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.
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.