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Let's Be Real Here, Nobody Has A Clue.

A deal is close, a deal isn't close, we're all in a perpetual limbo in this time of great uncertainty. I've decided that if one thing about this lockout annoys me, it's all of the anxiety and guesswork that it creates. I haven't been "in the loop" ever since this whole thing started and I get the feeling that I'm not alone. Sometimes, I even get the feeling that the moderators of these meetings haven't the slightest idea on how to go about this.

Yes, gentlemen, welcome to football oblivion. With no end in sight, (or are we secretly right on the brink?) I'm getting more worried by the day. From where I'm standing, it's become a war of attrition in there; this won't be a matter of who wins, it will be a matter of who's able to cut their losses by holding out longer. 

The way I see it, the media and most owners seem to be of the belief that we're very, very close to having a deal done and getting back on track for training camp, albeit a delayed one. In DeMaurice's Smith's job description, you'll note that he is (obviously) the Executive Director of the NFL Players' Association. Are we sure about that? He's not some kind of conspiracy theorist by trade and just the ED in his free time? Ever notice how every single time we hear about some kind of optimism coming from an "undisclosed location", Smith starts griping and moaning about how we're still impossibly far from resolving anything? It's a vicious cycle, but even so, it's one we're all too familiar with and I'm starting to get fed up with it. 

I'm fully aware of the media's obligation to inform us about the latest rumblings from the war room, but would it be too much to ask to actually give us something that we haven't heard twelve million times before? When this whole thing started nearly 120 days ago, I was glued to the TV, eagerly anticipating the next shred of information concerning how close we were to a resolution. Recently though? I've become jaded and uninterested. I could probably write the headlines for ESPN every day for the next three weeks and never be wrong. 

Owners optimistic, Smith still uncertain neither agree to remove knife from fans' back. 

Like freakin' clockwork. It's just getting ridiculous, the owners and Players' Association remind me of all the times I fought with friends in second grade. These are grown men dealing with one of the most profitable entertainment businesses in the world, are you honestly telling me they can't figure something out? And even if they can't, I don't want to hear about how the NFL plans to screw us all over by giving us the same damn news every single time new information is available. I'd kindly ask that you wait until something worthy of news comes out until I hear anything else about this...thing. As of right now, the latest scoop is as follows: "Sources: Optimism waning, talks trending 'backwards'". 

NO FREAKIN' KIDDING! Next week, we'll be rapidly approaching a compromise and the week after, all this optimism will be a bunch of bologna again. This is the last I'll ever speak on the lockout until a deal is done, maybe ever. The NFL Is dead to me at the moment and quite frankly, I'm surprised there isn't more outrage right now among fans. Part of me feels sorry for Smith and the owners, I can't empathize with them, but I have an idea of how hard this must be. Unfortunately for them, another part of me is just absolutely livid that they've let it get this far out of hand. 

And so, as we enter nearly the fourth month of this crap, we seem to be right back where we started; ambiguity abound, no end in sight, and just as pissed off as ever.