By now, you've probably heard that the NFL Players Association has de-certified -- in a Minneapolis federal court, by the way -- and will now operate as a trade association. The move has sparked immediate concern and panic about the state of the 2011 season.
You're going to read and hear plenty of doomsday scenarios and rhetoric over the next hours, days and weeks. None of us knows how this is going to play out. It's never happened before. But that's why I appreciate the always-thoughtful words of Chicago Bears safety Chris Harris, who just tweeted:
"I would like to say this is not a time to hit the panic button as fans. Football season doesn't start till Sept remember that."
Indeed. How about if we all take a breath and remember that deal-making can often be uncomfortable. Unless you're a huge fan of strength and conditioning programs and organized team activities, you're not going to be missing much in the next few months. We're a long way -- six months, in fact -- from actual games being affected. Hold on tight.