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Goodell apologizes to NFL fans for referee debacle

Published: Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 11:20 a.m. CST

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized to the fans who fretted through three weeks of replacement officials calling their favorite teams’ games.

“We are sorry to have to put our fans through that,” he said on a conference call about 12 hours after the league reached a deal to bring back the regular officials.”

Two days after a missed call on the final play cost the Green Bay Packers in their loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL and the officials’ union announced a tentative eight-year agreement to end a lockout that began in June.

Goodell insisted the timing of the deal was not a reaction to the outcry over “Monday Night Football.” The two sides had been in “intensive negotiations” the last two weeks, he said.