After today’s news broke that talks broke down between the NFL and the locked-out officials, both sides issued statements in which they could agree on just one thing: No agreement will be coming soon enough to get the regular refs back on the field for Week 1.
“We met with the NFL this morning and discussed various potential solutions to reach a new collective bargaining agreement,” said Mike Arnold, the lead negotiator for the NFL Referees’ Association. “Unfortunately we were unable to reach any agreement. We are disappointed because it means that our members will not be back on the field for Week 1 of the regular season due to the NFL’s continuing lockout. We remain willing to negotiate with the NFL in order to reach a fair agreement. However, no additional meetings are scheduled at this time.”
The NFL issued a statement saying that Commissioner Roger Goodell sat down with the officials and tried to get a deal done, but no deal got done. And no negotiations are scheduled to get a deal done.
“Commissioner Goodell and other NFL staff members concluded three days of talks today with representatives of the NFLRA without reaching an agreement,” the NFL’s statement said. “No further talks are scheduled. We are proceeding with the replacement officials.”
Now the NFL is prepared to show the officials that football can go on without them. And the NFL’s fans, players and coaches will hope that a football game isn’t decided by the replacements.