Today or tomorrow, the Appellate Court in Denver will give us one of two scenarios: the injunction is stayed or it is allowed.
If it is stayed, there will be no football events or news until sometime in July. If it is allowed, there will be an immediate frenzy of free agent signings, a smattering of trades, and OTAs will be scheduled just like this was a normal year. We’ll even get to meet our rookie draft class and ignore a hand-wringer Lowell Cohn character analysis profile of each one of them.
In reality, the fate of the 49ers 2011 season is pretty much on the line here. Gulp.
The same three man Court will rule again in July whether or not to overturn Judge Nelson’s injunction ruling completely, instead of just temporarily. If her ruling is reversed, the lights will go out in the NFL and the season will be one of those bastardized affairs like 1982 an 1987. The preparedness of any particular team for the eventual start of the season will depend on the players themselves — staying in shape and working out together on their own. The players’ decertification scam will have been defeated.
If Nelson’s ruling is upheld in July, the 2011 season will be off and running like a normal season. Training camps will open near the end of July and no games will be in jeopardy. The owners’ lockout strategy will have been defeated.
OTAs aren’t super vital to teams with established coaches, players, and systems. But that is not the case in San Francisco. These OTAs will be critical to Jim Harbaugh’s ability to install his offense and Vic Fangio’s defense. The current players, the first three draftees, and one unsigned QB fellow presumably have their play books at this point, so last week’s mini-lifting of the lockout was incredibly important for the 49ers. Baby steps.
But without the OTAs to teach the playbook to the players, the team will have little chance of being competitive this coming season. We’ll still put on our game faces and hope for the best, but we’ll also have to be praying for a miracle to avoid yet another losing season by the Bay.
The ijits could sign a new CBA at any time, putting an end to this lunacy, but neither side seems inclined to do so until the July appellate court ruling has been issued. Assholes.
Time to light the votive candles. Please, football gods, open the NFL doors — at least until July. After that, the Niners would have the same chance, more or less, as any other team. It’s only fair.