Now that the players and owners are (apparently) close to a (please, God, let it be so) new collective bargaining agreement, it's becoming more and more evident that one of the things holding up the process all these months was a series of unusual, unreachable, and unreasonable demands on both sides. We're not talking about 18-game seasons and 18-percent givebacks; these deal points were far more subtle, unless we just made them up.
In any case … here, from the Shutdown Corner head offices in Minehaha, Arizona, are the Top Ten things that were taken off the table (at least from what we've manufactured) before an agreement could be reached:
10. Artur Boruc's Friday Rage List must be read by every NFL Network weekend anchor, in full caps-lock roar. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
9. Phil Simms has to start calling him "Asante SAMUEL" (No 'S' at the end; this rule also applies to Colts linebacker Clint Session).
8. Dan Snyder has to blow $5 million of his 2011 cap on Captain America Slurpees for everyone.
7. Whenever Joe Buck's heart rate falls below 12 beats per minute, the taser goes off.
6. Worst team in each conference each year is relegated to the SEC. Bye-bye, Carolina Panthers. Meanwhile, Auburn should enjoy the compliance-free nature of the NFC South.
5. Football fields will be called "pitches", and "zero" will be "nil" in line with new soccerista guidelines (Seattle only).
4. Alternate Super Bowls played on Pluto until Pluto is recertified as a planet.
3. Any team that falls below cash-to-cap guidelines will have Matt Millen calling all their games and Vinny Cerrato in charge of their personnel.
2. Female tennis players no longer allowed to grunt on court.
1. If Brett Favre comes back, the deal is off!