In a move that is great for competitive integrity but terrible for notions of high comedy and farce, the NFL and its officials have come to an agreement that will end the lockout. The regular referees will be back for the games this weekend and will even be able to work Thursday night's Browns-Ravens game. The replacement referees were fun, but the league evidently realized that it was time to bring the real ones back before the players and coaches revolted. We wouldn't be surprised to see a few fans on their feet for the return of Ed Hochuli and the rest of the refs this weekend.

Grace period?

The referees won't have a preseason to get back up to speed. They'll be thrown right back into the thick of things.


Damaging the shield?

The NFL's decision to go with replacement referees was a rare misstep for America's most successful sports league.


Worst-case scenario?

We all saw what replacement officials did to football, but would it be particularly worse in baseball or basketball?


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