Members of the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) met in Dallas, TX today, and per a report from Sam Farmer at the LA Times, the union officially ratified an 8-year labor agreement with the NFL owners. This marks the end of what was a needless and embarrassing work stoppage initiated by the NFL owners that, in many ways, damaged the credibility of the league.
Prior to today's ratification, news began to leak involving what went on behind closed doors during the negotiations between both sides.
After replacement officials took incompetence to a new low Monday night during the Packers v. Seahawks game (perfectly accentuated by their blown call on the now-infamous "touchception' play at the end), everyone from union busting recalled governors to the President of the United States was screaming that a deal needed to get done. However, per Judy Battista of the New York Times, Panthers owner and all-around jackass Jerry Richardson, along Jets owner and Tim Tebow enthusiast Woody Johnson, wanted to keep replacement refs working games and the lockout of the NFLRA ongoing.
Thankfully, these chucklenuts were seemingly brushed aside (not unlike how the football teams they own are routinely brushed aside every Sunday) and a deal was negotiated.
Colts fans might recall that Jerry Richardson was the charming fellow who insulted Peyton Manning's intelligence during the NFL owners and players negotiations last year prior to that lockout. I don't know why Richardson, a former player himself, seems to act like such an insufferable prick. At least he's consistent.
Basically, going forward, if there is ever another labor issue, owners need to lock Richardson in a closet, or lie and tell him the negotiation is in another state. This way, the real adults who care about the league can negotiate in peace while Richardson is off somewhere else, yelling at an empty chair.