When Monday night’s atrocity in Seattle caused a Wisconsin state senator to post NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s phone number on Twitter and for the embattled boss to receive 70,000 voice mail messages, it was only a matter of time before Eddie Gunz and company returned to duty.
Wednesday night marked the end of replacement officials after the NFL and NFLRA agreed to an eight-year deal that will allow the regular officials to return to work in Week 4.
Goodell issued a statement that was quick to praise both the officials and fans:
“We look forward to having the finest officials in sports back on the field, and I want to give a special thanks to NFL fans for their passion. Now it’s time to put the focus back on the teams and players where it belongs.”
Alas, we have seen the last of replacement referees. The long-awaited return of regular NFL officials begins in Baltimore on Thursday night.
Truthfully, this is a bittersweet moment for me.
The officiating display put on during Week 3 disgraced the country’s most popular sport. Too much is at stake for incompetence to overrun the NFL.
However, we were deprived of one of the great sporting spectacles of all-time in the process.
Can you imagine a Super Bowl with replacement officials?
It would have been an epic masterpiece. The pressure on those referees not to screw up the single biggest event in sports would have been excruciating…and extremely fun to watch.
Anyhow, welcome back to the real NFL referees.
It’s time to go to work.
Categories: News and Notes