The NFL regular season kicks-off tonight (Wednesday) and for the first time in 14 years Mike Spanier of Sartell will spending the weekend at home, instead of on the field.

Spanier is a longtime NFL referee.  Last week the NFL announced they would open the season with replacement officials, replacements have also been used throughout the preseason.

Spanier says it’s been strange not suiting up for games.

Spanier says he feels the regular referees are ready to go to work as soon as a contract agreement can be worked out between the two sides.

Spanier says he and the other referees have been working on weekly rules tests, and have attended regular conference calls on rules changes.  He says he’s physically ready to go too.

This is suppose to be Spanier’s 14th season as an NFL referee.

Tonight’s opener features Dallas at the New York Giants.