We sort of owe it to Obama for ending this NFL referee lockout

1. The negative backlash from the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks on “Monday Night Football” pressured the NFL into getting this deal done. With President Obama expressing his disappointment with the replacement officiating and poor officiating being the lead story of network news coverage, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had to act — and he did. The league made a major concession to keep funding a pension plan for the next five years before transitioning that benefit to become a 401K plan. There is even a slight increase in the pension benefits plan from 2012-16. The NFL backed down on a plan to have three additional crews of seven officials hired and paid out of the total compensation package. The new hires are paid out of the NFL coffers and not out of the current officials’ take. As for the compensation package, officials will average $149,000 a year in 2012, $173,000 in 2013 and $205,000 in 2019.