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Next 30 days Crucial in Lock Out


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Peter King


The next 30 days are crucial in the squabble between owners, players

Lawyers, like the NFL's Paul Clement, were not part of the three days of labor talks that took place last week in Chicago.




Quick hits on the events of the week:

The next month is crucial in the labor tussle. I wrote an essay for "Scorecard'' in SI that'll be out in a couple of days. It's about the importance of the owners and players getting something done (or making significant progress toward a deal) in the next three to four weeks -- before a three-judge panel rules whether the owners can continue to lock out the players. No spoilers here, but suffice it to say there are legitimate reasons for both sides to give a little, particularly with the ominous warning from one of the judges hearing oral arguments in the Eighth Circuit, Kermit Bye, that a ruling from the bench could be something neither side is going to like.

My hope is that both sides return to their secret lair and continue the bargaining that was begun last week in Chicago. It's a great idea. It's also an idea that needs to stay underground. There's a reason a gag order is a good idea sometimes. It prevents angry people from spoiling a chance at real momentum. There was no need, for instance, for the league's attorney, Paul Clement, to say Friday after the hearing in St. Louis that continued negotiations mean the union's decertification is a sham.

"How does that build any kind of trust?'' asked a players association spokesman. "Their lawyers risks crippling the process with remarks like that.''

Whether Clement speaks the truth is one matter; the point is, when the two sides are getting somewhere, why lob a grenade?

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/06/05/mmqb/index.html#ixzz1OUzFBoVW

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