Sep 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate (81) "catches" a 24-yard touchdown pass as Green Bay Packers players Sam Shields (37), and Jarrett Bush (24), and Charles Woodson (21) and Jarrett Williams (38) defend on the final play at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Packers 14-12. Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports photograph

‘Fail Mary’ Ref Lance Easley Inexplicably Maintains Call Was Correct


It wasn’t so much that Lance Easley posed for a photo, wearing full referee garb and hands thrust in the air to signal “touchdown,” with Seattle Seahawk Golden Tate, it’s that he still maintains the famed “Fail Mary” fiasco that cost the Green Bay Packers a win last season was the right call.

Wait … what?

You heard correctly.

Easley served as an umpire at Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman’s charity softball game over the weekend, and told reporters that, while he admits he should have conferred with other officiating crew members before making the now-infamous touchdown ruling, he still wouldn’t change his call.

Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings’ expression says it all as he questions Lance Easley’s sanity in the moments following the infamous Fail Mary. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

“I made a call, it was a correct call — even though Green Bay fans will never say it’s correct — it was a difficult call, and it was one you just don’t want,” he told reporters. “As an official you want black-and-white calls, you don’t want gray calls, and that was a gray call that you had to be involved in and make it within a couple of seconds.”

Come on, man, you’re killing us. What about the blatant pass interference penalty on Tate that you completely blew? And then to rule a pretty obvious M.D. Jennings interception a touchdown, cause a national controversy over how badly you muffed it, and months later somehow defend yourself that it was correct?

That’s borderline insanity.

I think every time that guy says out loud that he made the correct call, somewhere, deep in a lush, green forest, a fairy dies a horrible death. That’s how wrong that call was.

Stop the killing, Lance Easley; no more fairies must suffer for your lies.

The National Football League itself initially defended the call, but the fact the labor dispute with the real officials was resolved before another NFL down was played spoke volumes to every Packers fan — heck, every football fan — on this planet. NFL officials did acknowledge that Tate should have been called for offensive pass interference before the catch, which would have negated the catch and ended the game as a 12-7 Packers victory.

If that call is made correctly, the Packers go 12-4 on the season and draw a playoff bye plus a home-field advantage. That likely changes a lot about the outcome of last year’s NFC playoffs. And while our wounds should be mostly healed now, it just seems a bit, well, cruel for him to publicly make light of the call. And to also claim it was the correct call? Come on, man. You shouldn’t be allowed to officiate a tee-ball game if you really believe that.

Lance Easley’s book …

Quoth John Gruden, during the Monday Night Football broadcast: “Golden Tate gets away with one of the most blatant offensive pass interference calls I’ve ever seen. M.D. Jennings intercepts the pass. And Tate’s walking out of here as the player of the game. Unbelievable.”

More damning than that, Bill Leavy, speaking on behalf of the locked out NFL officials including the highly respected Ed Hochuli, said the actual NFL officials “would have ruled Monday Night’s [play] be an interception.” Not as expressive as Gruden, perhaps, but then again, who is?

Now, Easley has even written a book about the controversy, which we here at LombardiAve.com are sure isn’t at all meant to crassly profit from his infamy. Right? Of course we’re sure, because who would ever do that?

Perhaps Packers fans should lobby the NFL to try and force Easley to donate at least a portion of his book sales to Packers Nation, or at least to Jennings. Hey, emotional therapy isn’t cheap.

Tags: Fail Mary Featured Golden Tate Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings John Gruden Lance Easley M.D. Jennings NFL Popular Seattle Seahawks

  • Tyler Cary

    Might as well milk your 15 minutes to 20.

  • Bruce McDermott

    It’s one thing to say it was wrong. It’s another to say it should have been reversed on replay. Personally, the OPI call was obvious. The only explanation I’ve heard to defend that call is that OPI is basically never called on hail mary passes.

    On the possession call, whether or not the call was correct, I don’t believe the booth had grounds to reverse it under the rules.

    • Tyler Cary

      Seahawks fan much?

      • Wyatt Converse

        douche much?

        • Tyler Cary

          Oh no, some random guy with a tentative grasp on the English language tried to insult me over the internets. Sweet looking photo there buddy.

          • Wyatt Converse

            Why thank you very much. Go eat some cheese, chief lol

        • Tyler Cary

          And enjoy being a classless supporter of a classless organization. What else should I have expected after reading your other comment?

          • Wyatt Converse

            Go Seahawks!!

  • Bigworm78

    Ok ru packer fans ever gonna let that play go or ru gonna whine n cry about it for the next ten years ya maybe that was a bad call but what everyone seems to forget about that game is there was bad calls against both teams and the packers only touchdown was because of a blown pass interference call on third down so without that call the packers don’t score n there is no need for the Hail Mary n seattle still wins and maybe if the packers o-line didn’t suck ass most of the game they might not have lost

  • Wyatt Converse

    Boo f’n hooo, writer!! GET OVER IT ALREADY!! Damn. Those pass int are never called first of all, second, just shut up already. F’n crybaby

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  • akmac61

    Jennings never had the ball, as the reverse angle shot showed. He was trying desperately and unsuccessfully to pull the ball away from Tate. As far as the PI call, as others have pointed out, that is never called on those plays. If GB had played a full game, they might have won, but they didn’t.

  • RayRivard

    The only thing good that came out of this situation was that guys like Easley were forever banished from the NFL and the only time we’ll hear from them again is when they stoop low enough to appear as a “hero” at lame summer softball games … or when they go out and try to sell their books that nobody will ever read. It is over. It’s 2013 now, but the debate will continue forever – much like Bears fans who still bellyache over Don Majkowski being “over the line of scrimmage” when throwing the TD pass to Sterling Sharpe back in 1989. They still refer to it as the asterisk game.