The best way for the NFL owners and players to reach a labor agreement and end the NFL lockout is to sit down -- in the same room -- and negotiate. They've been doing that the last few weeks and it seems that significant progress has been made. Enough progress that some are even thinking the lockout could be over within weeks.
Despite the progress, the two sides had only been meeting for a couple of days at a time. With the fate of the full 2011 season hanging in the balance, some have been calling for them to meet face-to-face every single day until a deal is done.
Representatives for the owners and players will be doing just that -- at least for the next four days. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the two sides have committed to four consecutive days of talks through Friday.
The twist this time around is that no owners or players will be there -- just NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith and their staffs.
We're not sure what that means but it is noteworthy that the past four meetings between these two sides have included both owners and players. It's also noteworthy that the talks are being held in Minnesota, site of the antitrust lawsuit by the players.
At this point, most fans don't really care about the details. We just want a deal so we can see football in 2011.