It will be nice to see Aaron Rodgers in the red jersey of training camp ... once all this business surrounding the CBA is completed. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

The end is near ...

The end is near … it’s got to be …

How can it be any different than to think that the NFL owners and players association aren’t going to come to an agreement sooner than later.

When players association head DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell attend a rookie symposium together to talk to the recently-drafted players about the status of the NFL and what’s expected of them, there’s got to be light at the end of the tunnel.

What’s even more encouraging is that the commish and Smith paused to talk to the media, standing together for warm and fuzzy photographs and then got on a plane and flew together to Minnesota to resume talks that will somehow lead to a resolution to this mess that has lasted for more than 100 days.

Enough is enough …

And like everyone else, I really wasn’t worried about this ending peacefully.

First of all, there was just too much on the line for it to fail. For the owners and especially the players to walk away from nearly $10 billion would be incredibly stupid. Not only that, it was evident all along that the players were going to take a hit on this one … they said it all along that the boot in the butt was going to be that they would never walk away with more than what they went in with. Taking this stance was posturing at best, but now it’s time to get real … and that’s what Smith and Goodell are doing

in Minneapolis as you read this.

It’s now time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and get this deal done so that the work of getting the 2011 season under way can commence. It’s time to get teams and players moving through the free agency season (which is going to be short, hot and heavy). Then it’s time to get teams together and move forward with training camp.

Talk is good, but for the average fan, this is getting rather old. We want to talk about cover corners, bootlegs, power rankings and rookie sensations. We’re tired of dollars and cents. Let’s get on with the fun that is the football season.

Here in Wisconsin, we have had an incredibly sensitive, tortuous run with state politics. On top of that, we’ve had to bear the talk of collective bargaining not only among teachers here in the state, but among our football players.

We want to enjoy our championship … something we haven’t truly been able to do. We want our players to be our heroes again … we want to be able to attend training camp, sit in the stands under the hot July sun and watch our players sweat, grunt, swear and work to bring home another season like we had last year.

It’s time. Get it done, guys, and let’s move on to the fun stuff.

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Tags: Aaron Rodgers DeMaurice Smith Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy NFC NFL Roger Goodell Ted Thompson Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

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