NFL to Open 2012 Regular Season with Replacement Officials

Michael David Smith, reporting for Pro Football Talk:

The NFL’s replacement officials aren’t going away any time soon.

The league confirmed today in a memo sent to all 32 teams that the regular season will open with replacement officials, as the lockout of the NFL Referees Association continues.

The NFL says it’s ready to negotiate with the locked-out officials, but they’re not close enough to reaching an agreement that it’s realistic to think the regular officials could be on the field when the season starts, one week from tonight.

I hope the offcials’ union and the league gets a deal done soon.

In the preseason games I’ve seen, there’ve been several non-calls on plays that would otherwise be obvious penalties. Also, a few of the head refs seem to have trouble announcing infractions to the crowd. Having said this, though, I don’t believe the integrity of the game has been or will further be compromised due to the scab refs. Again, as a fan of the NFL, I just wish the regular refs get back to work sooner than later.