Leave it to the youngsters to put things in perspective.
The Oakland Raiders want to move to Los Angeles; the NFL says they can't without prior approval. The result has been weeks of complicated legal maneuvering -- suits, countersuits, restraining orders, eminent-domain action, petitions of removal, etc.
The ball has been bouncing back and forth between state and federal courts so often that even lawyers are offering different interpretations of where the matter stands.
But today, as the adult games continued, two Oakland boys took things into their own hands.
In a suit before small claims court, Jon and Erick Hockaday, 10 and 9, sued the Raiders, contending they will be in the possession of $200 worth of worthless team jackets, jerseys and souvenirs if the Raiders go to Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Al Davis notified the NFL in a telegram sent today to Commissioner Pete Rozelle that the Raiders "have legally and formally moved to Los Angeles."
The telegram was sent as the Raiders, seemingly unrattled by the barrage of lawsuits aimed their way, put their office furniture in moving vans headed for Los Angeles.
"Right now, you can say the Raiders have moved to Los Angeles," said Joseph Alioto, the attorney directing the team's legal fight to become the Los Angeles Raiders.
Davis, managing general partner of the team, said in the telegram to Rozelle that the Raiders' move to Los Angeles "is in the same posture as all other recent moves."
The NFL went to Alameda County Superior Court here today in an attempt to block the Raiders, and a temporary restraining order was issued by Judge Robert H. Kroninger, barring the team from signing any agreement to play in Los Angeles.
But Alioto, who says a deal with the Los Angeles Coliseum could be closed by next week, attempted to stay one step ahead of the NFL, which charges the Raiders with breach of contract for attempting to move without the approval required under NFL bylaws.
Alioto went to U.S. District Court in San Francisco today and requested that the NFL suit be removed from the Alameda County court and transferred to the federal court.
That maneuver meant that the federal court automatically will take over the case. But NFL attorney Warren George said, "It's certainly our contention that the order (Kroninger's) stands."
On another front, Oakland City Attorney Michael Lawson filed a suit today in Superior Court that ordered Davis to appear March 13 and show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court. Another Superior Court order today instructed the county sheriff to impound the Raiders' NFL franchise certificate, player contracts and other documents -- wherever they are.