In my elementary school, teachers taught us to communicate to work out our disagreements. (I didn’t realize what an important skill that was until I was married.) I took for granted it was a skill everyone learned, but that is obviously not the case.

Just look at the federal government. Republicans and Democrats are still lobbing spitballs at each other across the aisle, bringing the government to the brink of a shutdown. And state governments and unions are sticking out their tongues, putting their thumbs in their ears and wagging their fingers at each other.

This behavior is even evident in the NFL. The 2012 season is in danger because of the inability of the players and owners to reach an agreement. Tired of the lack of progress on the issue, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ordered the two sides back to remediation, essentially reminding them what they should have been taught years ago: use your words.

I hope it works - this time. As a kid, I used to go to Cincinnati to watch Pete Rose and Johnny Bench. I loved baseball. But the strikes and corruption killed that, and I haven’t watched an MLB game in years. In their quest for more money, both the NFL owners and players could end up with less, but those who will lose the most are the fans, and they are the reason there is an NFL.

If the two sides can’t figure out how to play football in 2012, I have to worry about the resolution of any actual issues in the world. Besides, I need football as an escape from those realities - the economy, Japan, Libya, and education reform, among others. Grow up and reach an agreement already - I want to see the Super Bowl in Indy next year.

Dawn is the author of Taliaferro, Foreward Magazine’s 2007 Sports Book of the Year. An English teacher at Westfield High School, she earned a BS degree in education/English from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in journalism from Ball State University. She is an avid Colts fan.