|Falcons owner Arthur Blank helped facilitate Wednesday night's agreement with the referees. (US Presswire)|
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank was among a handful of owners who hastened the process of reaching an agreement with the 122 regular NFL officials late Wednesday night.
“That's probably reasonable [to assume],” Blank said. “There's been a tremendous amount of effort on behalf of the league staff and the owners and on the officials as well to get a deal done. It's not like a week's gone by where there was no discussion.”
Blank also referred to Monday's game as the “feather on the cap” and said that efforts were made on both sides to reach a deal before the season started but there was no point in reaching one that wasn't amenable to both sides.
“I think this is also good for the replacement officials. I say that kind of tongue in cheek. They were out there working hard, doing the best that they can, and clearly, they didn't have the experience that was necessary. It wasn't really fair to them to hold them to the same standard, but we have to,” he said. “They're probably happy that this is over for them, too. I don't know if they'll publicly say that, but I think it's better really for all of us.”
Blank said keeping the replacement officials from visiting Lambeau Field for this Sunday's Packers-Saints game was never a point of emphasis.
“They're very passionate fans [in Green Bay], but they're very respectful fans. I'm sure they weren't happy about what happened on Monday night and I understand that from the players' standpoint, the coaches' standpoint, and certainly the fans' standpoint. They would've expressed themselves but, they would've been respectful at the same time.”
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