For the first time in a month, the NFL has met with the NFL Referees Association in an effort to end the lock out and get the full-time refs back on the field to call the action. While replacement officials opened up the regular season, it is possible that a new deal could be struck and the regular officials could be back on the field within a week or two.
“There’s a short-term issue which we obviously would love to be able to get the best officials on the field,” commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN. “If we can’t reach an agreement, we’ll proceed with the replacement officials as long as it takes.
“We would like to get an agreement with the official. We think it is important to make sure we look at this from the long term and get an agreement in place that will allow us to improve officiating, and that includes making sure we have the best officials on the field. We’ll do what we can to make sure that happens.”
Now, more than ever, NFL fans are paying attention to the rules of the game and how the replacement officials have been performing. After a full preseason and one regular season game with scab officials, the opinion of the fans appears to be unanimous. Pay the refs.
Games are far too important to have replacements making the call. If you can ref in six-on-six high school football or the Lingerie Football League, that is great, but you still have a long way to go before you are up to the level of full-time NFL refs. Hopefully the two sides can come to an agreement soon and get the highest caliber of official back to calling the games.