So that lockout thing? It's still going on, it's still awful, but there does appear to be a glimmer of hope. Two major developments went down this week that inch us closer to having a football season that starts on time.
One, as we mentioned yesterday, is that a powerful group of owners and players' representatives met in the suburbs to fulfill their court-ordered mediation requirement. What happened at the meetings is confidential, so it's possible that they just sat around and played Yahtzee. However, Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones said that both sides are trying. It's the first time the two sides have met without the careful supervision of lawyers since the Super Bowl, which is a reason to have hope. The hospitality shown by the fine people of the far western suburbs induced the two sides into a conciliatory mood.
But wait! There's more. The teams headed down I-55 to St. Louis to appear in front of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in the antitrust suit that the entire lockout hinges upon. The owners argued that the players decertification was a sham, while the players argued that the owners had no right to lock them out. Judge Kermit Bye assured that a ruling would come down "in due time." He encouraged the sides to continue negotiating, because neither side would like the ruling he made.
In other words, Judge Bye is driving home from the store, and if he has to pull that car over to stop the owners and players from fighting, NO ONE IS GETTING ANY CANDY. And they'll have to go to bed early. No television, either!
Between their own will to make money and the outside force of the U.S. federal court saying "GET IT TOGETHER!" the owners and the players seem to have no choice but to work it out. Right?