The NFL labor squabble, aka “How to divide $9 billion and keep everybody happy,” is going deep into overtime. But at least we don’t have a lockout yet.

“Hope is a good thing,  maybe the best of things,” said Andy Dufresne (in the Shawshank Redemption, played by Tim Robbins in his best role other than Nuke Laloosh in Bull Durham). “And no good thing ever dies.”

Dufresne was trying to get out of prison. The fans just want to get their sport back. They want the angst and joy of free agency. They want to wring their hands over who might get drafted. They want the simple pleasure of following their team without the annoying distraction of being constantly reminded that this is big business.

Why do I feel that this thing should be covered more by Maria Bartiromo than Chris Mortensen?mario bartiromo NFL Negotiations: Hope is a good thing.

The fact that the two sides are willing to talk for another week is great news. My prediction of a settlement by April 1 remains alive. For now.

I should stay off Twitter because one tweet will have a Sports Business Journal reporter writing that the two sides are still miles apart. Then I’ll read a Peter King ‘they’re close, but it’s fragile’ tweet and start breathing again.

March Madness should provide some relief. If the Rockets could stay hot and make a big playoff push that would certainly help. If the Astros would just not get anymore starters hurt, that would be nice.

After the Texans logged three significant signings on Thursday it was like a breath of fresh air. We were talking pigskins  instead of greenbacks. We can only hope that by this time next week the chase for free agents is on and we can get back to the stress of worrying about stopping Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.


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