in the back of my mind, once the 8th circuit initially ruled i thought the lockout would end pretty quickly. the 8th circuit court scared both sides straight.
the players were probably never serious about missing games b/c they know many of them would be in severe financial distress almost immediately. a number of players were already borrowing hundreds of thousands at like 30% interest back in may and june. this probably happens without the lockout b/c why would a player need to borrow $ in may/june when they never get paid during that time anyway? cobra health is still only $2-3k/mo so why would you need to borrow? one might argue that they were borrowing now b/c it would be harder come sept but i doubt most players think that far ahead. either way, you can't fight a long-term war if your soldiers are this weak, never could happen. it would be a mutiny!
the owners were probably getting even more confident and maybe even considering taking a harder line than their last offer. they heard the stories about players borrowing money, obviously the opponent is in a highly weakened state. like sharks, they smell blood in the water and they know the can outlast the players. it is a no-brainer.
BUT the 8th circuit changed the whole game with these simple words: "NEITHER SIDE WILL LIKE OUR RULING."this was a warning, "don't waste our time with private business disputes that do not belong in our court!"
the message to the players was that "if you truly want to try to preseve your wage structure at all cost then you are going to have to miss paychecks to do it. your first court date is aug. 29th so get ready for a long fight and a full season of missed paychecks. we are not going to bail you out and let you work (and get paid) while you are still trying to negotiate a deal. not going to happen!"
the message to the owners was this. "we agree that a lockout is your right, however, we both know that to preseve the salary cap structure you never want to be in court discussing it. yes, you can keep this lockout going indefinitely but you have been granted special anti-trust provisions which benefit not only you but the players and fans as well. you don't want us to rule that you are overstepping your bounds and put some of your anti-trust privileges in question."
neither side was willing to take the risk of extending this battle. players will agree to a 3-4% wage reduction and owners will put in some provisions to increase revenue so it is only a percentage cut not really a dollar cut. owners will give a little more in long-term benefits and both sides have always agreed the rookie wage is screwed up so fixing that is pretty easy.
the lockout is not yet over but the 8th circuit lit a fire under both the owners and players asses.
I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY THIS ABOUT A COURT BUT THANK YOU 8TH CIRCUIT!