Guest Author - Mona McKenzie
I have been out of sorts since the lockout that I never thought would happen began 98 days ago. During the off-season, I usually think about what moves my team will make in order to win the Super Bowl and begin talking trash to my friends who like teams that are division rivals. I really didnít think the team owners would prevail in their attempt to overturn the lockout stay. The opinion rendered by Judge Susan Nelson seemed to be on point, favored the players, and was basically appeal-proof. However, the seemingly pro-business 8th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the team owners. It is interesting to note that Judge Nelson, who sided with the players, is a Democrat and two 8th Circuit justices who sided with the team owners are Republicans. The lone dissenting 8th Circuit justice is a Democrat. Donít tell me politics and sports donít intersect!!
My mood perked up during the past week when reports of secret meetings between team owners and players in DC (without a roomful of lawyers) leaked out. I was even happier when it was reported that the team owners stand to lose approximately hundreds of millions of dollars from preseason revenue alone. Since both sides have an awful lot to lose, including their fan base, it is apparent that everyone is now getting down to business. Roger Goodell just made a presentation to team owners regarding the CBA, based upon recent secret meetings, so, hopefully a deal will be ratified by mid-July in order to save the entire 2011 season.
Now that negotiations are occurring in earnest, Iím back to watching NFL Network, NFL Live and anything else NFL I can find. The NFL situation spilled over into my enjoyment of college football. I boycotted watching or reading about college football, especially since I was so disgusted by the Ohio State fiasco and the NCAA deciding to strip USC of their national title. Since the Ohio State/USC fervor has died down, Iím glad to report that my love for college football is back on track because I just learned that my nephew is attending a school that is a hated rival of my alma mater. Oh yeah, itís on!
Whenever the lockout is lifted and the CBA is ratified, there are a lot of story lines to look forward to. Where will the free agents land? Is Carson Palmer really going to retire? Will Plaxico Burress return to the NFL? So on and so forth. Canít wait!