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Packers-‘Hawks ref a banker by day

By Claes Bell ·
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Posted: 12 pm ET

Bankers have gotten a lot of grief for blown calls when it comes to the housing bust and the financial crisis, but now one banker is being blamed for another infamous call: the touchdown catch that put the Seahawks over the Packers in the final minutes of Monday Night Football this week.

American Banker reporter Kate Davidson has a story this week on replacement referee Lance Easley, whose day job is vice president of small-business banking at Bank of America in California. From the story:

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 before that. A source at BofA confirmed Easley's title, but the company declined to comment further.

Easley was standing in the end zone during the final seconds of the 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.

For what it's worth, I don't personally blame Easley for the call. A referee with his level of experience -- most of it in California high school and junior college football games, according to the article -- should never have been put in the position of officiating a high-stakes NFL game in prime time, especially surrounded by other inexperienced replacements. If you want to blame someone, blame NFL owners who locked out the real refs over what amounts to a rounding error on their balance sheets.

Disgust with bad officiating seems likely to cost the NFL some business until it gets its act together. It's still unclear whether the fallout from the call will hurt BofA's business in Wisconsin or help it in Seattle.

What do you think? Do you blame Easley for the call?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.

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October 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Jay Ford, please please PLEASE stop going onto the 'net and instead focus your energies on your upcoming GED exam....

Shelley Turner
September 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Jay Ford....I don't believe the question was, "is Green Bay the only team who has ever lost a game because of a bad call?" Maybe you should reread the question. You must be a little slow!! Let me repeat it for you. The question was, "Do you blame Easley for the call?" I respect your opinion that you think Green Bay is so cheesy good (by the way, you spelled cheesy wrong), that you think they should have had more points on the board, but again, that wasn't the question. Try again, jerk!!

Although I was very upset over the WRONG call, I do blame the NFL owners. I would hate to think that Easley did this for any other reason than a mistake. I would hope that when he watched the replay he realized that he made a mistake. None of the replacement refs were qualified to do the job, but as long as they honestly did the best they could, I blame the NFL owners.

Jay Ford
September 26, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Suck it up!Green Bay. You're not the first team that has had a win taken away by a bad call, and you won't be the last.
So quit griping and blaming everyone else.
Why was it such a close game anyway? You should have had more points on the scoreboard if you're so cheesey good!