The uniform of choice in the National Football League goes from jersies and helmets to suits and briefcases today as the work stoppage moves to a federal courtroom in Minneapolis. The NFL lockout is in it's 26th day. A federal judge will hear arguments on a case brought by NFL players including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees who claim the lockout is illegal, violates anti-trust laws and causes irreparable harm to their careers. Owners contend they have a right to keep employees out of their facilities and the court shouldn't even have the case until the National Labor Relations board rules on it's claim the players bargained in bad faith by walking away from mediation and immediately decertifying as a union. The judge has said it will be a week or two before a decision is reached based on today's argument and both the players and owners have said they will immediately appeal any decision to the US 8th district Appeals court in St. Louis. A ruling in favor of the players will strengthen their resolve to force a legal end to the lockout, a decision siding with the owners might lead the two sides back to the table but the waiting game will continue regardless.
It was fun to see 11 members of the Super Bowl Champion Packers throw out the first pitch this week at the Milwaukee Brewers home opener at Miller Park. Many of the players remain optimistic the labor situation will get resolved but in the meantime, they're enjoying spending more time with their families or working out on their own. Memo to Frank Zombo....need a little work on that fastball after he was the only Packer to "bounce" his toss to a Brewer.
The Packers annual Tailgate Tour is ready to roll. Desmond Bishop, Matt Flynn and Josh Sitton will join Packers president Mark Murphy and former players Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman and Dorsey Levens. Teams can't have contact with any players during the lockout but the tour falls under the league exception because it benefits local charities. The tour will stop in Marquette, Michigan on May 10, follwed by stops in Ashland, Eau Claire and Wausau before returning to Green Bay on May 14.