Roger Goodell: Referee lockout is balancing act for NFL

NEW YORK -- Commissioner Roger Goodell say he wants the best officials on the field for the new NFL season, but he's got to think about what's important for the long-term future of the league.

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Goodell was asked about the labor stalemate between the NFL and its game officials at a fan forum hours before the season opener Wednesday between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

Goodell says he wants officiating that's consistently good and the flexibility to replace underperforming officials. He says he's willing to make the short-term sacrifice to achieve that goal.

The league plans to use replacement officials during the first week of the season.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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