It's reported that the NFL and its officials are talking again.

Apparently there's something to be said about the howling that's been coming from pretty much everyone who follows pro football.

Now, I do have to say that I sympathize with the replacement officials. In all likelihood they are good people who simply are not qualified for the job they were hired to do.

Does that mean they were set up? No, probably not.

But it just seems like someone, somewhere at the league should have said "You know, maybe this isn't a good idea. Maybe we're going to water down our product to the point where all anyone is going to talk about is the officiating, and not in a good way."

I agree with my colleague Brad Peterson of ESPN 99.1: the officiating has become the storyline for the NFL season.

So even a casual fan like me will have to hope it all gets settled soon. Really soon.