They were talking to us but not to each other, and then they were talking to each other and not so much to us and, now, the time for talking to anyone is almost over.
The collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players' union expires at 11:59 Thursday night. And if (most probably "when" instead of "if") that happens, we are actually in danger of not seeing all (or even "any") of the scheduled NFL football in 2011.
The NFLPA can do something that is called "decertify," which sounds a lot like falling on its own sword to prevent the league owners from doing it first. Once the union is decertified, the players can file for an injunction to keep the owners from locking them out.
Doesn't sound good.
So what will happen this year? Will we have all, some or none of our pro football? That's what we want to find out from you, because our list will be: "Top 10 Predicted NFL Headlines For 2011."
You know the drill. Send your headline or headlines to email@example.com. Please include your first name, initial of your last name and your location so you can have the chance for fleeting fame when we publish the list Thursday -- mere hours before the NFL enters its own "Twilight Zone."
We want drama. We want humor. We want sarcasm. We want catchy headlines -- about the work stoppage or anything else NFL related that might happen this year. And, who knows, maybe we will even get the truth?
So think about the months ahead. Will the NFL season start on schedule? Will it start with "replacement players?" And trust me on this, the three weeks of "replacement games" in 1987 were far more bizarre and entertaining than anything in "The Replacements," that vastly overrated flick from 2000.
Let your imaginations roam. Everything may change Thursday night. What will our NFL headlines be?
"MVP for JaMarcus!"
Hopefully you can do better than that.