This will probably be the most talked about topic on the internet today, at least in the States. And nobody’s holding back, either. The normally safely uncontroversial NFC North blogger at ESPN has gotten into it too, and Deadspin even has a Viking (granted a very outspoken Viking) who says Green Bay just got screwed.
I don’t know the details of the negotiations between the NFL and the referee’s union. I don’t know if one had extreme demands or was being unreasonable. I haven’t followed it, and a lot of specifics wouldn’t be public anyway. I do know, though, that the union’s stance has been getting a lot stronger as the replacement refs continued to make little screwups. And now that there’s a really big one on hand, I doubt the union will need to do anything but wait for the NFL to capitulate. Have the real refs made big screwups? Oh hell yeah, plenty. But rarely so concentrated into just three season games.
As much as people (rightfully) place the blame for these sorts of things on the new refs, the end result is that the reputation of the NFL is being hammered. It won’t stop people from going to games or anything, obviously, but it’s the organization that’s placed to look like the villain here. It’s just a matter of time now.