OK, OK, so no regular season games were missed (just the Hall of Fame game will be axed though unfornately none of the other meaningless and unwatchable pre-season games will meet a similar fate) but at 4-1/2 months in the making, the NFL lockout was, no matter how confident one was that a deal would get done, cause for some angst, right?
Now it can be said with certainty: Get ready for some football!
NFL players voted to OK a final deal Monday, days after the owners approved a tentative agreement, and the sides finally managed to put an end to the 4½-month lockout, the longest work stoppage in league history.
"This is a long time coming, and football's back," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "and that's the great news for everybody."
At a joint appearance outside the NFL Players Association headquarters, Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith shook hands, surrounded by some of the owners and players who were involved in the talks. They spoke shortly after the NFLPA executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously to approve the terms of a 10-year deal.
"We didn't get everything that either side wanted ... but we did arrive at a deal that we think is fair and balanced," Smith said.
The details of the deal? Like you care? Like we care? We got ourselves some professional tackle football, man.
There was one touching moment, however, that took place at the news conference announcing the deal.
If there was one unexpected moment during Monday's news conference it was certainly Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday's eloquent tribute to New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft, who was lauded as instrumental in helping forge the deal. Kraft's wife, Myra, died Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
"A special thanks to Myra Kraft, who even in her weakest moment allowed Mr. Kraft to come and fight this out," Saturday said. "Without him, this deal does not get done. ... He's a man who helped us save football."
With that, Saturday wrapped Kraft in a hug -- a gesture that symbolized how the lockout ended more than anyone's words.
P.S. We've been fortunate enough to pick up ESPN Radio out of L.A. (AM 710) as we've about had it with the local hacks down here in San Diego and because the folks up there speak the language we were raised with (Lakers, Dodgers, Angels, USC football and UCLA basketball? Sounds good to us. )
Anyway this was the exchange yesterday afternoon between a caller and host Mark Willard:
Caller: May be having no football this season would be a good thing. Maybe we all would find out that there is more to life than football.
Willard: That's not a life I'm interested in.
Amen to that, brother. Amen to that.