, right?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well seeing as how you are the only person in your vehicle that means you are breaking the law."

"Damn, I forgot."

"You forgot a carpool meant more than one person?"

"No, that he is...never-mind. Sorry officer." Smith says as the officer grows confused. "Ask him if he likes football." Smith says in a deliberate southern drawl.

"Ask who?" The cop says while reaching for his taser. A confused cop is a dangerous cop.

"Hey, do you like football?" Smith says in his natural voice.

The officer's expression instantly changes, "Dey took our football!"

"I know son, and I am trying to bring it back to the fans."

"Football come back?"

"Yes. In fact I am on my way to meet with Roger Goodell..."

"Dey took our football!"

"I know, and I have to get to this address!" Smith shows the officer the address.

"Follow me." The officer runs to his motorcycle to give Smith a police escort. Just as he is leaving he hears a message over his radio.

"Officer Stergent, there is a crazed male in his 20's beating the residents of Blended Meals Golden Years Living Home with a baseball bat and stealing their medication. You are a block away. Please assist."

Officer Stergent responds, "Dey took our football...over"

"Dey took our football!" The dispatcher said and forgot what he radioed for. Officer Stergent continued with the escort.

Goodell, who had gotten ahead of Smith, but didn't notice him, now sees him blow by with a police escort. "What the...? They'd never give me an escort. I gave up my salary during the lockout you know! I care! Why doesn't anyone give me an escort."

In full disguise, and with the James Bond Theme playing in his head, Jerry Jones walks down the steps of his private Cowboys blue and white 747. There is a big blue Cowboy star on the nose of the plane, and on the tail is a big picture of a smiling Jerry Jones giving double thumbs up over the words "Jerry Jones' Plane Bitches."

"Hehehe," he chuckles, "they'll never know I am in Chicago. Now let's go make some Cowboy bucks, Jerry," And he hops into the blue and white Jonesmobile. The Jonesmobile is oblong shaped with the both ends slightly curved towards the sky. On the front tip rests a giant Cowboy hat.

In the parking lot Goodell goes over his self help tape as he puts on his leather jacket and sunglasses. He gets out, and looks at himself in the side mirror. "I am the Commissionator. I cannot be stopped," he tells himself while puffing out his chest, and begins walking.

He doesn't get far before he is stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of the Jonesmobile. "Alright, if he calls me Roggie I am going to put him in his place this time. I am the Commissionator."

"Hey, Roggie! Where the hell is your costume? You are going to give away our secret meeting." Jones, who is no longer in costume, says as he puts his arm around Goodell and they walk into a nondescript cement building.

"I've got on my Commissionator jacket and sunglasses. And I'd actually prefer if you called..." Goodell's mumbling increased as his sentence wore on.

"Hehehe," Jones chuckles while interrupting. "Whatever Roggie. No one cares where you go anyway." Jones says as they board an elevator and sink deep below the surface of the earth.

Out of the elevator they use 24 different key cards to open up 12 cement and steel doors. They then stop and knock on a wooden one. "What's the password?" A voice says from behind the door.

"Fido," blurts out Jones.

"Um..." says the behind door voice.

"No, Mr. Jones. It is Fidelio."

"That's what I said: Fido." Jones says as the door opens....

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Secret Meeting

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