Just when we had moved on to the 2013 NFL season and were inching further away from the disaster that was dubbed “Fail Mary” last season, shock waves hit Twitter this past weekend. OK, maybe shock waves is a bit of an exaggeration-unless you’re a Green Bay Packers fan.
It was announced that NFL replacement referee Lance Easley, who infamously awarded a game-winning touchdown to Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate at the end of last year’s Monday Night Football contest against the Packers, has written a book entitled “Making the Call” and it goes on sale starting August 1st.
While Easley’s blown call was what ultimately led to the end of the NFL’s lockout of the regular refs, it obviously came at a cost to both the Packers and the NFL. Who knows what would have become of Green Bay’s 2012 season had the right call been made and had the Packers left Seattle with the win.
As we know, Easley had no previous experience as a professional referee prior to that game. He had done some high school and lower division college games and no one knew who he was. That all changed in the blink of an eye and apparently Easley intends to ride the wave of that fame (infamy, really) all the way to the bank. Ironically, his day job is as an Executive with Bank of America. I’m sure many are hoping that he won’t have the luxury of quitting that job and living off of the royalties from the sale of his book.
The book has caused some blood-boiling, judging by the reaction on Twitter from fans and media alike. While there is uproar among Packers fans and around the NFL, it seems to be another story in Seattle. A while back, there were rumors that Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had invited Easley to be a guest at his celebrity softball game, which took place this past Sunday. Those rumors were proven true when images of Easley posing with Seahawks players surfaced after the event. Here is one in particular that ESPN tweeted:
Seahawks WR Golden Tate reunites with “Fail Mary” referee Lance Easley at celebrity softball game » pic.twitter.com/slkuuC6TYq
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 8, 2013
That should have come with a warning for those who are dealing with blood pressure issues. My first thought upon seeing Easley posing with his hands up as if he is signaling “touchdown” and Tate smiling next to him, is that I hope karma is alive and well.
What is done is done and last season is over. Neither the Packers nor the Seahawks made it to a championship game, as both lost during the playoffs. This is America and we are free to pursue any legal means of income that are available. I’m clearly judging this book before I break its cover but since I don’t plan to read the book, I am going to claim that one bad judgment deserves another.
I realize that the book could actually end up being an ode to Packers fans and a big apology. Or about how classy the Packers organization and head coach Mike McCarthy were in reaching out to him in support after that game and the backlash he was experiencing. It could also be about how to overcome a big mistake and move on. What lingers in my mind is that Easley will profit from something that was so costly to others.
I guess that’s part of the American way, to turn a negative into a positive. But I note that the description of Easley’s book states “What if your life hinged on a decision you had to make in a split second?” While the blown call may have been the biggest decision in Easley’s life to that point, it may now be surpassed by and hinge on his attempt to sensationalize and gain from one of the biggest embarrassments in NFL history. I can’t help but question his intentions when I look at the image above.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. After seeing this latest example of Easley’s bad judgment, it’s safe to say that he likely has a problem making the right decisions in his everyday life. Maybe I should pull all of my accounts from Bank of America before I find that Easley has ruled that my money is actually his money.
For those interested, Easley’s book is co-authored by Brock Thoene and is available for pre-order at Amazon.com at the reduced rate of $10.49. It is published by Barbour Publishing, Inc.——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone: