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Shutdown Corner

Replacement refs already assigned to Week 2 games, real refs no closer to a deal

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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If you don't like anything that happens to your favorite team today or tomorrow as a result of the presence of replacement officials, this news will make you no more pleased -- according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the NFL has already assigned all the replacement refs to the Week 2 schedule.

This confirms what we all suspected -- the NFL and the NFL Referees Association are no closer to agreeing to terms of a new collective bargaining agreement. We may be looking at replacement refs for a while as the official officials remain locked out.

Glazer also reported that the NFLPA has insisted the league reinstate the locked-out refs, but there's no motivation for the NFL to do so. After the crew led by Jim Core did a credible job in the 2012 regular-season opener -- a 24-17 Dallas Cowboys win over the New York Giants -- the league now has more rope, and clearly intends to use it.

"I think our officials did a more than adequate job last night and I think that we've proven that we can train them and get them up to NFL standards," Goodell said on Thursday. "I think we were dealing from a position of strength from the get-go. We did this 11 years ago. The game does not stop."

[Also: 2012 NFL predictions from Michael Silver]

Goodell was referring to an impasse between the league and its officials in 2001, though that was solved with the replacements working just one regular-season game. Then, there was one official who actually went up to Jerry Rice on the field and asked for his autograph. Now, at least through one game, things seem to be more on point.

Core's team missed a few obvious calls -- a pick play that led to a Victor Cruz catch and an obvious holding call on safety Orlando Scandrick with Cruz as the target later in the game -- but those were calls we can easily see the long-time officials miss every single Sunday.

However, that doesn't mean there won't be issues. "We're going to try and take advantage of the fact they're on national television and probably scared [bleep]less," one Giants player told Mike Freeman of CBS Sports before that game. "Every player and every staff will do the same as the games go on. We're going to try and intimidate them. Again, every team will try it."

So far, the only ones feeling a bit skittish are the officials who are watching the games from home today.

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