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Replacement Referees? Really?

So, are you looking forward to watching NFL games this fall with replacement officials making the calls? I know I'm not.

That, however, is the situation staring the league in the face as the NFL has locked out its officials -- who were preparing to strike, anyway -- in a contract dispute. The league's contract with the NFL Referees Association has expired, and talks for a new deal, which began last October, are reportedly not going anywhere right now.

I can't imagine the increasingly player safety conscious NFL as Roger Goodell sees it allowing games to go on with substitute referees, putting the health of the league's multi-million dollar athletes at the mercy of guys who probably shouldn't be out there making calls. Not to mention impacting the outcome of games.

Best bet is that this gets resolved long before the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys kick off the 2012 NFL season. If it doesn't? I don't want to think about that -- the experienced guys are bad enough.