Just click your heels three times and say, “There’s no place like home…”

Damn, still no football.

Never in its history has the National Football League been this hip deep in drama like a bad soap opera. Granted, I degraded into a twelve-year-old middle schooler that reveled in the schadenfreude of Roger Goodell getting booed at every and all opportunities during the 2011 NFL Draft like a crappy prinicipal that has long lost the respect of the school. You know the type, the punk that covertly wrote Eat it Rooney on the bus in Ferris Bueller. And after the shennanigans around the time of the draft, I’m inclinded to keep that attitude for immediate future.

And for a few hours in the end of April, there wasn’t a lockout. Judge Susan Nelson was obviously sick of the grandstanding and posturing and ordered an immediate end to it. But like any good bit of drama, it was a mere tease with football. Did we have a fleeting season that only lasted a day and a half only to have Lucy, I mean Goodell, pull the football out from under us yet again? Didn’t anyone else feel the burn of that irony as he was hugging it out with the fresh meat new draft class, he was chortling behind the scenes as the NFL legal team was pushing for a stay to keep the players locked out? I am still having a huge disconnect between the NFL that wants to bite the hand that feeds it and how it’s welcoming the new class into the fold. Welcome to the NFL Borg, boys, prepare to be assimilated shortly. Enjoy your fifteen minutes now, because we’re going to put your future on hold in an hour or so.

I mean seriously, the day and a half Not-Lockout was just a tease to torture us! Did coaches and players have really short conversations to hand out homework? We know that some of the early first round draft picks were able to get playbooks before the NFL shut the lid once again. Was Sherrod one of the lucky, or is he twisting in the breeze somewhere in Mississippi? Did players get to call their trainers to check in with their rehabilitation of various injuries?

And in the ridiculousness of it all, I picture some really bizarre albeit short conversations occuring while the clock was quickly ticking down to zero. So allow some dabble in some really bad theather for a momeht: 

*Somewhere in Chico, California a telephone rings…*

Hello?”

“Hey, champ, what’s new?”

“Coach?”

“Not sure how long we can talk, but I want to touch base. I want you to look at the offenseive scheme and review pages 43 through 115 of the playbook. Check out some film on the new guy on the line, work on your footwork, and Pepper wants you to rehab that ankle in the pool…”

*the sound of a struggle is heard over the phone as the omninous horror flick music plays*

“Coach? Is everything okay? Hello…hello?”

“Ring around a rosy, a pocket full of spears. Thought you were pretty foxy, didn’t you? Well! The last to go will see the first three go before him. And your mangy dog , too!”

“Uh, Roger?”

“Yes.”

“I don’t have a dog.”

“That doesn’t matter. I’m still canceling football! Bwahahahahaha!”

“So we still have the lockout?”

“Yeah, pretty much. I’ll get you my pret…”

“Okay, bored now. I’m hanging up.”

*click, dialtone*

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well that’s what the 2001 season has been reduced to, a heck of a lot of hyperbole and bad movie references**.  But until the two sides actually decide to sit down like grown-ups and have a mature dialog, we might as well liken them to villains like the Wicked Witch of the West and idiot principals from comedies from the 1980′s. It’s pretty easy to be polarizing when your smiling and hugging for the camera while wrapping another chain around the front fence of a stadium.

I’m well aware both sides are to blame. They have the heels dug in and are forcing the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to be the grown ups. In the meantime, Goodell and Smith are sitting at the kids’ table in the kitchen. And just to add insult to injury, the NHL is siding with the league and supporting their actions. Uh, hello, didn’t the NHL have a lockout that lasted THE ENTIRE SEASON? Yeah, that was great PR for their league!

But get this, the NHL isn’t just throwing its support behind the NFL, it’s even filing a BRIEF with the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to show it’s on their side. And that brings us to, why the bloody hell would the 8th Court of Appeals even give a toss what the NHL thinks. They think a little gasoline on the fire is always a good thing. Still not ready to abandon football and flirt with another sport. Don’t need the Brewers breaking my heart as well.

Hey, NHL, go crap all over your own league. Leave my football alone!

So until then, Goodell (and the owners) eat it. I want to drop a house on someone if it speeds up this lockout crap, and I’ll be joining Mike Freeman and hitting refresh obsessively until the 8th Court rules on the stay. Maybe we’ll storm the castle if we still give a rip once the ruling comes in.

The clock is ticking, and I want my football back.

* Names removed to protect the not-so-innocent.

** No movies were harmed in the writing of this blog.

 

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  • Anita

    The NHL? Oh yeah, THEM. In 2004-05, their season long lockout was the the first time that the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919, and the first time a major professional sports league in North America canceled a complete season because of a labor dispute. Their lockout lasted 310 days.

    So, excuse me if I don’t trust them getting “behind’ the NFL on anything. I distrust Gary Bettman more than Bud Selig, David Stern and Roger Goodell, COMBINED. Ferret faced little troll….

  • Colleen

    As I think Mike Freeman said, let a woman straighten this out. 8th Circuit, BUTT OUT. Let that woman do her job. She obviously as a bit of sense.