The Hall of Fame game may be cancelled, but it looks like the NFL has managed to settle their differences in the dramatic fight between millionaires and billionaires. The lockout is pretty much over and the teams will return to camp this Saturday, July 23. It includes a revenue sharing program for the next ten years, a portion of which will go to player concerns over long term health insurance issues.
The leaders of the two opposing camps are each describing it as a “fair, balanced agreement.” This doesn’t settle the entire fight, sadly, because the union pretty much broke down and they need to reform and re-ratify the charters, but the reps tonight indicated in a press conference that they feel that the full season, including the four pre-season games should be able to proceed apace.
A couple of quotes from the commissioner:
“We’re going to make sure that we continue with the great game of football.”
“Contracts may be in a state of .. sort of suspended animation.. until the beginning of the new league year. All of that depends on how the new ratification process proceeds, which is not under our control.”
The “league year” will begin as soon as Wednesday, with players being ready for the season to come.
It’s important to remember that the players will have to re-certify their union, but if they go along with the leadership, we may just have a season. The owners have agreed to the biggest bone of contention which was revenue sharing, which is certainly a good sign.
In the end, the truly important part is that the next fall and winter can be spent with myself and Ed Morrissey arguing over how he will apologize when the Jets take out the Steelers and go on to win their first Superbowl since I was in short pants. And I think we can all agree that this is a subject which trumps most all political rivalries.