America's Most Hated Referee Is Also a Bank of America V.P.

Here's a factoid that explains everything wot's wrong with this here modern America: The scab referee at the center of this week's Packers/Seahawks bad-call controversy is also a Bank of America official. At my alma mater-of-sorts American Banker, Kate Davidson describes how Lance Easley's journey to infamy began even before Monday's Fail Mary play: 

The official at the center of perhaps the most controversial call of the season is in fact a vice president for small-business banking at B of A in California.

Lance Easley has worked at the bank since June 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was a business banking specialist at Wells Fargo for nearly three years prior to that. A source at B of A confirmed Easley's title, but the company declined to comment further.

Easley was standing in the end zone during the final seconds of last night's Monday Night Football matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.

Seattle was down by five points as its quarterback, Russell Wilson, threw a Hail Mary pass down the field. Seattle receiver Golden Tate shoved a Green Bay defender out of the way and wrestled another for the ball.

It was initially unclear who caught the ball first, resulting in the controversial call captured in this now-infamous photo of one ref signaling an interception while Easley signaled a touchdown.

But instant replays showed that Tate should have been called for pass interference, which would have ended the game with a win for Green Bay. And everyone in the world — except, perhaps, for Seahawks fans and the NFL — believed the pass was intercepted by Green Bay.

At ZeroHedge, Tyler Durden says the confluence of stinky careers contains a depth of meanings. "Well done Lance," Durden writes, "you have managed to move from the most-hated occupation (bankster) to the most-hated individual (outside of Seattle) in one weekend. Is it any wonder Small Business confidence and uncertainty is so high?"

I'm not sure there's a natural connection between moonlighting as a strike-breaking ref and working days a small-biz banker, but there is definitely a connection between BOA and the NFL. Both are corporate welfare queens that suck the taxpayers dry while insulting the great traditions of competition and free markets. In a universe ruled by a just God, Bank of America would have gone out of business in 2009 (and Wells Fargo might have as well). 

While a money-printing machine like the NFL would not go broke if the public tit dried up, individual franchises might have to become a little more competitive (economically as well as athletically) if they were not heavily subsidized by the people. Which makes it even more maddening that the league enjoys such massive government indulgence. Are you ready for some cartel socialism, taxpayer fleecing, city-soaking stadiums, and dangerous workplaces that OSHA wouldn't allow any other random collection of bazillionaires to operate? Reason's all over it like Lawrence Taylor on Joe Theismann's tibia. 

Maybe one replacement ref doesn't deserve to be the public face of all that unsportsmanlike conduct, but it's telling that Easley, like all great supervillains, flamboyantly taunts the forces of justice by refusing to hide. From Larry Brown Sports:

[H]ow did Easley respond to becoming one of the most notorious — and in many cases despised — referees of all time? By hitting up a club the very next night?

George Takata, the sports director at KPGE CBS 47 in Fresno, reported on Twitterearly Wednesday morning that Easley was out at Club Habanos — a bar/club in Fresno, Calif., on Tuesday night. Takata even tweeted the tri-pane photo you see above. He says the middle photo was sent to him by one of his friends, and it is of Easley at the club Tuesday night.

In an incredible irony, Takata’s friend, whose face we blurred out, happened to be wearing a Green Bay Packers shirt — the very team Easley’s awful call victimized...

If you were concerned that Easley might go into hiding after his notorious moment, it looks like you were wrong. Apparently the man is embracing his newfound fame.

Misguided jock sniffer? Inhuman monster? Misunderstood workingman who's just making sure a troubled nation can still get its pigskin on? Unlike the replacement refs, I leave it to you to decide. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    I for one like the scab refs.

    At least their screw ups are honest screw ups.

    Unlike the 2006 Superbowl where the refs fixed the outcome of the game.

    The whole reason this is a big deal is simply a ploy to endorse unions....the old refs sucked just as bad...only they didn't have a union blow horn complaining about their shitty calls.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    And Shaun Alexander could've used that Super Bowl win to bolster his career legacy. Too bad.

  • wareagle||

    scab implies someone who crossed a picket line. He didn't because there was none. These guys are lower division college refs who were asked to do a job they were not trained to do. It's as if the NFL set them up for failure.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The scab referee at the center of this week's Packers/Seahawks bad-call controversy is also a Bank of America official.

    I heard he also once posted a youtube of himself telling off a fast food drive-thru order taker about the right to same-sex marriage recognition.

  • Hugh Akston||

    So how do we think President Obama is going to solve the NFL ref problem? Bailout or drone strike?

