If you are enough of a fan to read this blog, you probably already know this, but I wanted to take a moment to explain the significance of the court ruling today. Feel free to correct or expand if you know better, which is entirely possible.
The basic gist is the owners are not allowed to have what is called “lockout insurance.” Lockout insurance basically gives the NFL owners a “Geico-like” payment when there is a work stoppage, therefore allowing them to have an advantage over the players who are not getting paid. The NFL claims owners have no such insurance, but the players challenged them in court, saying the owners found a back-door way of getting insurance by forcing the networks to continue payments in the event of stoppage. That means the owners would still get a significant chunk of change, even if there were no games.
The owners won the first judgment on this question, but the players association won today on a reversal. This doesn’t guarantee the lockout will be avoided (nothing probably will), but it is a big victory for fans who want the stoppage to be as brief as possible. As I’m typing this, word came down that the money from the TV contracts would have effected year two of lockout (2012), not this year. That dampens the benefits, but still adds some additional urgency on the owners side. Since the lockout is entirely based on owner’s desire for a new deal, any urgency added to their side is a good thing for us fans.
Hope that’s a little helpful.