At the end of the day, the NFL lockout is more than just an argument between a union and an employer over compensation. That's not just my opinion. It's the opinion of a federal judge, whose job it is to interpret and rule on the law and its impact on the public interest.
And while owners and players have droned on and on about how much they 'love' the fans, the reality is the only 'loser' in this whole labor mess is the fans.
That's why, on page 87 of her 89-page written ruling in favor of the players today, Judge Nelson explains in clear, precise language just how wrong the lockout was for the public interest. Via PFT:
"[T]he public ramifications of this dispute exceed the abstract principles of the antitrust laws, as professional football involves many layers of tangible economic impact, ranging from broadcast revenues down to concessions sales," Judge Nelson writes at page 87 of her 89-page written ruling. "And, of course, the public interest represented by the fans of professional football — who have a strong investment in the 2011 season — is an intangible interest that weighs against the lockout. In short, this particular employment dispute is far from a purely private argument over compensation."
Seriously, if the NFL Shop started selling Blue and White judge robes with the No. 1 on the back and the name 'Nelson' down the sleeves, I'd buy a few dozen.