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

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NFL lockout over

(AP image)

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) – 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.”

The underwhelming performance of replacement officials has drawn the ire of fans, players and politicians. A blown call at the end of Monday’s game cost the Green Bay Packers a win. Carney said the focus can now return to the games, not the officiating.

One NFL player says he never thought he’d be excited to see the referees return to work — he says “it’s about time.”

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.

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