For those of you who caught Sportscenter, or follow Schefter on the Twitter, you know that there was a "secret meeting" that went on outside of Chicago yesterday between several owners (Kraft, Richardson, Mara, Rooney and one of our favorite punching bags, Jerry Jones), Goodell and D Smith in an effort to "try to bridge some of their significant differences, according to multiple league sources."
A few of the NFLPA members were reportedly there as well, but most importantly, the only lawyer in attendance was D Smith. That right there is a good sign, as it has been previously reported by folks on both sides that the lawyers were getting in the way of any progress being made.
Needless to say, if this secret meeting leads to significant progress for reaching an agreement in the near future that allows football to resume in a fashion that is pretty close to business as normal, everyone will rejoice and hopefully we can treat this lockout like it was a drunken hookup with the ugly unattractive chick upstairs in the dorm; it never happened!
But, there are a few details that have me scratching my head. Let's talk about it after the jump.
First, why the secrecy? I don't get this at all. We are in day 80 of this steaming pile of bull shit and any little thing that happens regarding this lockout is the lead story on any and every sports website, yet they arrange a secret meeting like they don't want anyone to know it is going on and they are trying to avoid any publicity. A secret meeting attempt is only going to make it even bigger news than it already would have been, and you know damn well that there is no way that someone isn't going to notice it and blow the whistle on these fools. "Oh wow, I just saw several NFL owners, Goodell and D Smith hop off of private airplanes and walk into the same conference room at the Chicago Marriot. Think it has something to do with the Lockout? Nah, they are probably in town for the annual Arts and Crafts show." Seriously, who isn't going to put 2 & 2 together there and realize that something is going on. And apparently, even some of the other owners were kept in the dark because Schefter is reporting that some of the other owner's had no idea whatsoever that it was even happening. Really? It's not like this is a sales meeting at Kenny's shoes to discuss a proposed $1.00 sales commission increase on each pair of Nikes. This is the freaking NFL and it has to do with splitting up hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars. Seems kind of important.
Secondly, why these 5 owners? They are some of the heaviest of heavies when it comes to name recognition, but are they also the Alpha Group of the owners? Do they have seniority and as such, act on behalf of all the other owners? I don't get it. I have read reports that Kraft is pushing to get a deal done, but isn't Richardson the guy who called out one of the QBs in one of the first meetings? (Note, I am not a big research guy, I prefer to work off of my memory, which is still suffering the after-effects of too many bong hits in college, so some of this may be slightly off or just plain wrong. Please bear with me and politely correct me in the comments.) What must the owners who were left out be thinking right now. If I were Lurie and I was left out of the meeting, and I had a franchise worth almost a BILLION EFFING DOLLARS that was going to be effected, I would want in on every single meeting. I don't care if it was where we are ordering lunch from, I want a say.
Also, who initiated this meeting? I want to know if this is evidence of a small capitulation on one side. Did the NFLPA decide that they can't risk missing game checks and that they need to get some of the details worked out now so that the season starts on time? Or was it the owner's who realized how important each and every game, even Pre-Season, is to the bottom line and that an agreement needs to get finalized sooner rather than later?
I tend to get my expectations up really quickly. Too quickly and often, too loftily (is that even a word?), and then when the reality is less than what I had hoped for, it leads to disappointment. So I am going to try real hard to take this meeting as what it is, a meeting, and not assume that tomorrow's lead story everywhere is going to be "Lockout's Over! Lockout's Over!". Schefter even states that "One source said any potential deal still was a ways away, however, the hope would be that the two sides could get something done sooner rather than later, potentially even later this month." This statement falls in line with the post yesterday re: Redskins coaches getting vacations over by the end of the month in anticipation of a Lockout resolution by the end of June. But, in relation to the rest of the Lockout news that we have had to endure over the last 80 stinking days, this is as good as it gets. Let's hope that this is the first step to football returning to business as normal.
Thanks for letting me add my 2 cents and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what everyone else thinks. Have a great day! Reddgie