More than two weeks of talking ended the way we were all hoping it wouldn't, but expected it would. For the first time since 1987, the NFL is officially in a work stoppage.
At about 9:00 p.m. San Diego time on Friday, March 11, the owners decided to lock out the players. It was neither the first, nor the last domino to fall on what turned in to a crazy day. In not quite chronological order, the series of events went something like this.
The owners issued a final proposal to the NFL Players Association. It was either the best deal ever offered anyone in a labor negotiation (according the league) or an offer that back in the 1700's would have been so insulting it prompted a duel to the death (according to the players).
The NFLPA then decertified, dissolving their union and allowing the players to file a lawsuit against the NFL on antitrust grounds.
The owners gave the green light on a lockout.
The players filed an injunction to try and prevent said lockout.
So, what comes next? A whole lot of court room wrangling. First up, the owners are expected to try and prove the players' decertification is somehow fraudulent, or unofficial, or some other legal term I can't comprehend or spell.
There is no end in sight. While both sides say they expect to play football in 2011, and the Draft will take place in April as usual, it's hard to believe anything either of them say right now.