One NFL player says he never thought he'd be excited to see the referees return to work -- he says "it's about time."


Jamie Squire, Getty Images
Jamie Squire, Getty Images

The tweet from Cleveland Browns return specialist Josh Cribbs came after the league and the game officials announced agreement on a tentative eight-year deal to end a lockout that began in June.


The regular officials will work tonight's game between the Browns and the Ravens in Baltimore.

The two sides reached a tentative agreement after some bad calls by replacement referees ticked off fans, players and coaches. A missed call Monday night cost the Green Bay Packers a win against Seattle.

Members of the referees union plan to vote on the agreement tomorrow and Saturday in Dallas.


The NFL has selected veteran referee Gene Steratore to lead a seven-man crew of regular officials in calling Thursday night's game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

The other officials are umpire Bill Schuster, head linesman Wayne Mackie, line judge Jeff Seeman, field judge Bob Waggoner, side judge Jimmy DeBell and back judge Greg Steed.

Steratore is in his 10th season as an NFL official.

White House: NFL deal is 'great day for America'

How important is it to get the NFL's regular referees back on the job? The White House calls it a great day for America.

Without prompting, President Barack Obama's spokesman on Thursday applauded news of a deal between that the National Football League and the referees' union.

Jay Carney said, quote, "The president's very pleased that the two sides have come together," and he added, "It's a great day for America."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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