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.
“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.
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.