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Fans Cheer As NFL’s ‘Real’ Referees’s Return [VIDEO]

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 27: Game officials Bob Waggoner (L) and Gene Steratore (R) take the field with the rest of the game crew for the first time this season before the start of the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 27, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr, Getty Images

When was the last time you cheered for the referee of a sporting event you were at? Not a Bronx cheer, but a real ‘Thank you for coming’, ‘We appreciate you’, ‘We’re happy to see you’ kinda cheer.

Most fans berate officials when a call goes against their team, and still don’t much care for zebras when their team catches a break, but on Thursday night, NFL officials – the real ones – entered M&T Bank in Baltimore to a standing ovation prior to the Ravens – Brown game.

I’m sure there were thousands watching at home who cheered from the couch, too.

Not that replacement officials didn’t try hard, but considering the mistakes they made throughout the pre-season and first three weeks of the regular season, all football fans (expect maybe those in Seattle) were happy to see them go.

Which begs another question.

Are fans more happy that the ‘real’ refs are back, or just really happy the replacements are gone?

Either way, in this video from TMZ.com, you can see how grateful this crew was to hear a roar from the crowd when came onto the field.

Interestingly, although Baltimore hung on for a 23-16 win, the game’s final two plays were strangely similar to the circumstances that lead upto Monday nights blown call in the Packers – Seahawks game.

After Cleveland had a fourth down Hail Mary batted down in the end zone, the Ravens were flagged for unnecessary roughness. It setup one final play with two seconds left, but Brandon Weeden through it over everyone’s head, out of play, ending the game.

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