Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Rumors fly of a complete NFL shutdown


So if the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Susan Nelson’s ruling that the lockout should be lifted while the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit proceeds, the league will simply open the doors and allow business to continue as usual until the Brady case is settled, right?

Maybe not.

We’re hearing initial rumblings pointing to the possibility that a loss by the league at the appellate level will prompt the owners to completely shut down all business operations until the players agree to a new labor deal. The thinking is that, if the owners cease all operations, the NFL would not be violating the court order because there would be no lockout. Instead, the league essentially would be going out of business -- something for which the NFL repeatedly chided the union in the weeks and months preceding decertification of the NFLPA.

As we hear it, the league accepts the reality that it will take a lot of heat if it pursues this path (and a lot of that heat will be emanating from this web address), but it could end up being the only way to squeeze the players into accepting the owners’ terms, especially if the Eighth Circuit agrees with Judge Nelson.

On one hand, there’s a long way to go before things would ever get to that point. On the other hand, there aren’t many steps left on the flow chart before that point arrives.

At least the Pirates aren’t that far below .500. And after watching The Natural and The Bad News Bears (the good Walter Matthau version, not the crappy Billy Bob Thornton remake) on DVD in the past 24 hours, maybe it’s time to rediscover baseball.