The gloves come off in the New York Times newsroom

From today’s editorial, “Amateur Hour in Pro Football:”

The Seattle Times said the last-second desperation pass “should be remembered as the Hail Mary that ended a labor dispute,” and let’s hope it is. Poor officiating has also slowed the game as officials huddle endlessly over calls, while encouraging players to stretch the rules (including outlawed helmet-to-helmet hits).

The officials want a salary increase. The owners want to change the defined benefit pension plan to a 401(k). We do not pretend to have a solution any more than the replacement referees know the rule book. What we do know is that the N.F.L. is, by some estimates, a $9 billion business. Surely there is room for compromise, and surely Mr. Goodell knows that it is in the game’s interest — not to mention his own — to find one.

Meanwhile, ESPN is now reporting that the lockout could end soon:

The NFL and the NFL Referees Association made enough progress in negotiations Tuesday night that the possibility of the locked-out officials returning in time to work this week’s games has been discussed, according to sources on both sides.

An agreement in principle is at hand, according to one source familiar to talks, although NFL owners have postured with a “no more compromise” stance.


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