We're going away to the beach this coming weekend, which led us to our first sad realization in an NFL lockout world, the first palpable effect of zero NFL business over the last few months: There are no NFL preview magazines to read. Even in today's segmented media planet, there's something about buying one of those absurdly overpriced NFL season-preview guides over the summer, a basic, fundamental reminder that eventually there will be football. They're a catchup guide, an implicit promise ... and this year, there aren't any. Well, there are a couple: Sporting News did one, but it has no new players and will be a fossil the minute the lockout ends, if it isn't already. Athlon didn't even bother. The natural rhythm has been disrupted.
As negotiations "continue" today in Minnesota, and optimism ebbs and flows by the hour, we wonder: Does professor Eli Manning have any thoughts on the lockout? When, oh when, will he break his silence? Oh: now!
"I have been optimistic the whole time and it sounds like they are trying to work it out, the owners and players are trying to get everything figured out," the New York Giants quarterback said Monday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "I do feel we will have a season. "Hopefully, everything gets worked out quickly so we can get to training camp on time and get guys back to work and have a full season. That's what the fans want. Obviously, they are the ones that make this possible, so hopefully we can get it done for them."
Manning, who has refused to talk to the media following recent workouts with teammates, said he has avoided discussing the labor issue since the lockout began in March because he didn't have much to say and didn't want to say anything inappropriate.
Hey, Eli, you were right: You didn't have much to say. We do love the idea of Eli Manning saying something inappropriate, though. We imagine it somehow containing the word consarnit.
It's worth noting, if you care about such matters, that Manning has not made the top 100 players in the NFL, as voted on by "players," for the NFL Network. Quarterbacks on that list include Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco, and Donovan McNabb, which is kind of crazy. And here is a reminder that Eli is the eighth-highest-paid player in the NFL.
Man, we need football to come back soon. New York had a double issue last week, and we really need something to read this weekend.