09/27/2012 08:26 am ET Updated Nov 27, 2012

Lead Negotiator Relives Final Days Of Referee Lockout

t's 12:45 a.m. and Jeff Triplette, one of the lead negotiators for the NFL Referees Association and a member of the union's executive committee, is on the phone, calling from the postgame celebratory locker room in New York.

He is asked by USA TODAY Sports when he first sensed a deal between the league and its locked-out officials was going to happen, ending the craziness that scarred the NFL for nearly four months.

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