"Excuse me, miss, how much longer before we take off?"
"About 20 more minutes, and we should be in the air."
Have you ever had this exchange on a delayed flight? If you have, chances are you had the exact same conversation about 40 minutes after the first time you asked, and you still got the same answer. Which of course leads to this:
"But you said 20 more minutes almost an hour ago."
"I know, but we hit a couple last-minute snags. I can assure you that it shouldn't be more than a few minutes longer now."
If you're a fan of the Adam Carolla podcast, you're probably familiar with this theory. (If you aren't a fan...you should be. It's outstanding. Check it out and subscribe on iTunes.) No matter how long the airline people know a delay will probably be, they always tell you there's about a 20 minute wait. Why? Because it's a manageable chunk of time. Even if they know there's going to be a four hour wait, they'll never tell you four hours because you'll freak out. Twenty minutes is the perfect amount of time--it's not immediate, but it's not so long that you're going to get restless.
Doesn't this sound exactly like what the NFL is doing right now? A labor agreement has been "imminent" for at least two solid weeks now. Last week at this time, a deal was nearly certain by Sunday at the latest. Each quasi-secretive meeting was met by more and more optimism by the Adam Schefters, Peter Kings, and Albert Breers of the world. Every NFL-related Tweet I read is basically some version of "OMG we r like super-duper close to football!! Only 2 tiny things left to agree upon!!!1!"
But if you take a minute to think about it, we're still technically in the same spot we were four months ago. We NFL fans have been sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off for six hours while the captain keeps firing up the intercom to say:
"Ahhhhh...hi there folks, we sure are sorry about the delay, but it looks like there are juuuuust, a couple more planes in line before us. Ahhhh, thanks for hangin' in there, and ahhhh...just wanted to let you know that the wait shouldn't be much longer."
You know what? I'm done with being told to wait 20 minutes. If a deal happens today? Great. If it happens this weekend? Super. Next week, or basically any time before we start to miss games? I'm all for it. But forgive me if I have given up on being giddy about every faux baby step taken by the players, owners, and lawyers. I have officially reached my limit on watching stock footage of NFL bigwigs striding into random federal buildings.
I'm just going to lay back in my neck pillow and take a nap until we're up in the air.