Yesterday we brought you the gripping tales of players showing up to training facilities, only to find nothing going on and heading home. But at least one team grew a pair for a few hours: the Giants not only let DT Chris Canty into the complex to work in the weight room, but he met with Tom Coughlin and other coaches. Then the NFL said: that's enough of everyone being mature.
"There was no tension here," Canty said, standing next to a black Cadillac Escalade outside the building. "I know that hasn't exactly been the (same) around the rest of the league, but coming in here was like we never left. Coaches are excited to have guys back in the building, and we're just excited to move forward and get back to work."
When reporters told Canty that players who reported to the Jets practice facility in Florham Park were told they couldn't work out or meet with coaches , he said, "OK, but this is the New York Football Giants … it's not the Jets."
Common sense won out, until the NFL put in a phone call to the Giants. They immediately closed their training facilities to players last night, with only a terse statement from the team spokesman: "We have decided that our workout and training rooms will be closed until we get clarification from the pending challenges to the court's decision."
The league was tight-lipped last night, but at a news conference this morning, Roger Goodell fessed up to a "cease and desist" call to the Giants.
I get that we're in a confusing legal limbo amid tense negotiations, and no one wants to make a hasty move, but let's squash the narrative right now that the players and the owners are supposed to be enemies. They're occasionally uneasy partners in a very profitable industry, and both are looking for a larger slice of the pie. Labor issues are just business, nothing personal.
That said, football's going to return one day. And everyone's going to remember which side was a dick to the other.