  • The Other Kevin||

    Too late for a beer summit, isn't it?

  • ||

    It's never too late for a beer summit, at least not in my book.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Since defense is being destroyed by stupid rules and officiating, I say we replace it with dronefense.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "That interception- you didn't catch that."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    For the record, a joke involving McCourty dropping interceptions is not spam.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So how do we think President Obama is going to solve the NFL ref problem?

    Lemonade and mediation on the veranda.

    "NFL Unexpectedly Agrees to Terms"

  • IceTrey||

    Beer summit!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I cannot fathom these people saying the refs are just as bad as the replacements. I can only assume they haven't watched more than 1 game this season.

  • IceTrey||

    You've got the wrong guy. The one who really screwed up was the replay ref. Easley had to make a split second call for which he was not properly trained for. The replay ref had multiple angles, slow mo and all the time he needed to get it right and he didn't. Who was the replay ref?

  • R C Dean||

    This right here. The two refs on the scene ruled both ways.

    The replay ref had the final call, and dropped, if I may say so, the ball.

    The theory is that it was "simultaneous possession", which goes to the offense. The tape is very clear that the defender had full and sole possession of the ball first (which should settle the issue right there), and I never saw an angle that showed the receiver getting anything approaching possession before the defender was down by contact.

    In a scrum like they had, I can see the on-scene ref muffing the call. I see no excuse for the replay ref.

  • ||

    That's where it gets bizarre. Initially I was told that the issue of possession was not reviewable. However, the official NFL statement claimed it was. To make things more confusing, my understanding is that the review officials are NOT replacement refs (not sure why) so they can't be blamed if it was indeed reviewed.

  • Mo||

    Unlike college, review officials only indicate whether or not to review the play. The review is done by the ref on the field.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Initially I was told that the issue of possession was not reviewable. However, the official NFL statement claimed it was."

    Because possession normally is not reveiewable, except when possession occurs outside the field of play, i.e. the end zone. It's a lesson that more rules do not necessarily make things better, just more confused.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I can't believe the NFL said that the simultaneous ruling was reviewable in their own press release.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I never saw an angle that showed the receiver getting anything approaching possession before the defender was down by contact.

    They were showing a reverse angle on Sportscenter this morning that did leave it open to interpretation. It was actually a little amusing to hear the announcers go, "Well, wait a second here..."

    Regardless, it's going to be quite the spectacle when the regulars come back. Expect about two weeks of media fellatio followed by bitter complaints from the fan bases about bad calls the rest of the season.

    All I know is, I don't want to hear any of the players crying like little bitches about getting screwed by the refs for the rest of the season after the regulars get back.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It's really not up for debate when the defender's body is between the ball and the receiver.

  • ||

    If only there were these extensions of the body that could reach out and grab something that was not right in front of the body. They could be called arms... nah, that doesn't make any sense

  • ||

    The official at the center of perhaps the most controversial call of the season...

    Perhaps? PERHAPS???

    (On a side note, I totally need some interrobangs for that last "PERHAPS," but I don't know if the Reason squirrels will allow it.)

  • Generic Stranger||

    Just do it the non-pretentious way, like this: ?!?!?!

  • Mickey Rat||

    I can readily accept the most controversial call this season, it is those who claim it was the most controversial call EVER.

    As if the the forward lateral in the '99 Bills-Titans playoff game was not controversial, or had greater ramifications on the way the season ended.

    "Music City Miracle" my ass.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm neutral on that game, and I thought it was a legal lateral.

    The biggest blown call I can think of is five downs.

  • ||

    Can I blame my 0-3 start with a combined point differential of 5 points on the replacement refs?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I blame Bush

  • ||

    NFL thread, huh.

    FUCK ART MODELL

    Ok, carry on.

  • BelowTheRim||

    No Modell Celebration in Creveland this year.

    Good move by the NFL...rest in pieces Modell.

  • ||

    Also, this.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    FUCK ART MODELL

    in his wormy decomposing ass. With a jackhammer.

  • ||

    At ZeroHedge, Tyler Durden says the confluence of stinky careers contains a depth of meanings. "Well done Lance," Durden writes, "you have managed to move from the most-hated occupation (bankster) to the most-hated individual (outside of Seattle) in one weekend. Is it any wonder Small Business confidence and uncertainty is so high?"

    I am Jack's complete lack of surprise.

  • ||

    The levels off butthurt coming from Packers fans and a lot of the sports commentariat are epic and hilarious. Keep whining, guys, it doesn't make you look like total little bitches at all.

  • Generic Stranger||

    I find it amusing that it seems to be overriding a lot of people's libertarian instincts.

