Lance EasleyYou gotta call 'em like you see 'em, whether it's on the field or on the balance sheet. This is especially true if you're a Bank of America (BAC) vice president moonlighting as a National Football League referee.

Such is the story of Lance Easley, a vice president of small business for Bank of America in California, who had been refereeing NFL games in his spare time while the league had locked out its full-time referees during exceptionally bitter contract negotiations. But the professional referees now suddenly find themselves back at work, and it might be due in part to a particularly contentious call Easley made during last Monday's Seahawks-Packers game -- a call contentious enough for the president to weigh in on.

Sorry, Mr. President, the call will stand
According to an NFL statement on the controversy, Easley was in the end zone when Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate and Packers safety M.D. Jennings both went after a pass thrown by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. In the fight for the ball, Tate can be seen shoving Packers cornerback Sam Shields to the ground.

When all was said and done, Tate did catch the ball and was awarded possession of it, but his knockdown of Shields should have nullified the play. Easley, however, called it as a touchdown, and the Seahawks won as a result.

President Obama, an infamous sports junkie, said it was a "terrible" call. In its own statement, the NFL has said the call will stand.

All Good Things Must Come to an End, Luckily for Easley

The professional refs may have Easley to thank for the sudden end to the lockout, with the league apparently caving in on all their demands. Had it not been for Easley's controversial touchdown call -- and the resulting media, fan, and presidential furor -- the lockout might still be going on.

Easley had apparently never refereed anything above junior college games before this season in the NFL. And while this must have been the thrill of lifetime (refereeing a pro football game likely being a bit more exciting than his day job), Easley's days as a big-time referee are at an end.

However, maybe that's something worth cheering about, and not just for the fans enraged over bad calls by amateur refs, but for Lance Easley as well: Bankers aren't exactly the most popular people in the world these days anyway, but being an NFL referee on top of that? Even JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon may never have faced such pressure.

The Ref Behind the Controversial Seahawks Call

John Grgurich is a regular contributor to The Motley Fool. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.


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14 Comments

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dajewelman

Get the facts straight. Tate did not catch the ball. he put his hands on it later as the defender was going down It was not a simultaneous catch.

September 29 2012 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dajewelman's comment
Larry

True but irrevelent, until the defender was downed the ball was live and there to strip or steal. Because the defender jumped he had to control the ball thru hitting the ground, mere contact with the ground would not have ended play. The moment the offensive player established partial possession in the end zone, the play was over, touchdown, BEFORE the defender's butt hit the ground to cause a touchback. Because the defender did not fully control the ball thru hitting the ground he doesn't even get credit for an interception.

The simultaneous catch rule is primarily about scoring such a completed pass instead of both an interception and a completed catch. It was not in play here, clearly.

September 29 2012 at 2:36 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Larry's comment
mig441

Wrong. It was inthe end zone. Once he had it and was touched it was a touchback. Your scenario ONLY woudl have applied if there was simultaneous possession, which there was not. The simultaneous possession rule WAS in play. You are exactly wrong. and so was this ref.

September 29 2012 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
John

Easley's call put more folks back to work in 24 hours than Obama has in 4 years.

September 29 2012 at 8:42 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
William

Well that figures. He's in charge of small businesses in CA. And they are closing down left and right or moving out.But, he will still get his million dollarr bonus so what the hey. Whats a bad call when he still gets paid.

September 28 2012 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kafienkarl

Let me guess some people will blame this on Obama also. pathetic

September 28 2012 at 8:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to kafienkarl's comment
John

no, we all know the mantra by now...."It's Bush's fault".

September 29 2012 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

no, we all know the mantra by now...."It's Bush's fault".

September 29 2012 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jbluhm1951

I,m sure he called the play the way he saw it, the guy who caught the ball got the touchdown. Sure, we all can see that a penalty should have been called, but we were not standing where he was and we had no pressure to make the call. This call will not end the Packer's season and I am sure there have been plenty calls by the professional referees that cost teams games before. Give this guy a break. The President Of The United States has time to make comments about a football game but doesn't have time to meet with Israel's prime minister. Really, our President needs to make some better calls himself.

September 28 2012 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jbluhm1951's comment
Larry

It isn't pass interference if the player couldn't make the catch. Even Tate never could have touched the ball unless Jennings skyed and caught it first, behind him. That Tate was able to clearly get both hands on the ball was all he needed to do, before Jennings got to the ground for a touchback.

As for Obama not meeting that Nazi criminal Netanyahu: GOOD. It's about time US Presidents showed some backbone toward the terrorist state of Israel with its incessant war crimes.

September 29 2012 at 2:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
NIGHTSUB

Moolight job. May turn into full time job.

September 28 2012 at 4:44 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
NIGHTSUB

Moolight job. May turn into full time job.

September 28 2012 at 4:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
brian

wonder how many bad calls he has made at the bank no wonder there always in trouble.

September 28 2012 at 3:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bill

I've always hated BOA, now I hate them even more.

September 28 2012 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply