Lance Easley as Rupert Pupkin: Separating Delusion & Reality
As soon as the controversial no-call happened in Seattle, whereby the Seahawks were awarded a touchback instead of the Detroit Lions having the ball at about six inches from the goal line, we all knew Lance Easley would again come out of the woodwork.
In these interviews alone, there is much delusion presented as fact. Most disturbing of all, it seems no other author has set the record straight or dispelled the delusions of grandeur that emanate from almost every utterance.
When listening to the interview on “the Brick,” the listener is immediately struck with how Easley, hereafter referred to simply as “the pariah,” is presented as if he were an authority on officiating. The host asks a number of questions concerning the nuances of officiating as they relate to this most recent controversy, including questions about the batting rule in question, differences between objective and subjective rules (and how the latter are not subject to review), whether penalties are missed on most plays, and if referees should confer before making a call or not.
All questions are raised as if this pariah were actually a peer of those who do officiate NFL games or even tier one college games. Most astounding of all, the host asked the pariah, “Does crowd noise come into play when you are trying to make a decision?”
The scab answered:
“No. At that level, you block it out. We’re so focused on what we’re doing you don’t even hear it, you don’t hear the noise. I don’t at least. And I know most other officials don’t. We’re so tuned into what we’re doing it becomes one big background backdrop.”
This just beggars belief, as he answers as if he were “at that level.”
He is not, was not, and could not ever be at that level.
Green Bay Packers fans know the story, as does the entirety of NFL fans and reporters not affiliated or in allegiance with the Seattle Seahawks.
Most of his true peers — scabs — were not fit to officiate the Lingerie League. The Stars and Stripes Academy for Football Officials in Utah, where the pariah went three days in hopes of officiating a Division I game, has indicated he has no business on the pro field. Indeed, he was “the only replacement ref on the field Monday night with no prior professional experience” as his “experience was limited to working high school and junior college football games.”
Separating delusion from reality, this pariah has no business opining on any of this. Your average Joe Fan likely has more insight and certainly more charisma. He simply is not a peer of Gregory Wilson — the back judge responsible for the call in the Seattle-Detroit game — or any other professional referee and never could be.
But the delusions do not end there. During his time on “the Brick,” the pariah also fancies Gregory Wilson a friend and mentor, as he wrote an email offering solace and support.
Except, as stated on “the Brick,” Wilson never wrote back.
See, real friends write back or call back. And why would the back judge write back? Why would any professional referee want to be associated with a scab responsible for the worst call not just in NFL history but possibly the history of sport?
Such delusion — and indeed such a bid to garner undeserving fame from a moment of infamy — is all too reminiscent of the ending of The King of Comedy, an underrated masterpiece by Martin Scorsese with Robert DeNiro playing a deluded celebrity stalker yearning for fame for being famous, with more than just an aftertaste of Travis Bickle.
Foretelling our current reality television junk culture some 25 years beforehand, whereby the likes of Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, Honey Boo Boo and other undesirables are famous only for being famous, Pupkin becomes famous for taking talk show host Jerry Langford hostage in exchange for a 10-minute spot on a late night network television show.
After serving about a third of a six-year sentence, he milks his misdeeds for all he can, garnering a book deal.
Exactly like the pariah who considers Gregory Wilson a “friend and mentor,” Rupert Pupkin considers his former captive — a late night talk show host he kidnapped at gunpoint — a “friend and mentor” after serving jail time.
The only difference (so far) is that Pupkin actually cashed in on a book deal in excess of $1 million. Of course, we can only hope this important distinction continues to hold.
There are further delusions.
The pariah fancies himself a motivational speaker, but there is no evidence or record that anyone has actually paid any real money for that. He also fancies himself to be pitching a reality TV show and working on a movie adaptation.
Fairly disturbing news, but until a big contract is actually signed, sealed and delivered, he is in the same unenviable company as many a struggling Hollywood type waiting tables while pushing bad screenplays.
Aside from the fact that he was originally a Vikings beat reporter for the Star Tribune, Packers fans and anyone with any semblance of decency or taste can also direct their ire at Kevin Seifert for interviewing the pariah in the first place.
In those articles — not article, but articles, in the plural — there are errors, including conflating death threats (which have a specific legal definition and set of criteria) with death wishes or wishing ill will. Of course, both are also gravely mistaken as to how wishing ill will should be received. The pariah is quoted as follows:
“People are always going to criticize and be criticized,” he said. “You know that’s part of the deal. But look at my case. I actually made the right call. I know people don’t want to admit it, but the NFL upheld my call on the possession and you still never, ever see offensive pass interference called on Hail Mary plays. So I made the right call based on everything that was out there, and I still, three years later, have people hoping I die. That’s just not the way it should be.”
To which Seifert replies, “No, it should not.” Seifert continues, just as “players don’t deserve vile criticism or death threats any more than officials … it’s important to remember there is a real person — one who has made mistakes and will continue to make them — behind everything we see in a game.”
He not only made the wrong call, but continues to stand by the call and has doubled down on his Rupert Pupkin strategy of cashing in on his infamy.
And while this author would certainly never countenance even the suggestion of uttering actual death threats (how dumb would that be?), right-thinking Packers fans should wish him ill, even bodily injury or death. If he died a horrible death, expiring a month after a fiery car accident in a severe burn unit, I would not feel one ounce of remorse, but celebrate with strong drink and merriment, to wit London distilled gin and tonic.
For indeed, the pariah has sought to profit off the harm he did our team. He created a whole lot of bad juju for our team, that the Packers only now (maybe) have dispelled with their overdue victory over the Seahawks.
That alone should overcome both fans and players alike with rage, hatred and animus.
Packers fans and players have been the good guys long enough. With outrages like these, it is time for us to be the bad guys, to show a little anger and revel in our outrage and hatred.
So yes, I wish upon the pariah nothing but death and misfortune, as should anyone brandishing Green and Gold colors.
In other words, Lance, please, just fuck off and die.