For the first time, I’ve read something positive about there maybe not being an NFL lockout/strike next year. But if there is a work stoppage next year, blame the owners entirely. I don’t hear the players trying to get anything more than they have now, and this is a bad time for the owners to be crying poverty. The predicted 20 percent of NFL games would be blacked out this year in local markets due to non-sellouts. The actual number was nine percent. TV ratings were at 20-year highs last year. They have been even higher this year. 18 of the 20 highest-rated shows on TV this year were NFL games. And that covers three networks.So, tell me again, why should the NFL players expect to take pay cuts? They shouldn’t. And owners want to add two games and make it an 18-game season. (I know why the fans would want that, but not sure about the owners, who make season-ticket holders play regular-season prices for preseason games and televise them all on local TV in prime time. An extra two games would not put that much more money in their pockets, but does provide the players with additional injury concerns). The NFL’s success means there is absolutely no reason in the world to jeopardize it now by locking out the players. The players actually sound like the more rational people about this, and they are the ones who have more of a right to draw a hard line. Anyway, the players sounding reasonable gives me more hope that the owners will be too, and that the NFL can be even more popular in 2011. It sure beats going dark in 2011.