NEW YORK (September 27, 2012)--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was apologizing to fans Thursday for having to use replacement officials during a lockout of regular refs that led to three weeks of questionable calls and one that cost the Green Bay Packers a win.
Goodell made the comments Thursday during a conference call about 12 hours after the referees' union and league agreed on a tentative deal that will allow the regular officials to return beginning with Thursday night's Browns-Ravens game.
"Something like this, it's painful for everybody. Most importantly, it's painful for fans. We're sorry to have to put fans through that,” he said.
"Sometimes you have to go through something like that in the short term for the right agreement for the long term,” he said.
The deal was struck two days after Seattle's chaotic last-second win over Green Bay in which the replacements missed a call.