Roughly 30 minutes ago, a source with knowledge of the situation told us that a collection of NFL big shots had been on a conference call for 45 minutes and counting, aimed at figuring out the next steps.
Coupled with a general sense coming from our network of sources that the league is confused and rattled by the ruling lifting the lockout, it appears that the league truly believed that it would prevail before Judge Nelson on the question of whether the lockout would be lifted.
That’s one of the dangers of hiring one of the best lawyers in the country to handle the case. David Boies, who demonstrated at the April 6 hearing why he’s indeed among the finest ever practitioners of law, quite possibly mesmerized the owners at the league meetings in March into genuinely believing that they would prevail.
And they remain confident they’ll win at the appellate level, even if that’s a longer shot than the league would admit.
That said, it’s more than a little surprising that the league didn’t have a predetermined plan in place for this specific eventuality. It’s not as if the outcome was one of 1,000 different permutations. The ruling came from a fairly narrow band of possibilities. And yet in some ways it seems like the league has been caught with its proverbial pants down.