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NFL Lockout: Time For Owners To Step Up And Show Fans They Want Football

It would seem that with the the owners getting the stay of the injunction, keeping the NFL lockout in effect, the momentum shifts firmly in favor of the owners. Up until Monday, the players had been winning early but small battles. First it was the TV money. It was found that the owners negotiated a TV deal in bad faith and the money that they were counting on to support them through any possible work stoppage became unavailable to the owners. Next it was Judge Nelson's ruling that said that the owner's should not have locked out the players.

Those were little battles. With this victory for the owners, it allows the NFL to keep the players out until they cave. We know that in the end if the players start missing out on game checks they will end up taking the owners' deal so they can get back on the field and play.

However, ever since putting the lockout in effect, Roger Goodell has been using the media at every opportunity (including here on SB Nation) to say that the league really is trying to put a fair deal into place and that they don't want to lose any football.

Now is the time for the owners to step up and show us they are serious.

The NFL came out and said "it is now time to devote all of our energy to reaching a comprehensive agreement that will improve the game for the benefit of current and retired players, teams, and, most importantly, the fans."

Up until this point, it has seemed more like the owners want not to come to a profitable deal for all, but to crush the NFLPA* and keep the players under control. If the league waits long enough, they could probably get whatever deal they want, but it would likely cost games.

As popular as the NFL is, it would suffer greatly in the eyes of the fans. MLB, the NBA and NHL all suffered after work stoppages that took games away.

So if the league is serious about getting football back on the field, the owners have a chance to do something good. They need to sweeten their original offer a bit. They need to make an offer that is reasonable. If they do that, the players might actually think about it or even accept it.

If that were to happen, (almost) all would be forgiven. The league calendar could start, free agency could begin and trades could happen.

This would be great for the Cardinals, but more importantly, the only things lost will have been a few OTAs. Training camp, the preseason and the regular season would be back and no scheduling changes would be needed.

The question is now, is the league serious about football or just squeezing the players for every cent they can. If it is the former, an agreement could be had soon. If the latter, then I personally invite all fans to unleash the full force of their anger on the owners.

The owners have the ball. They need to make something happen. If not, this could be a very, very slow autumn with no NFL games in sight.