Here in the rarified air atop the massive stone towers of Eagletarian Central, we've gotten some missives from fans who want to know details of the player-initiated lockout workouts quarterback Michael Vick spoke of Friday night, when Vick was interviewed at DeSean Jackson's charity gala to benefit pancreatic cancer research.
Couple points on that. One is that tight end Brent Celek, the guy in charge of lining up a field, said this morning that nothing is set yet. But the other point is, it's pretty unlikely that when the location and timing are decided, that the players are going to want fans to know the specifics. In fact, it's unclear they'll even let reporters know.
It's not that the players don't like you guys, or us (well, they really don't much like US, but who does?) Obviously, they're just trying to run some pass patterns here, in a locale where they presumably will have no security, etc. It would only take a dozen or so memorabilia hounds ("sign this framed photo so I can sell it on EBay!") to make the whole thing a big ordeal.
I'm hoping they decide to let reporters know, as some player groups elsewhere have done. This would give us a place to hang out. My wife is getting really, really tired of me. Also, most of us have been sports writers for many, many years. We are used to driving to a place where there are players, and talking to them. When we have to sit at home and come up with ideas and try to grapple with complicated legal questions arising from the lockout, we get confused and agitated. We are much like bears in a national park who just wandered over to our usual feeding spot and found the dumpsters locked. ("BERRIES? What the $%#& are berries? You mean I have to go wandering around the WOODS???? Which tree grows coffee cake?")
Aside from giving me people to talk to and something to write about, I don't think these workouts, if they happen, will be worth much. At the Giants' sessions, reporters have outnumbered players. Nobody is running a real offense, it's very unlikely they'll get enough receivers, DBs and LBs to execute even a 7-on-7, let alone full squad stuff.
Yeah, it's nice if the QB and his wideouts, TEs and RBs can get in a little timing work. Donovan McNabb used to have guys out to Arizona for week or so of that. But I thought the real point of those gatherings was to establish camaraderie, hang out off the field at Casa McNabb. I'm pretty sure nobody ever came back from AZ convinced they'd just laid the foundation for Super Bowl success.
What we all REALLY need is for this wretched lockout to be over. There is no sign of that happening. Mediation reconvened today in Minnesota, with neither the owners or the players even pretending there was much hope of settling before June 3, when the appeals court in St. Louis hears the owners' appeal of the injunction that attempted to lift the lockout.
It's unlikely there will be any sort of ruling on or around June 3. I think the dumpster stays locked for quite a while yet. Maybe I'll lose weight.