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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sam Bradford on real refs: "We need them back"

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When Chris Mortensen of ESPN broke that the NFL and the real referees are very close to coming to an agreement that would get the real refs back on the field, the entire nation rejoiced.

It would mean that finally, the NFL can return to normal and the integrity of the sport that everyone loves because of their attention deficit disorder, fantasy football obsession, and gambling habits can get back to normal.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was not just fans that were rejoicing.  Some St. Louis Rams players admitted that they were ready for the locked-out referees to return too. 

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive end Chris Long both told the St. Louis Rams official website that they were happy to hear that the officials were really close to returning. 

“You guys have seen it – we need them back,” Bradford said. “I hope it happens soon. I just don’t think it’s fair to the fans, I don’t think it’s fair to us as players to go out there and have to deal with that week in and week out. I really hope that they’re as close as they say they are.”

Long was not quite so blunt, but also feels that it is time for the locked out referees to return. 

“They are doing the best they can,” Long said. “It’s not really on the replacement refs. You just hope that the NFL is doing everything they can to get the real guys back because that’s what we’re about, right? Protecting the shield? That’s what I heard at the rookie symposium so right now we are putting a price on the integrity of the game. It’s just tough to watch.”

While the focus of the NFL has been on the referees ever since the Monday Night Football debacle involving the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, it is the Rams who must focus on their next opponent. 

Ironically enough, their next opponent is their division rival Seahawks, who benefited from the questionable call on Monday night that likely pushed forward negotiations between the refs and the NFL.  

After watching the Seahawks defense record eight first half sacks, Bradford and the Rams will have their hands full on Sunday, whether it is the "real" or replacement refs officiating.  

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