NEW YORK—With a principle agreement in their grasp and only rookie minimums remaining as a substantial stumbling block, representatives for both NFL owners and players cautioned Thursday that 2011's unpopular and most likely boring exhibition season may in fact go forward as scheduled. "We are working hard with both the owners and the player's association to resolve this issue as soon as possible, unfortunately," a press release from the league office read in part. "That could mean football as soon as August 7, when a bunch of guys who have no hope to make the Rams are scheduled to play a sad bunch of dopes who are trying to make the, uh, we think it's Bears. Whatever, we're not watching that crap." At press time attorneys for both sides were working around the clock to find "something, anything, no matter how penny-ante" that would keep talks going until September 8 and the opening of the regular season.