The little known fact behind the end of the lockout is this: Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was willing to sacrifice himself to see a deal get done.
"It was amazing" said Giants owner John Mara. "Every day, you'd look over at Jerry and his face would be even fatter. I don't know how he did it, but I know it scared the hell out of De Smith."
Now, the head of the NFLPA isn't going to come right out and admit it, but the thought of being killed by wayward bone shrapnel from Jerry Richardson's exploding head sent a chill through the players chief negotiator.
"It just got bigger and bigger. Every day." said Ravens Player Rep Domonique Foxworth. "I was scared. I'm not gonna lie. We're over there asking for concessions from ownership and you could hear the skin straining on Jerry Richardson's face. I whispered to Jeff Saturday 'yo man- fuck the concessions. Let's sign this and get out of here. That bitch is gonna blow and take us all with him."
When all of this is in the past, and people are diving into the endzone in four weeks, we may all forget that the end of the lockout didn't come because of kindness, or decency or maturity or commerce.
It came because of fear, and one brave man's willingness to lay it all on the line for the game we love.
Because when other men wilt, Jerry Richardson inflates.
And that scared the hell out of people.