It has been a busy couple of days for NFL lockout news. While none of the news is about events that would appear to bring us much closer to football they were both had to happen before we could get a return to football. Today saw the start of the "festivities" in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Each side spent about 30 minutes making their opening arguments in what will hopefully be a speedy case.
Actually, and most hopefully, this appeal will not ever reach a conclusion. This is a sentiment the one of the judges expressed as court adjourned, "We wouldn't be all that hurt if you go out and settle that case." Neither would we Judge Kermit Bye.
According to reports on ESPN and Pro Football Talk the arguments largely centered around the negative effects (or lack thereof) the players have gone through due to the lockouts, and the biggest issue is of course the dissolution of the players union. The NFL has never recognized it and contends the players will go back to a union as soon as the case is over.
Meanwhile ESPN lets us know that the players lawyer, Theodore Olson, responded with this:
"The players are perfectly happy to be protected by antitrust laws," he argued, insisting the NFL is "recidivist" in violating such laws."
Inn the end, the owners need the players to in a union much more than the players need it. I am sure the players intention is to reform the union. However, as Gene Upshaw did in labor negotiations before and DeMaurice Smith is doing now the threat of not reforming can be a powerful bargaining tool.
Isn't this exciting? Way more exciting than football. I hope this never ends!