Maybe it's because I'm an optimist. Maybe it's because when I left the Westend Bistro on the edge of Georgetown just before midnight Thursday, union board member Jeff Saturday and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell were deep in discussion in the bar, and not very happy to have been seen. Maybe it's because when Goodell and De Smith of the decertified players union spoke Friday night after negotiations broke down, neither strafed the other with the kind of verbiage that would be hard to take back.
It's bad now. We all know that. It's in the hands of the lawyers, and it could be for months, and there's a scenario under which games will be lost this year. But it's not Olbermann-O'Reilly bad, or LeBron-Cleveland bad. And it's way too early for doomsday. Opening weekend is 26 weeks away, and after leaving Washington on Saturday, and talking with people from both sides over the weekend, I believe the players and owners are closer to a deal than anyone thought Friday night.