I suppose the minor verbal smackdown delivered by Judge Nelson ordering both sides to return to mediation just may have done some good after all. According to NFL.com's Albert Breer, "all parties appear to be 'serious' about these talks ... and the potential consequences if they break down."
Oh good, I was afraid the NFL and the players wouldn't treat the staple of American Sundays and leading breadwinner of the entire sports segment with anything but utmost seriousness. Though given the way this entire game of "hurry up and wait" has evolved, has anything about it been serious?
All sarcasm aside, it's good to know that at least they're taking this as "let's get something done" instead of "Na na, there, we did it, you happy now?" In Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller's words:
"We're dealing with real issues, and that is the lockout and the upcoming season," he said. "Those things are prevalent. Those are not luxuries or frivolous debt lines or points. These things are happening and approaching, and those things will approach. ... Tomorrow is going to come regardless of what we do here, so we have to work within that framework. In order to have a season, preserve a season, prepare for a season, those are real consequences."
Also, what happens in
Vegas mediation stays in Vegas mediation.
The sides met separately with Boylan in preparation for Thursday's opening session, with the league coming to his chambers Tuesday and the players following suit Wednesday. The meetings were intended to educate Boylan on the arguments of each side as he readied to preside over the mediation.
Although Boylan will have an open line of communication with Nelson, these proceedings are his. He will not be required to report to Nelson, who has offered both sides protection, in that the mediation cannot be used against either party in any other case.
In the famous words of the Joker: "Why so serious?"
Your thoughts? Sound off!