NFL Lockout: Appeal Hearing To Begin Today

The owners and players will resume their Courtroom Football 2011 rivalry today as we reach the pivotal third quarter of action. The players jumped out ahead early with an injunction and a deep strike to the cash reserves of the owners via David Doty’s ruling that they can’t use pooled TV money, but the owners fought right back with a temporary stay of that injunction by a 2-1 margin to set up today’s hearing.

Andrew Brandt over at National Football Post has an excellent primer on today’s events. If you can stomach the idea of still caring who wins or loses, read on:

Likely Timeframe

Judge Nelson took exactly three weeks from the day of oral argument to rule on the preliminary injunction. We can expect to see a similar timeframe; expect a ruling in late June.

Prediction

Although it is extremely difficult to handicap this sort of proceeding, the language from the Court’s stay order – stating that they have “serious doubts” about Judge Nelson’s ability to block the lockout – does present an initial obstacle for the Players. Right now, the Owners appear to have the slight advantage, and need only maintain the status quo.

The Players, on the other hand, are tasked with swaying one judge to rule in their favor. The Players – in their legal brief – have made clear that if the Court sides with the Owners’ Norris-LaGuardia Act arguments, it contradicts 80 years of case law and also ignores the legislative purpose of the Act. This line of reasoning may persuade one judge.

We here at SB Nation Houston are pulling for the players. Not because we find their position more compelling (though we do) but because we’re taking the over on the original justices (1.5) ruling in favor of them. What? Don’t look at us like that, we need our gambling fix!

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