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Posted on Mon, Jul 25, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

NFL lockout over, former Michigan kicker Jay Feely submits his vote from golf course

By Pete Cunningham

BATH -- The NFL lockout officially ended at about 2 p.m. Monday, with one of the ratifying votes coming from the Michigan vs. Michigan State golf challenge being played at Eagle Eye Golf Course.

Former Michigan kicker Jay Feely, the player representative for the Arizona Cardinals, is part of Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon's team at the BIG AD Golf Challenge.

Feely (a +1 handicap) had headphones in as he took practice swings before Monday's event. He wasn’t listening to music to get pumped for his round. He was on a conference call, discussing the pending deal with the NFL.

BIG AD GOLF MATCH sports reporter Pete Cunningham and photographer Melanie Maxwell covered the BIG AD golf match at Eagle Eye Golf Club on Monday. Here’s a compilation of their work:

He pointed to his phone at 1:10 p.m., showing he'd already been on the call for more than two hours.

The call continued after Feely and his Michigan team teed off at 1:30 p.m. By 1:50 p.m., Feely tweeted "Football is back!!!! Player Reps approved!!"

The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps had voted unanimously to approve the terms of a deal to the end the 4 1/2-month lockout.

Feely said before the approval was final that, in general, the owners and players had done a great job of finding a common ground in the proposed deal.

Owners overwhelmingly approved a proposal last week, but some unresolved issues still needed to be reviewed to satisfy players; the owners do not need to vote again.

The sides worked through the weekend and wrapped up the details Monday on a final pact that is for 10 years, without an opt-out clause, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

Owners decided in 2008 to opt out of the league's old labor contract, which expired this March. That's when the owners locked out the players, creating the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.

Feely said upcoming training camps will be different in one specific way.

“It’ll probably be the one year that coaches and players can’t wait to get to training camp,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Pete Cunningham at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.