It has to the a first-ever in the history of the world.

It has to the a first-ever in the history of the world.

On Wednesday night, the National Football League and the union representing the football officials came to an agreement.

That's not a first-ever thing.

What is, however, is the fact for the first time in history, sports officials are now going to be liked by the fans. That has never happened.

The "zebras" have always been the bad guys. No matter the call, if it goes against your team, they are wrong, you are right and there's no argument.

It's almost a rite of passage in sports. Screaming at the officials begins at the pee-wee level and goes all the way up to the big time.

But now, in its infinite wisdom, the NFL has changed the culture.

How did this happen?

Corporate arrogance and greed.

The NFL may have just shown the world it's too big for its own britches. This is a league that saw $9.6 billion (with a "b") in revenue last year. That's everything from tickets sales to clothing sales.

The dispute with the referees amounted to around $3 million. That .0003 percent of the total revenues.


The other interesting thing which happened is the officials pretty much got everything they wanted.

Again, it is arrogance by the league which let this happen.

And now they have paid the price.

The good news coming out of this is the fact the deal is for eight years. That's a long time and it will mean the officials stay on the field to call the games the way it should happen.

All of this ignorance could have been avoided had it not been for the corporate mentality which has taken over the NFL.

Remember back in the day when the NFL meant Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas? Those were the days.

Interestingly, there are some similarities between that era and the current game.

The one common factor is the fans.

That's what was lost on the NFL. They have forgotten just who stands in line to pay for overpriced tickets in order to give salaries to overpriced players.

They forget about all of the fans who wear the jerseys and promote the league. Think about it, the fans spend their own money to buy this stuff and then it promotes the NFL for free.

Those are loyal fans.

The NFL could take a lesson from NASCAR, where the fans are number one and the racing comes second.

Even in its unparalleled growth, NASCAR remained true to its fans — the people who buy the goods and promote the sport for free.

In the end, it's a good thing the labor dispute has been settled. The fans and players deserve to have the cream of the crop when it comes to officials.

Now that will happen.