Lockout Lingers: Slow, Deadly Torture

The NFL lockout between the owners and players continues. (Richard Drew/AP Photo)

A week ago, we were getting almost minute-by-minute updates on the federal appeals court in St. Louis, which was expected to rule on whether to extend the temporary stay it granted to the injunction that briefly (and blessedly) lifted the NFL lockout during the draft.

No such ruling has been issued. The clear inference is that the appeals court -- unlike Judge Susan Nelson, who issued the injunction and refused to stay it -- feels the players are not suffering "irreparable harm" from being locked out. It now seems likely nothing significant will happen until June 3, when the St. Louis court hears the NFL's actual appeal.

True, the sides are scheduled for more mediation before that, starting this coming Monday. But until somebody's legal strategy really gets smacked upside the head by the appeals court, there likely won't be significant movement off the positions the sides held on March 11, the day the union decertified and management moved to lock out.

That was two months ago today, by the way. The NFL has never had a longer work stoppage, something few people realize, because the '82 and '87 disruptions happened during the season.

If this were a normal spring, the Eagles would have gathered for their first minicamp last weekend. In some cities, players are running their own onfield workouts -- I was reading today about how "Camp Eli" at Hoboken High attracted seven Giants and 11 reporters. Expectations for benefits from this sort of thing probably shouldn't be real high.

A source close to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick said today that there have been some workouts in South Jersey, with more expected in Vick's Tidewater, Va., home base soon. (And of course, 15-to-20 Eagles are working out individually at PowerTrain in Cherry Hill.) Nobody's learning new defensive line coach Jim Washburn's pass-rush techniques on a gym floor, though, especially since players aren't allowed to talk to Washburn.


I was amazed to read that Bernard Hopkins is still ranting nonsensically about Donovan McNabb.

Does he have any Scott Rolen thoughts?

If I were black (see photo at right for confirmation of my extreme whiteness), I think I would really despair of this corrosive debate over "authenticity." If I understand Hopkins correctly, McNabb isn't really black because he grew up middle class, with two parents, and is comfortable conversing with powerful white people. Michael Vick is more black, because he grew up poor and because he's been to prison. And Terrell Owens ... well, I'm not sure what makes T.O. so authentic. The psychosis that leads him to trash every quarterback he's ever played with? His constant me-me-me preening?

 Hopkins has T.O. walking into some mythical Eagles boardroom and "speaking up." I must have missed that. I was there when he sent Drew Rosenhaus into NovaCare to try to get a six-year contract reworked after one season. Rosenhaus left empty-handed. T.O. then set about to rip apart a team that might have had the elements for another Super Bowl run. He succeeded. Neither Owens nor the Eagles have been to any more Super Bowls.

That's authentic?


Jeremy Maclin (jmac_18 on Twitter) turns 23 today. I think I have pants older than that.


Jeffrey Lurie ranked fifth among the Top 10 owners in a "power survey" ranking by ESPN personalities. No idea about the criteria there. Oscar-winning documentaries must have played a prominent role.