des-roof-is-on-fireA fire broke out at the office of NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith this morning. Fortunately, reports indicate no one was injured and it appears the damage is minimal. However, the timing could not have been worse for Smith. With NFL owners previously exercising their right to opt out of their collective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA, Smith– who has been on the job for only a few months– was anxious to demonstrate his negotiation skills to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In fact, Smith had invited Goodell over this morning for what he claimed would be “an unforgettable luncheon.”

Much to Smith’s dismay, he did not learn his office was on fire until an unwitting Goodell was already waiting in the lobby. To avoid losing face, Smith attempted to rapidly usher the commissioner from the burning building. On the way out, Goodell espied the conflagration, which Smith– ever the quick thinker– dismissed as the Aurora Borealis. While Goodell was initially somewhat skeptical that the Northern Lights could appear localized entirely within Smith’s Washington D.C. office, he accepted the story and left, noting Smith’s ability to “steam a good ham.”