It wasn’t really a ‘nightmare,’ was it?

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Column by Jim Clark

Honest, I heard some guy on a TV station say this: “Our national nightmare is over.” So was he talking about the debt ceiling crisis, the government shutdown threat?

No, he was talking about the National Football League lockout.

I like sports as much as anyone. The only pay packages we subscribe to in my house are the Major League Baseball Extra Innings package and the NFL Red Zone (no HBO, Showtime or junk like that).

But a “national nightmare?” Come on.

Was there ever any doubt that the billionaires who own the NFL teams and the millionaires who play the games would get together to work out some financial solution? Sure, it dragged on over the past several months, but no one was playing football then anyway. Now the only casualty appears to be the Hall of Fame game, which was pretty much a farce, played at a high school stadium in Canton, Ohio. Maybe to make up for lost concessions they can add a game between Canton McKinley and Westerville North, or something like that, and probably generate more interest.

The regular season starts in September, and all you NFL addicts will have your fill of grunts, hits, passes, runs and, don’t forget, concussions.

This week the players are heading back to training camp, and we’ll find out how much those “voluntary” workouts kept them in shape. Teams will be signing free agents, too, and you won’t be able to tell the players without a scorecard.

Of course, we’ve been hearing free agent and trade rumors all summer, thanks to guys like Mike and Mike, who have four hours to kill every morning and evidently don’t know the baseball season is at the height of interest.

Let’s see: Cincinnati must be a mess. Carson Palmer, the quarterback, is Bengals’ property but doesn’t want to be there. Chad Ochocinco (that means eight five) says he loves Cincinnati, but he may not be able to stay there. (Incidentally, he wears 85, but if my basic Spanish is still accurate, that would be ochenta y cinco.)

Peyton Manning has a pain in the neck (from surgery, not his brother), so his status is unknown. Tiki Barber wants to come back, and give up life as a TV announcer … thank goodness. Then there are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who can’t sell out half the time, and there’s talk of moving them somewhere. The Tampa Bay Bucs seem to be Florida’s best bet for a playoff team, but we’ll see what they do in free agency.

And on and on it goes.

It should all come together in September, and end in February, just before baseball spring training starts.

Wait! The NBA is also in a lockout, and I just skipped over the entire basketball season. Do you suppose anyone will notice?


Jim Clark is the editor of the South Marion Citizen. He can be reached at editor@smcitizen.com or at 352-854-3986.