It was an iconic moment, really one of those amazing Olympic moments when a brilliantly smiling Gabby Douglas became the first African-American gymnast to win a gold medal in the individual all-around. People were amazed as she twisted her petite frame and flew through the air with both power and grace. It was the second gold for Douglas. She and her teammates won the team gold medal as well, and since then Gabby Douglas and the rest of the Fabulous Five have become celebrities.
We are pleased to announce this morning that NPR has ended its lockout of Mike Pesca. The network reached a deal with our sports correspondent after his replacement repeatedly confused adjectives with adverbs. OK, that's a joke, but in reality the NFL reached a deal with referees after the replacements made a series of brutally criticized calls. Mike Pesca has been following developments.
Mike, good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: And that was a goodly decision. Oh, wait a minute. I've done it too.
A spoof site launched by Erik Johnson pretends to offer Google's search engine — if it were run by replacements.
Credit Replacement Google
Frustration over the NFL's not-ready-for-primetime replacement referees has inspired web designer Erik Johnson to present Google as if its search engine had replacement engineers at the controls. The result is a web page that looks a lot like the standard Google Search page — with a note that it is sponsored by the NFL.
David Green and Tom Goldman talk on 'Morning Edition'
Though the nation's football fans — from President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to the average couch quarterback — are begging the two sides to settle their contract dispute so that regular NFL referees can come back to work, there seems to be no clear reason to think that's going to happen in time for this week's games.
Good news this morning from the NFL. There were no bad calls by replacement officials last night. OK, there were no games last night. The much-maligned replacement refs don't take the field again until tomorrow night in Baltimore. They'll be officiating the Ravens/Cleveland Browns' game and you can probably expect a lot more scrutiny. The real refs and NFL owners did meet yesterday, but a settlement remains elusive.
NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been following developments. Tom, good morning.
We're all familiar with the many sports terms that have moved into general usage: "par for the course," "slam-dunk," "curveball," "photo finish" and so on.
Curiously, though, every now and then something of the inverse occurs, and we get an expression which is commonly used that has been derived from sport, but never used in sport.
For example, that awful, overdone cliche, "level playing field." Never in my life have I ever heard anyone in sport — that is, somebody actually right there on the level playing field — say, "I'm glad we're playing on a level playing field."
As the lockout of NFL officials over a labor dispute continues, the replacement refs have been roundly criticized for an increase in bad calls and a general loss of control on the field. NPR's Mike Pesca explains the issues with replacement refs and the ongoing dispute with the regular officials.
We turn now to the National Football League. We're three weeks into the season and that means a lot of amazing plays, even more amazing catches, but story number one by far has been the referees. The NFL locked out its regular refs in a labor dispute and so replacement officials have been on the field and they're taking heat off the field for some blown calls.
Football fans are furious. Bettors are out an estimated $150 million. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin — the Republican who's famous for battling with organized labor — is on the side of the referees union. And the NFL is in something of a "prevent defense," saying that nothing can be done to change the outcome.