  • ||

    Yeah, me too. But not surprising.

  • Pro Libertate||

    As a matter of political purity, you should oppose referees and fixed rules. In fact, the only possible sport for anarchists is Calvin Ball.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Why is ZeroHead, where "banksters" are the most hated people alive, quoted here?

    Bank of America didn't ask for TARP. The Bushpigs made them take it.

  • GILMORE||

    Trying to give a shit...

    .... (collapses)....

    ...failure

  • Mo||

    individual franchises might have to become a little more competitive (economically as well as athletically) if they were not heavily subsidized by the people.

    How's that work? The NFL is not at all like MLB or the NBA. Dollars are shared pretty evenly on everything from TV to tickets to apparel. Large market != financial success in the NFL.

  • CE||

    The NFL didn't say it was a touchdown, they just said there wasn't enough evidence to overturn the call on the field that it was a touchdown. The replay official made the correct call.

    Missed penalties are not reviewable.

    I'm not a Seattle fan, but I thought the refs got it right anyway on the TD -- the Green Bay defender grabbed it first, but holding the ball in the airspace over the endzone doesn't establish possession until your feet hit, by which time the Seattle receiver had (probably) tied up the ball too.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    True. The standards for a reception are fucked up.

    A player can catch a pass and take four steps while stumbling and then fall and the pass is ruled incomplete if the ball is not controlled while hitting the ground.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Calvin Johnson says, "True dat."

  • BelowTheRim||

    Simply not true. It's called a "football move" or a "2nd act"

    I agree it is messed up and difficult to understand, which is all the more not surprising that you don't understand the rule.

    P.S. 4 steps qualifies as a 2nd act even though it is really poor verbiage by the NFL

  • BelowTheRim||

    Get your eyes TESTED!

    Nuff Said.

  • CE||

    And it's really funny how everyone is yearning for the old refs, when last year and the year before that they were blowing calls and games left and right, and everyone was complaining. I guess people forget.

  • Mike M.||

    Easley didn't give Aaron Rodgers any Discount Double-Check, that's for sure.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I, for one, am absolutely GALLED by the administration's continued insistence that this was not, in fact, the act of terrorists. Everyone ELSE new from Jump Street that it was ted tourrists. But Obama? No - and the LAMESTREAM MEDIA CONTINUE TO COVER FOR HIM!

    COME ON, OBAMA AND NYT - WE CAN SEE WHEN YOU'RE NOT WEARING ANY CLOTHES, AND IT'S...FUCKING GROSS!

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Insert any missing "k's", and make any other required corrections as you see fit. Otherwise. my statement stands.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I guess from the picture we can say this is at least the second time he tried to screw the Packer's fans?

  • Brandybuck||

    Hey, don't go dissing on Well Fargo! They refused the bailout money, but the government forced them to take it anyway so the welfare banks wouldn't look bad. Wells Fargo may have some crummy policies here and there (ATM fees for dressing funny), but don't put them in the same category as gummit whore BoA.

  • 1955||

    As a Viking fan (outside of Seattle) I approve of the call. Feels good to see GB in last and the Purple People Eaters in first. Probably won't last, but GB bandwagon fans can use some ref induced misery.

  • Ted S.||

    They're not bandwagon fans; they're owners. :-)

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I think it's funny that the call that is making people crazy over the replacement refs is exactly the same call the regular refs would have made.

    Yes, the rule seems extremely unfair. So is the tuck rule. Tough shit. Nut up and take your loss.

  • Jumbie||

    Cavanaugh,

    Please have whoever is responsible for doing your picture blurring take another go at it, so that the lady in question doesn't look like a blonde, gap-toothed, Michael Jackson zombie.

  • Ted S.||

    That's actually her real face.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's what Packer chicks look like.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Hell she was probably a cheerleader at Michigan.

  • TinkRow||

    Dude jsut looks corrupt a the day is long.

    www.PrivacyCrew.tk

  • Paul.||

    This whole thing is beginning to make a lot of sense. After working in corporate America for far longer than any person not guilty of a heinous crime should have to, I recognize that this is perfect corporate management synergy.

    Dude works his way up the ladder and has a few hobbies which he quickly confuses with 'expert status'. Hobnobs his way into a temporary weekend gig position and fucks the pooch sideways... because, being a corporate management type, he's confused about what it really takes to do the job right.

    I bet his employees hate him. And I bet he's a better ref than he is a manager.

  • RPR2||

    looked like a good make up call for the bad PI call the helped Green Bay take the lead in the first place, but Pack fans don't care about that part.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement