It would seem that the players and owners have almost ironed out the last of the big, hairy issues to make way for a new CBA. The buzz now is that, although there are still some unresolved issues, they shouldn't be divisive enough to derail the deal. Knock on wood.
The word through the sports media grapevine is that the key, motivating factor in this new level of agreement is the fact that the players suggested they would go back to court to try to get the lockout lifted. News sources were vague about whether this was a specific or veiled threat, but it would seem to be having the desired effect just the same. This threat refers to a provision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that was handed down last week, enabling players to head back to Judge Nelson in Minneapolis and work to get the lockout lifted for players not currently under contract. It seems safe to say that even the possibility of the mess that could entail was enough to get the owners to bend enough for a deal to take form.
Whatever the item that finally pushed both sides past the issues that had been stumbling points for the negotiations, it looks like the players and owners now agree on more things than they disagree on. This is good news for just about anyone with a vested interest in the NFL. Our national nightmare may soon be over.
I don't know about you, but the prospect of a late summer/fall without the NFL was just too horrible to contemplate so I stubbornly held onto the hope that the players and owners would find a way to come to an agreement. The agreement isn't certain yet, but for the first time in four months I'm feeling considerably more hopeful that it will be over.
That hopefulness makes me muse about things that will likely not be in the new agreement, but should be. At least from a fan standpoint, these items deserve to be acknowledged.
Items that this fan would like included in a new CBA
- This will be Michael Vick's third season in the NFL since his release from prison for animal cruelty. He should no longer be a contender for the comeback player of the year during the 2011-2012 season. Enough already, we know he's back.
- Just because former players are now talking heads on television is not a confirmation that they are brilliant football minds, just that network executives think they will make good television. Yes, I'm looking at you Tedy Bruschi and Trent Dilfer.
- Chris Kluwe is a geek renaissance man and needs to be officially named as a national treasure, like some kind of a profane, video-game-addict poet laureate. The man is ridiculously funny and, if music doesn't work out for him after he retires from football, he should consider being a contributor to The Onion or The Daily Show.
- Randy Moss was, and is, a crazy talented football player, but he is first, and foremost, crazy. He's probably not a good person to draft for your fantasy team because teams are scared to sign him.
- Football fans are largely okay with it if Brett Favre wants to stay retired this time around. Don't send players to talk to him and try to get him to come back. Please.
- In recognition of the NFL's growing female fan demographic, Tom Brady should not be hit in the face. Keep the United States of America beautiful, protect Brady's pretty face. Oh, and along that same line, bring back the NFL commercial where Adrian Peterson is running without a shirt on.
- If a receiver, not unlike Calvin Johnson, catches a ball while he has both feet in the end zone and maintains both possession and control of said ball, it should be ruled a touchdown. He shouldn't have to hold the ball for five minutes and quote the Magna Carta for it to count as a touchdown. Lessen the disparity between what qualifies as a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown because the current rules are...what's the word I want...oh yes, stupid.
I suppose it's hoping for too much for the players and owners to not only agree on how to divvy up $9 billion but to also agree on the points I listed above, but they really should. Regardless of whether players and owners see the value in my points, at least they seem to finally see the value in getting a new CBA agreement done soon, and that is something we can all see the value in. Are you ready for some football?