It's been a day of pleasant news for fans not wanting to see the NFL with its lights off in September. The league and the NFLPA made a couple big strides forward today to get talks back on track and stave off an NFL lockout by owners. First, the league and the players' union agreed to Federal mediation and now comes news that the sides have agreed to seven consecutive days of negotiations.
Careful with the optimism. It could still blow up over the shape of the table.
Mediation is a non-binding, velvet hammered means of reaching an agreement. A third party - don't call him a judge - holds hands through the process, letting each side begin with the airing of grievances, work through it mutually and come to terms in good faith. It's like marriage counseling that can actually work. Joking aside, it's actually a pretty smart, post-partisan means of working out differences that might be impossible to resolve in the more hostile venues where labor and capital usually sort out their differences.
Given just how far things have deteriorated in the tone of the PR war, this could be just what the doctor ordered for the NFL and the NFLPA.
Tonight, Pro Football Talk is reporting that the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to seven straight days of negotiations, kicking off this Friday. Friday. Friday. FRIDAY! //monster truck rally emphasis// It seems kind of obvious in light of the news that they agreed to mediation today.
Yes, we want a season, but those of us ready to watch the St. Louis Rams launch a new era of winning football, we need something even sooner. Give us OTAs or, you know, give us death. It's the kind of news that excites even the most iconoclastic slackers among us.