I understand their frustration. As a football writer and reporter, the one thing I am not comfortable doing is writing columns about U.S. labor law and practices. It is not my expertise.
In fact, it is none of our expertise. Labor laws are written so amorphously and ambiguously, each side has employed extensive law teams just to capture a gist of what they need to do next.
This ruling to continue the lockout yesterday in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Minneapolis, is the latest chapter in this serial of the absurd. The owners regained the upper hand, as many figured they would the longer the lockout went on.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith did not believe the ruling was a setback for the players. He cites the players are set for a lockout that could last two years. He's dreaming.
Most players need to get back to work. They do not have this war chest Smith is claiming they do. We personally know several that do not even have health insurance right now.
Yesterday's ruling pushes the focus on two things now: an appeal by the players in St. Louis on June 3rd in front of the same body that ruled for the owners in Minneapolis; and the behind-the-scenes labor negotiations that will possibly become the place where this thing is finally settled.
Owners are also losing patience with the lengthy legal process. Colts' Owner Jim Irsay said yesterday that he and Colts' player rep Jeff Saturday could could settle this dispute " on a couple of cocktail napkins"
Bottom line: no football for the foreseeable future....