Local NFL referee gets back to work
Fox 4's John Rupolo talks to an NFL ref from Fort Myers Video by fox4now.comvideo
LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Was it this play that brought the NFL referees back to the field?
It ended up being a wrong call, ruled a touchdown but by most accounts was actually an interception. Fort Myers Attorney and NFL ref Jeff Rice glad he saw that play and how it was called by fill-in refs and had a feeling he would be getting a call very soon to come back to work.
"I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back and the reaction of the players, coaches, fans and media," said Rice.
The boos reached a boiling point on Monday. Even players and coaches struggled to restrain themselves from lashing out against the replacement refs.
"It's obvious they are not qualified," said Rice.
The breakthrough came Wednesday night following months of stalled negotiations. The big sticking point? A major benefit the refs say they didn't want to lose.
"They wanted to take away our pension, something that was offered when we were hired," said Rice.
He'll now get to keep that pension and the refs will get a pay raise and will make over 200 thousand dollars per year but for now he's now worried about retirement- he's just excited to get back on the field - even though he knows its not always going to be easy.
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