By Quin Hillyer on 2.10.11 @ 6:08AM

Only the owners, the players, and the TV networks really have all the numbers available to know the parameters limiting any solutions to the National Football League’s labor unrest. Yet, after spending yesterday blasting the greed and posturing of both owners and players, today I offer my own humble idea for at least a partial way out of the morass.

The key lies in the four-game pre-season. The owners say it’s too long; what they really mean is they can’t make as much money off pre-season games as they do off real contests, so they would rather have an 18-game (instead of the current 16-game) regular season with just two pre-season matches. Many fans say they resent being charged full ticket prices for games that don’t count; what they mean is not that they want more games to count, but that they want to pay less money. (Those fans are justified.) The players may not like the full-length pre-seasons as they are now, but they sure as heck know they don’t want to put their bodies on the line for an extra two play-to-win games each season. The players’ concerns are more than justified; they are humanely and even morally unassailable. …

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