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NFL, locked-out officials meeting Friday

Vikings v Saints X

7 Oct 2001: A fan dressed as a referee looks on during the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 28-15. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez/ALLSPORT

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Wednesday was the one-year anniversary of the end of the player lockout. Friday could be the day that the officials lockout begins to move toward a conclusion.

Dan McNeil of WSCR radio, a special contributor to the Chicago Tribune, reports that the NFL and the officials will meet Friday in Washington. It’ll be the first face-to-face negotiations since the lockout began on June 3.

Here’s hoping that the renewed talks result in a new agreement. With Division I conferences unwilling to allow their officials to moonlight, NFL games will be in less-than-competent hands.

There are officials with high school experience only,” former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira recently wrote at, via McNeil. “There are officials who were dropped from their college conferences. Three officials from the Pac-12 Conference that were not rehired this season for performance reasons are now going to work [NFL] games.”

Periera previously has said that using replacement officials will compromise the integrity of the game. And he’s right. Thus, the stewards of the game need to work this out, before we end up with pro football games officiated by the likes of Larry the Cable Guy’s less-intelligent brother.