NFL Referees Back to Work
All it took was Monday night's (September 24) debacle to get the real NFL officials back to work. The NFL struck a deal last night (Wednesday, September 26) that ended the lockout and is assembling a crew for tonight's Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens game that doesn't include anyone that worked the Lingerie Bowl.
The refs were locked out before the pre-season and missed three regular season games. While every game had its moments (like Mario Williams getting his facemask ripped off), it was Monday night's blown touchdown call that likely caused the NFL to settle.
Too bad, too -- it was actually kinda fun watching what wacky thing would happen next. It's not like the full-time officials are any great shakes either; they have their share of gaffes.
Make no mistake that the millions spent on gambling on the NFL played a part, too. When $15 million goes the wrong way because of a bad call, you start to tick off your core fans. The blooper reel provided by the replacement refs didn't make the biggest sports brand in the U.S. look good.
All this, and the officials get just a four percent raise. Hard to believe a league that generates billions was taking such a hard line. Worst part is, they still aren't full-time employees. Today's deal will be officially signed on Friday (September 28) and will last until 2017.