It’s about time people got serious and settled this thing…
The Green Bay game call was the last straw…..
The Refs could come to an agreement that would put them back to work THIS weekend...
Negotiators for the officials union and the league closed in on the agreement 48 hours after an incorrect call on the final play of the Monday night game cost the Green Bay Packers a victory against the Seattle Seahawks. The nationally televised debacle spurred two days of furious and lengthy negotiations against the backdrop of immense public pressure and scorn, much of it directed at the league.
On Wednesday, both sides had hoped to play no more games with replacements. But with a deal not complete early Wednesday night, it was unclear who would officiate Thursday night for the Baltimore-Cleveland game and, if the deal is completed this week, whether the league would use the regular officials for Sunday’s games, potentially creating a final bit of controversy because of the disparity in officiating competence.
The negotiations with officials were conducted largely by Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league’s top lawyer, Jeff Pash, with little of the owner involvement that occurred during negotiations with the players union last year.
The level of the public’s uproar, which reached a peak Tuesday morning, with Goodell coming under withering fire, seemed to take some owners by surprise, but there was little question Wednesday night that it spurred them into action.
Jim Irsay, the Indianapolis Colts’ owner, wrote on his Twitter feed that owners were “desperately trying” to get a deal done.
“Let’s be clear, when our NFL fans talk, we listen,” Irsay wrote. “If you’re unhappy, we’re unhappy…we’re here 2 serve U. Everything we do is to please YOU!”
* Update 12:30 AM 9/27/12
NFL, referees reach deal to end lockout, plan to get back to work Thursday in Baltimore
The league confirmed the deal. Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications, said in a written statement that the league was “pleased to report that an agreement has been reached with the NFL Referees Association.”
Plans were being made, according to a person close to the situation, for a crew of regular officials to work Thursday night’s game in Baltimore between the Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. The union referees would then meet Friday before working Sunday’s slate of games. Those referees apparently could vote at Friday’s meeting to formally ratify the deal.
The agreement between the league and the referees’ association ends the NFL’s use of the replacement officials who worked the preseason and the first three weeks of regular season games, sometimes with chaotic results.
Representatives of the two sides completed the agreement after making progress Tuesday during negotiations that began in the morning and lasted into early Wednesday….