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Is the NFL Officials’ Lockout Almost Over?

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on September 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Whether or not it was because of the public outrage after the Monday Night Football fiasco earlier this week — and you can be sure the NFL will never admit it, if it was — it looks like the NFL referee lockout may be over. ESPN's Chris Mortensen says an agreement in principle has been reached, with just a few hardline owners holding out. They might not matter, though; the old refs are already being briefed on rule changes in the off-season. The NFL itself will surely be just fine, but this has undoubtedly left a considerable mark on commissioner Roger Goodell's reputation ... and in many ways, his reputation is all that he had. But regardless: The regular refs are (probably) back next week, which means we can all go back to never being angry at bad calls again. Huzzah!

Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images