It's time to say farewell to the Replacement Refs - the much maligned group of officials who have been botching big calls since the beginning of the NFL season. The league reached an eight-year agreement with the Referees Association on Wednesday night to end the lockout, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the refs will be back on the field starting Thursday night. Hallelujah
The two sides have been engaged in intensive negotiations for weeks but Goodell admitted that the controversial Hail Mary call Monday night may have "pushed the parties further along."
The botched call at the end of Monday night's Seahawks-Packers game triggered more than one million mentions on Twitter and was ranked No. 6 on Facebook's list of most-discussed events of the year. Probably not the kind of attention the league wanted, however.
In fact, following the Monday night officiating debacle that gave the Seahawks a 14-12 victory over the visiting Packers, offensive lineman T.J. Lang sent out what would become the most retweeted unsponsored post in Twitter history.
Reactions to the NFL announcement about the return of the refs have been overwhelming positive but varied depending on how invested - emotionally and financially - people are in the game. Humor seemed to rule the Twitterverse.
Here's what Dr. Ruth had to say:
With real refs back halftime can once again be for taking care of sexual frustrations instead of venting about ref frustrations
Wide Receiver Torrey Smith tweeted:
Woke up to find out the new refs are back! I've never been excited about refs before I think I (cont) tl.gd/jele3c
And the Celtics' Derek Robinson:
Good news for high school students across America — your gym teachers will be back next week. @nfl got its refs back. Bye replacement refs.
Plenty of mockumentaries and in memoriam videos also popped up on YouTube:
Are you happy with the decision? With the refs back, what will fans have to talk about now on social media?
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