“The first meeting between [Seattle Coach Pete] Carroll and Mike McCarthy was in Seattle in early 2012. Packer fans can’t get over the disputed finish even though the side judge Lance Easley, who had a better view of the play than a camera ever could, made the proper call.”
– Bob McGinn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/10/16
Hey Bob, I’m over the call, but it was you who decided to bring up the matter after all these years last Saturday and render your mistaken pronouncement.
“NFL Rule 8 – Section 3 – Article 1 – Item 5: Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control.” (ital added)
First, let’s drop the hogwash about the ref having a better view than a camera. Various cameras recorded better views than were had by these replacement officials. If video images – which can be zoomed in or out, slowed down, and stopped at any given moment – were so inferior to the views of referees, we wouldn’t have the elaborate system of challenges and reviews of referees’ calls that we have, would we? Concerning what has become known as the Fail Mary, there are plenty of video clips, and from a variety of angles, that absolutely establish when one player first gained control of the ball and who that player was. You might have to look at this clip a few times.
Many camera images indisputably establish that it was Packers’ defensive back M.D. Jennings, leaping high above the scrum, who was the first and sole person to “gain control” over the ball. He securely and very visibly possessed the ball in both hands, high above the fray. Seattle receiver Golden Tate swiped at the ball and missed as Jennings was coming down, then reached around from behind when the two were on the ground and got his right hand in the vicinity of the ball, which Jennings still had firmly cradled in both arms against his midsection.
Therefore, according to the above italicized wording of the league rule, this could not have been a “simultaneous catch” – end of conversation. What took place afterwards in the subsequent pile-up and out of clear view of cameras (and the refs) doesn’t matter.
McGinn is either partially-blind, highly prejudiced or he doesn’t know the rule. I hope it’s the latter of the three.
Mr. McGinn, your declaration last Saturday – published in numerous Wisconsin newspapers – was wrong. For the sake of your own credibility, I suggest that you review the rule, re-view camera images, and acknowledge that your previous widely-published pronouncement was in error and then let’s drop it.
Referee Lance Easley was a division II college referee acting as an NFL substitute due to the referees’ union going on strike. About two days after Easley’s call (which was shamefully upheld by the reviewing officials), the league arrived at a contract with the regular league refs, who were back on the field the following week.
Easley, apparently a firm believer that there’s a sucker born every minute, has proceeded to try to capitalize on his five seconds of infamy. I recall that he enjoyably went around the media circuit defending his call. He also co-wrote a book, Making the Call: Living with Your Decisions. It appears to be available on Amazon only in paperback, at a list price of $14.99. Perhaps a better indication of value, however, is that Amazon has 30 used copies available at $0.01, and another 20 new ones at $0.47. The marketplace has spoken!
More on the opportunistic Easley can be had on lanceeasley.com.
Here’s his “About Me” segment:
“Lance Easley lives in Hollywood California while developing the film ‘Making the Call,’ based on his book. He is also a sought after Inspirational Speaker, Trainer, Coach and Actor. Lance’s life as a sports official is in pause mode while his life has returned to the arena of the arts…”
I see no word yet on how the movie is coming along, but I would guess Easley’s view would be that football’s loss is Hollywood’s gain.