August 18 2012; Denver, CO, USA; NFL replacement referee Gerald Wright (133) signals a penalty during the preseason game between the Seattle Seahawks against the in the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
If you think for a second that either the NFL or the referees will cave into the pressure from the players or the fans and settle their dispute in time for the regular season, you may be living in a fantasy world. Both sides remain unwilling to concede and it appears the replacement refs may be employed by the league for a longer period than originally expected.
A story on ProFootballTalk.com states that the ore realistic expectation is that the officials are planning hopefully for a return to the fields for week three or four. Although th eleague acknowledges the quality of officiating by the replacement refs is not up to the level that the regular officials have done.
This has been clearly evident all preseason, be it the officials referring to the Atlanta Falcons as "Arizona," or just missing calls that everyone in the stands, on the sidelines and on television plainly saw. Hopefully, this impasse will be resolved as soon as possible and no games are affected unnecessarily by the refs, much less any player's safety compromised by their calls or even lack of the calls.