“As demonized as we were, I hope people remember that we are people, too”

He added: “Everyone wanted perfection, but come on: the last guy who was perfect they nailed to a cross. And he wasn’t even an official.”

While employed by the league, the replacement officials were bound by its standard media policy, meaning they could not do interviews even as consternation over their performance grew. With the regular officials returning to work Thursday night, however, Sadorus — who also returned to his job, at a food services company near Seattle — described the up-and-down nature of his N.F.L. tenure in an interview with The New York Times.

Ultimately, he said, it was a dream — “something I had wanted to do forever and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” — but that does not mean it was without difficulty. Sadorus detailed a drama that played out over about four months and included clinics, camps, exhibitions and games, as well as nearly 25,000 miles of travel and the constant awareness that every decision he and his colleagues made was under “unprecedented scrutiny,” according to Commissioner Roger Goodell.