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The Regular Referees Are Back So We Can Start Hating Them Again

The regular N.F.L. referees have reached a deal and will return to officiating American's favorite contact sport

smithsonian.com

All in favor of getting out of here? Image: Belinda Hankins Miller

The United States can collectively rejoice: the regular N.F.L. referees have reached a deal and will return to officiating American’s favorite contact sport.

The New York Times summarizes what they agreed upon:

Under the terms of the deal, pensions will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season. New officials will get a 401(k) instead. The average official’s salary will rise to $173,000 in 2013 from 149,000 in 2011.

The replacement referees have been everyone’s favorite people to hate in the past three weeks, capped by what many are calling the “touchception” in which one referee called a touchdown, and the other called an incomplete pass. The Seahawks won that game on that call, and many fans lost their patience. “Don’t blame the replacement refs! These poor Foot Locker employees are not ready for this kind of pressure,” joked one person on Twitter.

The replacements weren’t exactly loving it either. The New York Times spoke with Jeff Sadorus, who worked on the field while the real referees were locked out. “My daughter found the ‘Call Me Maybe’ video they did of us and showed it to me, and I had to laugh,” he told them. “Honestly, sometimes during this whole thing it felt like the national pastime in this country had changed from football to bashing replacement officials.”

But now everyone can go back to complaining about how bad the real referees are. They’ll be back next week.

More from Smithsonian.com:

What’s the Deal With the NFL’s Replacement Referees?
Meet the First Woman to Referee an NFL Game
The NFL’s Replacement Refs Are Changing the Odds for Gamblers

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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