Our beloved officials are returning on white horses.
Darlington: Both sides win
Widespread interest in the lockout proved that the NFL's hold on the public is stronger than ever, Jeff Darlington writes. **More...**
As the national drama of the NFL's replacement referees fades into the distance, players around the league celebrate a return to normalcy.
NFL Network's Steve Wyche has fielded texts from players since the news filtered in. Here's a sampling:
»*New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley*: "It's a great thing for the league to have the real refs back. I think the pressure on the replacement refs was becoming too much for them and all of the missed and blown calls were messing with the integrity of the game. I'm not saying the real refs will get every call right but I think they will do a better job. Good to have them back."
»*Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth*: "Owners, players and referees are blessed to be part of the world's greatest sport. Now, with the real referees in place we can move on to continuing the excellence of this great sport. No more lockouts and court decisions. Let's just play ball."
Albert Breer's hearing from players, too:
"Now the preseason is over and let the real season begin," Morrison added.
We'll continue to provide reaction as players, coaches and fans wake to this happy news.