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The National Football League yesterday announced that it has reached an agreement with the referees union that will end the lockout and put actual referees back on the field in time for tonight's Baltimore Ravens-Cleveland Browns game.

The agreement ends a dispute that put substitute referees and a number of apparently blown rulings in the spotlight, especially one last Monday night that appeared to result in the Seattle Seahawks winning a game that should have been won by the Green Bay Packers. (While it was only the third week of the season, the ruling would be meaningful if the Packers, say, were to miss the playoffs by a single game, or the Seahawks got into the playoffs by a single game.)

The new agreement gives the referees a raise, but also allows the NFL latitude to bench officials who perform poorly. Most importantly, the officials wanted their pension plan to remain funded, a concession they got from the NFL.

Worth noting, by the way, that the Associated Press reports that "a Las Vegas casino took an unusual step Wednesday and offered refunds to gamblers who lost money when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial touchdown at the end of Monday night's game. Derek Stevens, owner The D Las Vegas, seized on the attention being paid to the much-derided decision by replacement officials handling the NFL game and became the only casino in Las Vegas to offer refunds."
KC's View:
The NFL had to get a deal. It was getting pounded from all corners - the networks, the media, and fans, all of whom saw last Monday as the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

One thing seemed clear. There was no way they could send replacement officials to Green Bay for a game. The NFL had to make a deal.