Updated from 2:28 p.m. EDT with the president's comments from the press pool.
NEW YORK (
) -- Even the leader of the free world is fixated on the National Football League's officiating problems these days.
After a controversial victory by Seattle Seahawks over the Green Bay Packers on the last play of the game on Monday Night Football, President Barack Obama was moved to weigh in with the comment that football fans everywhere want the NFL's referee lockout to be settled soon.
What was an already contentious debate among fans and football experts about the league's perceived legitimacy reached fever pitch Monday night after the replacement referees awarded a game-winning touchdown to the Seahawks in a play that replays suggested may have been a Green Bay Packers interception.
Many Americans are familiar with the president's appreciation of sports, including his allegiance to the Chicago Bears, so his tweet on Monday about the referee controversy may not have come as a surprise.
"NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon. -bo," Obama tweeted, with his initials at the end to note that the comment came from him and not his staff.
The comment did not appear to suggest that Obama was personally advocating the NFL -- a nonprofit, unincorporated association-- take action to end its labor dispute, but the mere mention of the hullabaloo from the United States' commander in chief is indicative of how prevalent the discussion has become.
When the president arrived at the White House before 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, a reporter shouted "Packers," which provoked Obama to comment again, according to the in-town press pool report distributed to reporters.
"Terrible," Obama said, according to the pool report. "I've been saying for months, we've gotta get our refs back."
The Associated Press
that two people with knowledge of the situation said the league intends to meet with locked-out officials on Tuesday in an attempt to "resolve the impasse."
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.