Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/28/12

NEW YORK - APRIL 22: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is interviewed by Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets for the 'Ocho Cinco New Network' on the red carpet during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
The cheers that Gene Steratore and his officiating crew received in Baltimore Thursday night were unprecedented. Usually, it would be the Ravens (and, prior to 1984, the Colts) that would have received the hero’s welcome coming out of the tunnel.Instead, it wasn’t just Ray Rice and company that were showered in love. Steratore, co-owner of a sanitary supply company with his brother, received adulation akin to a rock star playing a stadium.This Sunday, the likes of Ed Hochuli, Mike Carey, Ron Winter, and others will receive similar ovations, followed by several weeks of diminishing cheers from a crowd that lived through one of the NFL’s most unnecessary and bizarre chapters.The referee lockout, as everyone knows, reached a fever pitch on Monday night, when the Seahawks defeated the Packers after a miscall the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Giants/49ers playoff debacle a decade ago. Only difference is, in 2002, that was about a penalty. This time, it was about possession.Wi...
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