The NFL and the organization once known as the NFLPA had their time in front of the judge Wednesday, with both sides seeking to get a legal opinion on the ongoing labor dispute. Fans waited with bated breath for a judgment.
Naturally, it wasn't that simple. Judge Susan Richard Nelson said she'll need a couple of weeks to consider both arguments, though observers say she peppered the owners' representation with questions throughout. That's a couple more weeks for the two sides to either get back to the negotiating table or just twiddle their thumbs and wait. I think we all know which of those outcomes is more likely.
Against all hope, I'm putting my faith in the two sides to come together and try to make a deal in the near future. With time to simmer, I can only hope that the former union and the owners alike have seen the folly of dragging this out through the summer and even into the season. It'll cost both sides money in the short-term, and it will cost them fan confidence in the long-term. Neither is good for the league's bottom line.
Even if Nelson rules on the side of players, the legal challenges could drag on, so we're far from out of the woods. The best outcome is that the two sides manage to hammer something out before the court decision embroils them in the same useless bickering again.
Positive energy, people. Positive energy.