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The hypocrisy of the NFL owners

If you were living under a rock for the past three days, I've got some news for you. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson issued a 94-page ruling Monday evening regarding the recent NFL work stoppage in which she sided with the players. Nelson ordered that the lockout be lifted because of the illegality of the NFL owners' attempt to keep the athletes from working.

Upon hearing that they were allowed to go back to work, NFL players did just that - they headed to team facilities to resume their jobs.

But what they found was simply ridiculous. Strength coaches were told they had they day off, security guards prevented the players from working out and doors were locked. A video shown on SportsCenter - for hours and hours on end - showed the Pittsburgh Steelers squad searching for an unlocked door to their facility so that they officially could begin off-season training.

Well, something just doesn't sound right here. The owners claimed that they merely were trying to ascertain what set of rules would now govern the league. The men in charge supposedly just needed a day to figure that out.

Three days later, nothing has changed. I simply don't understand why the owners are dead-set on preventing their players, their most valuable assets, from using the teams' facilities - a move that only will benefit the owners during regular and postseason play.

The NFL owners finally have been exposed for their hypocrisy. Throughout the entire negotiation process, the owners consistently have stretched the truth, especially in declaring they gave the players a fantastic deal without ever opening up their books.

Now, I'm not saying that both sides don't have their fair share of issues or that it's an easy problem to fix. This is a matter of millionaires arguing with billionaires about how to split the NFL's $9 billion of annual revenue, after all.

But, as a fan of the NFL and someone who wants to see football in the near future, I see only one solution to this problem: both sides need to negotiate a deal.

It's not rocket science, people. They need to sit down, face to face, and work these issues out. When both sides are listening to their lawyers instead of their own fans, only legal bills - not solutions - are raised.

I refuse to believe there are not common sense solutions to many of the issues that divide these two groups. There is no way that people can't manage to find a way to split $9 billion equitably.

And if they can't sit down and make it work, the NFL might just suffer the same fate as the MLB. Unclear and unresolved problems only yield a lack of fan interest and support.

The NHL, meanwhile, only managed to survive a lockout because the fans understood why the league was failing.

In my opinion, $9 billion does not spell failure.

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