The NFL Lockout Will Never, Ever End

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The new buzzword in the NFL Lockout talks is "recertification." And, even though owners and players have a deal in place, that's what is keeping this lockout going. At this point, we may as well expect it to go on forever. Plus: Tiger's caddy is not happy, absurdity's all relative, and sharks and prostitutes are everywhere. Talking Points is a series that highlights some of the best stories in sports (and elsewhere). Read the archives here.

Just accept it, people. Sure, all the NFL reporters predicted the lockout would be over by Thursday of this week, but sure enough, Thursday is here and there's still no end in sight. Maybe if we stop caring about it, we'll finally get somewhere. Until then... A watched pot never boils, and a watched lockout will only drive us f***ing insane.

Here's what's stalling the talks today, apparently. After the players' union decertified, the owners decried the tactic as a sham. Now that both sides are close to an agreement, the NFL owners are demanding that any deal the players sign is contingent upon the union "re-certifying." This is how, even though owners voted unanimously to approve a new deal, the lockout continues.

For the players' part, they don't want to do this so quickly. They may yet re-certify, but doing it within a 24-hour window would go a long way toward supporting the owners' claims that the decertification has been a sham all along. It's something that could be used against them in future negotiations, when decertfication will inevitably become a negotiating tactic again.

Here's what the players' president, DeMaurice Smith, had to say about it on Thursday: "I know there's been a lot of questions about ... the process of becoming a union again. Look, we visited every team, some four times over the last two years. The decision by the players to decertify was a significant one. I think most of you remember my never-ending road trip where we went team-by-team to talk about the issues of decertification. The issues for every player about recertification as a union is going to be an important issue."

As he continued, "Every individual person has to make a decision about whether they want to be a part of the union ... The individual decisions are something our players take extremely serious. I certainly remember comments from some of the owners about how we might not even be like a real union. Well, guess what? The decision to decertify was important because at the time we were a real union. And the decision for the players, as men, to come back as a union, is going to be a equally serious and very sober one they have to make."

He makes some good points, the players are entitled to take their time here, and blah blah blah I give up this is never going to end we may as well stop waiting. WORST CARTOON EVER.

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By the way, this is when it helps to have a commissioner who's powerful enough to take matters into his own hands. So yes, at this point, it's perfectly reasonable to pin the delays on Roger Goodell.

This is what happens when you give a ginger too much power. A real commissioner would get everyone in a hotel room, and just keep shouting until a deal gets done. So, my solution? If there's no deal by Friday, lock everyone in a room with James Harrison for rest of the weekend.

By Monday morning, De Smith and Jeff Pash will be trembling in front of a microphone at a press conference, and BOOM! After six months of posturing back and forth, the saga's finally over.

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Pash: "We're p-p-proud to an-n-n-ounce a deal that works for b-b-both sides."

Reporter: "After all this time, what finally brought both sides together?"

Pash: "Well, we..."

[Harrison glares at Pash, begins barking loudly]

Pash: [clears throat, raises voice] "WELL, WE WANTED TO..."

[Harrison pistol whips Pash, takes microphone]

Harrison: "F--k you and f--k your questions. Let's play some motherf---ing football."

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We can dream, right? Onto Talking Points...

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Someone Get This Man A Book Deal Immediately. Tiger Woods shocked the golf world on Wednesday when he fired his longtime caddie Steve Williams. And nobody was as shocked as Williams, himself, and he's not happy about it. Here's what he had to say about Tiger's decision:

The last 18 months has been a particularly difficult time caddying for Tiger. Obviously working through a scandal, he's had a new coach, a swing change, and... I've stuck by him through thick and thin. I've been incredibly loyal, and then to have this happen, basically you could say I've wasted two years of my life.

I certainly, along with a lot of people, lost respect for Tiger. I pointed out to him when I came back at Augusta, in 2010 after what happened, that he had to earn back my respect. Slowly he was doing that, but obviously that isn't the case right now. You know, I wouldn't ditch somebody when the chips are down. I stuck by Tiger.

He put myself and my family in a difficult position for quite a period of time, so I stuck by him, was loyal to him, so I'm very disappointed that it's come to an end. Not disappointed that I got fired, because that's part of the job when you work in this business. But timing of it is extraordinary to me.

Can you imagine the book this guy could write? Who knows has much insight he had into Tiger's "extracurricular" activities for the past decade, but you have to imagine it'd make for a pretty phenomenal read regardless. He certainly seems honest.

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How One Man Became A Florida Fan. Over at Quickish, Dan Shanoff tells the story of how he became a diehard Florida Gators fan. It's a great read and a touching story, until you remember that it ultimately sparked the genesis of Shanoff's TimTeblog. Other than that? Very cool story.

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The New Kanye And Jay-Z Song Is Out. And you've probably heard 1,200 times by now, but in case you haven't, click here to hear the song and/or download. In a nutshell? A C+ effort from Jay and Kanye, over a great beat, using a cool sample. And that makes it more enjoyable than 98% of anything else that's been released in hip hop over the past year.

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A Great Resource For NFL Free Agency. We've already established that the NFL Lockout is never, ever going to end, but in case that somehow changes in the next month, John Clayton provides an excellent overview of free agency stories to watch. The cap numbers are especially helpful.

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An Entire Article About Basketball And The Wire? Yep, that's getting linked.

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Deion Sanders Explains The World. This is from the NFL Network today:

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Deion's the best. (Jose Canseco explains the world, too, but it's more depressing.)

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It's All Relative. You know, Trent Williams' insane necklace seems pretty ridiculous, the same way lots of pro athletes have a way of disgusting us with their unnecessary displays of wealth.

But then a Sheikh from the U.A.E. goes and carves his name into the planet in letters big enough to be seen from space, and suddenly, athletes don't seem quite so ridiculous.

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Yes, the 'H' and 'A' are waterways... (photo via Atlantic Wire)

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SHARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK. Nightmare fuel, via @DangerGuerrero.

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PRRRRRRRROSTITUUUUTES. Wall Street, everyone!

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Finally, Some Love For Herschel Walker. He was LeBron and Bo Jackson and Chris Johnson in one, and he was bipolar he had multiple personalities the whole time.

So... Yeah, this should be pretty incredible.

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