Sunday, May 01, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XXIV

-Just as NFL teams and players were beginning to get back into the business of football, the NFL owners' lockout of the players was reinstated late last week.

Hours after NFL players reported to work for the first time in nearly two months, the league announced late Friday the lockout would resume immediately, thanks to an appeals court ruling in the league's favor.

"Looks like we're unemployed again," tweeted Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards, scheduled to become a free agent.

The move capped a chaotic week that began with U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson lifting the 45-day lockout on Monday. She denied the NFL's appeal on Wednesday and the league took halting steps toward getting back to football Friday.

Then the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the NFL's request for a temporary stay of Nelson's injunction order. The appeals court is expected to rule next week on the NFL's request for a more permanent stay that would last through its appeal of the injunction, a process expected to take 6-8 weeks.

The NFL's victory, its first in this bruising court fight, was a narrow one. The 2-1 decision from a panel of the 8th Circuit was issued by Judges Steven Colloton, Kermit Bye and Duane Benton.

Upon the handing down of this ruling, Sports Illustrated guy Jon Heyman pointed out that the two judges in the majority, Colloton and Benton, were appointed by President George W. Bush and thus we're still paying for the mistakes of the Bush administration.

There you have it. The NFL lockout is George W. Bush's fault.

-The Minnesota Twins began the month of May much the same way they played in April: No hitting, no pitching and porous defense. The Twins are now 9-18, tied for last place in the AL Central with the equally underachieving Chicago White Sox. Even more surprising is the Cleveland Indians are in first place with an MLB best 19-8 record.

No question the Indians are having a fine season thus far and have some pretty good looking young stars on their roster. But they remind me an awful lot of the upstart Twins of 2001. After enduring eight consecutive losing seasons, that Twins team started the '01 season 18-6 in the month of April and were 55-32 at the All-Star break with a five-game lead in the division. But immediately after the break, the young Twins showed they were not yet ready for prime time, as they lost 29 of their next 39 games and thus faded from postseason contention.

I wouldn't be shocked if Cleveland falls back to the pack in much the same fashion. The bigger question is will the Twins be able to have a reversal of fortune in that time frame?

-The hearts of conservative single men everywhere collectively shattered on Saturday as right-wing hottie MaryKatharine Ham married Jake Brewer in Virginia. Of course, many of Ms. Ham's male admirers will be in a state of denial over this. That is until irrefutable evidence is presented to the general public. No, I'm not talking about demanding the presentation of a marriage license.

Alas, we must look to a more immutable source:

Yes, ladies and gentlmen, it's Facebook's world and we're merely living in it.


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