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Latarski: Mediation candidates
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Well, it looks like we will have professional football this year and I don't mean at Ohio State or the University of Southern California.

The NFL players and owners have finally reached an agreement thereby insuring the upcoming season will be played.

The last few months of snipping and whining and finger pointing being reported by the media were almost comical, especially when the so-called experts kept mumbling and slobbering about the possibility of the season being canceled.

In truth that was never going to happen. The parties involved may be arrogant, greedy and crazy but they are not stupid. For both sides to be making money the games had to be played and fans needed to be filling the stadiums. The bottom line was, half of $9 billion is a lot better than none of $9 billion so despite the blather and rhetoric the idea of canceling the season was never more than a very slim possibility.

But perhaps the best thing about the settlement between owners and players involved in serious negotiations is that it might set a precedent and provide motivation for the folks in Washington to do likewise in their big game. Of course, in Washington they are playing with our money so the incentive may not be there for them.

Given the on again-off again nature of the negotiations perhaps it is time for them to go to mediation. It seems to work in other places so perhaps Speaker John Boehner and President Obama can get a non-partisan between them and hammer out the final details of the budget-debt issue. The key, of course, will be finding the right person.
You would need someone accustomed to dealing with big money and understands things don't always work out the way you want.

The ideal person would have been the late Steve Irwin. The Crocodile Hunter was accustomed to dealing with reptiles so sitting down with the folks in Washington would have been normal. Alas, Irwin is not available.

John Schuerholz might be ideal. The former Braves general manager was always wheeling and dealing so he might get the sides to come together. It come down to two spending cuts this year for a tax increase and ride on Air Force One next year.

Tiger Woods could be a possibility since he's not doing anything else right now. Tiger has skill in lining things up and apparently understands the world of you-get-what-you-pay-for, which could at least be a new approach in Washington.

Arnold Schwarzenegger could do the job because he is not viewed as a real Republican, he's out of work and he can't run for president. He is also accustomed to dealing with big money, but like Tiger Woods, he is not dealing with as much of it now as he was a few months ago.

Lindsey Lohan. She must have pretty good negotiating skills or she would have been in jail for the last five years.

Peyton Manning. He's the best signal caller in the NFL so he should be able to get people to run down the field without colliding, although he is accustomed to working with professionals and may have trouble dealing with Washington personnel.

Sean Connery. Look, when 007 tells you to shut up and listen to reason you had better shut up and listen to reason.

Those in the NFL had a profit driven reason to settle their differences while some in Washington are only concerned about getting power and finding a way to keep it, regardless of the cost or expense to the people they are supposedly serving.

You want to believe the parties in Washington will come together and not let personal feelings, private agendas and pure ignorant arrogance embarrass and damage the country.

Unfortunately, personal feelings, private agendas and pure ignorant arrogance seem to be standard issue for far too many people currently serving in elected office. When the sides come together--and they will eventually come together in some manner-the result will be something that will make you shake your head wonder why it took so long.
Oh well, at least we will have football.