AZ fans rejoicing for return of NFL refs - CBS 5 - KPHO

AZ fans rejoicing for return of NFL refs

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(Source: AP) (Source: AP)

NFL fans are rejoicing after a tentative agreement was reached Wednesday night between the league and its referees.

That means the three-month lockout is over and the regular refs will be back on the field in time for the game between the Ravens and the Browns.

A lot of people CBS 5 News spoke with are frustrated that the lockout was all about money, as NFL referees fight for better pay and retirement benefits.

For many watching what happened in the interim and how not just anybody can do the job, things changed.

"I know that the refs work once a week and they make more money than most of the people on this plant," Dan Radoff said.

Now fans who've cried foul during the lockout are breathing a sigh of relief.

One person following the lockout closely is Gene Spiker.

He owns Spiker Sports, which supplies hundreds of referees to local organizations, sports leagues and school districts.

He relates to both the NFL referees and those who replaced them during the lockout.

"They did the best job that they could, but it's kind of like asking a kindergarten teacher to come up and teach a college class," Spiker said.

Spiker is not only happy the regular refs are back at work, he feels they deserve the pay increase they fought for which is a tentative increase from $149,000 a year to $173,000 in 2013 and $205,000 by 2019.

The league has to vote on the tentative deal to officially approve it, which is expected to happen on Friday in Dallas.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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