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.
Well, as if NFL fans weren't ticked off enough about the replacement referees who are officiating this season's games, we bring you last night. The Seattle Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers in the final seconds to win 14 to 12, at least that's how the refs on the field saw it. The outcome is prompting new calls for the NFL and its regular officials to settle this labor dispute that prompted the league to lock out their officials in June. Joining me to talk about last night is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman.
We Googled the phrase: It's difficult to replace. And auto-complete suggested a couple things people clearly find difficult to replace: a radiator, a garbage disposal, a catalytic converter. Well, how about an NFL official? For three weeks now, NFL games have been officiated by replacement refs, due to a labor dispute, and things have been getting ugly.
For more, we're joined by NPR's Mike Pesca. Hi, Mike.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. The National Hockey League has rejoined the ranks of pro sports with labor problems. The league this week locked out its players and canceled all preseason games this month. If you feel like you've heard this story before, that's probably because the NHL lost an entire season to a lockout eight years ago. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now as he does most Fridays. Hi, Stefan.
Denver Broncos Coach John Fox yells at field judge Jimmy Buchanan during the Broncos' game against Atlanta Monday. Referring to the game, the NFL insisted that players and coaches give replacement referees, and the game, more respect.
Credit Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images
Despite complaints from NFL coaches and players, the league and its locked-out officials are no closer to reaching a deal than they were last week, according to reports. The two sides are separated by "significant and serious economic gaps," an anonymous source tells the AP.
A representative of the NFL Referees Association confirmed that talks had taken place, but he would not go into detail, the AP reports.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:58 pm
Niles Paul (right) at a Redskins practice with then-teammate Tim Hightower, before the juice-stealing incidents came to light.
Credit Carolyn Kaster / AP
Niles Paul had a problem. The second-year tight end for the Washington Redskins couldn't stop his teammates from stealing his Capri Sun. You know, Capri Sun — those sugary-sweet packets of juice that come in triangular foil containers with their own straws attached.